There are certain authors who you know are a safe pair of hands ahead of reading their books. You know that the quality of their previous output is almost a guarantee that their latest book will be a good read. Meg Rosoff is one such author. She hasn't looked back since bursting on to the scene with her jaw droppingly outstanding debut How I Live Now (soon to be adapted for the big screen). For those of you not familiar with her prolific output, I strongly suggest you track it down. She writes with such narrative authority that the YA book world would be a better place if there were a few more skilful authors like her operating in it.
Her latest offering does not disappoint. It's arguably the funniest of her efforts yet, and as gloom and doom is very much in fashion at the moment in the YA world, this is welcome news indeed. There Is No Dog asks the question 'what if God was a teenage boy?' and Rosoff proceeds to have great fun with the idea. Bob is your typical self absorbed adolescent male: horny, easily bored, just a teensy bit self-obsessed and single minded in getting what he wants. The fact he also happens to be God spells bad news for us all. Because he's got the hots for 21 year old zoo assistant Lucy in a literally earth shattering way. Can his long suffering minder, Mr B, his scatty mother Mona and the level headed Estelle pull Him back from the brink, as his lust for Lucy threatens to pull the whole world down with him?
Rosoff is one of the few writers who's able to pull off the very difficult multi-POV trick. This is because each narrative, whilst written in the third person, has its own strong authorial voice. Ultimately, this stands or falls on its bonkers concept. Because the pace is impressive, the humour is belly laugh funny and the characters well rounded, suspension of disbelief really isn't a problem.
A few humourless, pious types may decide to interpret this as offensive, and accuse Rosoff of arguing that God does indeed act like a spoiled child. If they bother to read to the end of the novel, they'll realise that this isn't the whole story. And if they insist on slamming the book...well, let them. Their loss. There Is No Dog is an engaging, funny and thoughtful read. Highly recommended.