Thursday, June 06, 2019

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World - C.A. Fletcher

There is so much I want to tell you about this book – but I can’t do it because I’ve been asked not to by someone important, the author, who took the time to lead things off with a special “note on spoilers” in which he says this:

            “It’d be a kindness to other readers – not to say this author – if the discoveries made as you follow Griff’s journey into the ruins of our world remained a bit of a secret between us…”

So, I’m extra carefully walking a fine line on this review – but the things I wish I could tell you are right there on the tip of my tongue. That’s how excited I am about this book and how badly I want to see it get into the hands of thousands and thousands of readers.  

Let’s start with the fact that a while back, almost the entire human race lost the ability to reproduce itself, meaning that the Earth’s population has dropped from its peak of 7.5 billion down to less than 9,000 people. Think about that.  9,000 people spread over the Earth’s surface means that surviving families (those over the generations who have mysteriously retained the ability to reproduce) can go an entire lifetime only ever running into a very few people not part of their own family or small group.  And when those strangers show up, it is not always a good thing for the ones being visited.

This is precisely why Griz’s family lives on an island capable of providing everything it needs to sustain life.  Griz describes it this way: “My childhood wasn’t like yours. I’ve never had friends, and in my whole life, I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football.”  All Griz has are his family and his precious dogs.  (Even most of the dogs still around are not able to reproduce themselves, so dogs are a very precious commodity in Griz’s world.)

Author C. A. Fletcher and His Dog
Then one day Griz spots a boat with bright red sails moving toward the island, a boat carrying the stranger who will forever change Griz’s life and, for that matter, his whole world.  After the man steals one of Griz’s two dogs, Griz will know him only as a thief of the worst order.  And the chase is on, because according to Griz, “…there may be no law except what you make of it.  But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you.  Because if we’re not loyal to the things we love, what’s the point?”

What Griz discovers about the world when he makes it to the mainland for the first time in his life will astound the reader just as much as it astounds Griz.  A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World is really the story of a boy on a quest to get back what is his, but it is what happens to Griz along the way that makes this novel so memorable.  And as for those spoilers, let’s just say that you will know them when they jump off the page at you, and that you will understand the author’s urgent request to keep them to yourself. I can’t think of a book more easily spoiled than this one, because…well, I just can’t tell you that.

Read this book, everyone.  You can thank me later.

(C. A. Fletcher is a Scottish author, and this is my first exposure to his work. I’m hoping there’s a lot more from Fletcher out there because if A Boy and His Dog is any indication, the man has a wonderful imagination.)

4 comments:

  1. Love the sound of this one! I can't wait to read it and discover all its secrets for myself. Great review. :D

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    1. Thanks for the kind words about the review.

      Tell you what, I can't remember the last time a book fooled me as badly as this one (and for as long) about some of the key elements of the plot. I'm still thinking about it and how he did it.

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  2. OK, you have successfully hooked my interest. I want it. Now.

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    1. LOL I honestly don't think you'll be disappointed - there is just so much going on in this one, and it's so easy to imagine something like this happening. I'm a big fan of dystopian novels anyway, but if I hadn't been, this one would have converted me.

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