Friday, 27 July 2018
The Last Dog on Earth by Adrian J Walker
Reginald is a quiet, shy man living in London after a nuclear incident has forced most people in the city to leave. He lives in his flat with his dog Lineker named after his footballing hero Gary Lineker. The story is told partly in Reginald's voice and partly in Lineker's.
I was totally gripped in the early sections of this novel, Lineker's voice in particular is engrossing and entirely believable as the voice of a dog, experiencing the world largely through smell, worshipping his master as a god and being obsessed with food. (Though possibly more sweary than most dogs might be).
'I'm in the air and bouncing at him, bounce, bounce, bounce until he gets down and gives me a scratch, both hands behind my ears, face-to-face so I get the sweet fog of his breath, a rich soup of saliva and half digested food that's been marinating beautifully for the past eight hours. And it's too much and I just have to lick him so I do and he let's me...'
The strength of his voice however fades as the story goes on.
The constrained world that Reginald and Lineker inhabit is very well drawn in the early chapters, but oddly once the plot starts developing I often found the story being less gripping than it had been when very little was happening.
Having said that though this is well worth reading, an excellent imagining of how the world might become after a major incident destroys large parts of civilisation. It's also excellent in how the details of Reginald and Lineker's lives are revealed along the way.
So is Lineker really the last dog on earth? You'll just need to read the book to find out!
The Last Dog on Earth by Adrian J Walker published Penguin Random House (2017)