My enormous thanks to Frances Gough at Headline and Bookbridgr for my review copy of ‘Waiting for Doggo’ by Mark B.Mills. It is published by Headline Review on 13th August 2015.
Thirty year old Daniel is surprised to find a ‘Dear John’ letter from his partner of four years, Clara, telling him ‘It’s over between us’. Even more worryingly, she has left behind possibly the ugliest dog in the world, Doggo. Out of work and lumbered with a Jennifer Aniston obsessed dog, something needs to change for Dan.
I absolutely loved ‘Waiting for Doggo’. It’s a quick read with a story that romps along, but that doesn’t mean it’s not really well written and stylish. There’s a perfect flow to the writing, with a great balance of description and direct speech that makes it a vibrant read. The situations are absolutely credible, recognisable and life like.
The humour is brilliant. Occasionally it is obvious, occasionally understated so that the reader is entirely caught up in it. This is what makes the contrasts in the scenarios even more effective and I found I had tears in my eyes towards the end, even though I’d laughed all the way through.
Characters are amazingly well depicted. Doggo, (and yes he does have a twitter account @WAITINGFORDOGGO), is masterful. He’s so lifelike that it seems impossible a non-speaking character can have such presence in a narrative.
What I found so wonderful about ‘Waiting for Doggo’ was that although it is relatively short, it packs a huge punch with themes of love and loyalty, how we treat our elderly, social conventions, the sense of identity and office politics. It really is a microcosm of life.
There is potential at the end of the story for a continuation of Dan and Doggo’s adventures and I just hope Mark B. Mills is already writing the next book because I feel bereft at having finished this one. It thoroughly deserves all the pre-publication praise it has received. I can’t recommend it highly enough.