My name’s Griz. 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.
My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.
There may be no law left 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 aren’t loyal to the things we love, what’s the point?
That’s the publisher’s blurb, and it sets the book up nicely. Someone takes Griz’ dog, Griz goes after him to get his dog back, and this is what happens when he does. It’s a post apocalyptic story, and a pretty good one, with a different and more interesting take than the other legion of stories in that genre I’ve read. Obviously the grandaddy of the genre is John Wyndham, and fans of his will find familiar ground in the post industrial, post collapse, return to an agrarian idyll here. It’s a bit nastier than Wyndham’s trademark cosy catastrophe though, without being unpleasantly brutal. There are secrets and twists and spoilers as well (and I’m not going to ruin them, so don’t even ask – but if you pay close attention to what the story outright TELLS you it’s doing, they might not be such a surprise in retrospect…).But really, the thing about this book is, this book gets dogs. I’m not sure I’ve ever read another story that captures the experience of living with one of those wonderful creatures so accurately. Most of my time reading it was spent with a small brown terrier curled up next to me, and her fearlessness, her loyalty and her love are all here in Jip. Some of it shades into YA territory, not least the central thrust of an adolescent boy leaving home and finding his own way in the world, but not strongly enough to put a grown man like me off reading it.
But yeah, it’s all about the dogs. If you like dogs, this will resonate with you and you’ll love it. If you don’t, maybe you should read it and perhaps you will see the error of your ways.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
John Wyndham, John Christopher, Station Eleven, The Girl With All The Gifts
One thing you’ve learned