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Review: When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan


Dylan Mint has Tourette's. His life is a constant battle to keep the bad stuff in - the swearing, the tics, the howling dog that seems to escape whenever he gets stressed ... But a routine visit to the hospital changes everything. Overhearing a hushed conversation between the doctor and his mother, Dylan discovers that he's going to die next March.

So he decides to grant himself three parting wishes, or 'Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It'. Number one on the list is to have 'real' intercourse with his stunning and aloof classmate Michelle Malloy. Secondly, Dylan pledges to 'fight heaven and earth, tooth and nail, dungeons and dragons' so that his best friend Amir can find a new 'best bud'. And finally he has to get his dad back from the war so that mum can stop crying so much.

It's not a long list, but it's ambitious, and he doesn't have much time. But as Dylan sets out to make his wishes come true, he discovers that nothing - and no-one - is quite as he had previously supposed


My thoughts
I must admit I had been looking forward to this book for a while particularly because author Phil Earle raved about it on twitter a while back and I am so pleased to say it didn't disappoint. For me it is 2014's answer to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

When Mr Dog bites is the story of Dylan a teenager with Tourettes. What I loved about it is how it got me into his head and enabled me to understand a bit more what it must be like for anyone living with the condition. Be warned it doesn't hold back in its language and so I probably wouldn't recommend it for younger teens but it is absolutely perfect for older teens.

I loved Dylan and the way he saw the world. I loved that underneath that shouty exterior once you got to know him a bit better you could see he had brilliant morals and a real heart of gold and I think for me it made me think about the way people like Dylan with invisible disabilities are labelled within society wrongly by people's assumptions.

I loved the messages it had about racism and about family and was utterly hooked to find out where the story was going and what was going to happen next.

An utterly fascinating and engrossing read. I can't recommend it highly enough

Comments

cloveryness said…
I picked this one up recently and LOVED what I had read but put it down because it's a hardback and it was too hard to fit it into my schedule (I was in and out of the house that week and a Kindle read was more convenient) Really looking forward to getting back into it. Loved Dylan's voice so much.