A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World Review

Photo credit: https://www.amazon.com/Boy-His-Dog-End-World-ebook/dp/B07FHYLY31

Photo credit: https://www.amazon.com/Boy-His-Dog-End-World-ebook/dp/B07FHYLY31

Luke Holcomb, Writer

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, by Charlie Fletcher, is a dystopian fiction novel written and published on April 23, 2019.

The story follows our main character, Griz, many years following the end of the world. The Gelding, the obscure event that brought about the end of the world, left the majority of people unable to have children, leading to the eventual fizzling out of the human population. The exception the novel states is 0.0001% that can still have children, causing the endangerment of humans, but not extinction.

But that’s not what this book is about. This book takes place an uncertain amount of time after the end of the world when Griz and his family meet a man named Brand, who seduces them with stories of his travels around the uninhabited world and poisons them with marmalade, stealing Griz’s dog, Jess, in the process.

The rest of this novel follows Griz’s pursuit of Brand to get his dog back, exploring the desolate land of Scotland on the way.

The way in which Fletcher writes the characters in this book is something I have not seen replicated many times elsewhere. The characters are written very casually, which falls in line well with Fletcher’s writing style, composed of an informal and personal form of writing.

Take Griz, for example, a person who, throughout the book, has a very in-depth inner monologue. The actions he takes and the consequences they hold later on build the theme of regret in the story and work to show the reader his faults and flaws as a person, and the recognition he holds for them. His personality is not one of a hero or a coward, but simply one of a person, and I feel that this way of writing characters builds more of a personal connection and relation with the reader.

The story of this novel is written in such a way that provides the reader with an incredible visual and imagery of the scene at hand. The descriptions of the nature of this world and how the characters interact with it gave me the clearest and most defined picture I have experienced while reading a book.

The progression and development of Griz’s adventure found myself right there next to him, a part of the story he takes the readers through; every detailed and captivating chapter kept me glued to the book, and I found it genuinely difficult to simply put the book down after finishing a chapter, even after my third reading.

Suffice it to say that I thought this book was written with care and attention to detail by Fletcher. The overbearing theme of foreshadowing and hints about the future worked wondrously to capture my attention and keep me intrigued throughout my readings.

I also noticed a handful of unresolved mentions and encounters in the book, which I personally did not mind, as I felt it added to the air of mystique and secret left in this now-empty world, but can see how it might feel frustrating to some readers to finish with unanswered questions and inquires.

Fletcher’s style of writing has a flare of mixed poise and casualness that, again, I feel is unique to this book. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a dystopian world that gives rise to dozens of engaging questions and develops plot points flawlessly, while at the same time building and painting the world of this novel in a beautiful and joyful light.