Review: Waiting For Doggo by Mark Mills (4/5)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014
One man. One dog. One big love. The perfect novel for anyone who loves MARLEY AND ME, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE or ONE DAY.

No-one ever called Dan a pushover. But then no-one ever called him fast-track either. He likes driving slowly, playing Sudoku on his iPhone, swapping one scruffy jumper for another. He's been with Clara for four years and he's been perfectly happy; but now she's left him, leaving nothing but a long letter filled with incriminations and a small, white, almost hairless dog, named Doggo. So now Dan is single, a man without any kind of partner whether working or in love. He's just one reluctant dog owner. Find a new home for him, that's the plan. Come on...everyone knows the old adage about the best laid plans and besides, Doggo is one special kind of a four legged friend...and an inspiration.



Headline have had some fantastic publicity campaigns this year and one of the best has been for Waiting for Doggo. This book has been all over Twitter for months, everyone is talking about it and Doggo even has his own account! I was very excited then when I was one of the lucky few to receive a limited edition bookbridgr proof copy and I couldn't wait to read it. It's only a short read which didn't take me too long to read which is a shame because I could have read about Doggo for much longer.

Daniel's girlfriend Clara has finished with him by letter, not only leaving him but dumping their dog Doggo on him as well, a dog he didn't particularly want anyway and one that doesn't even have a proper name yet. My first impressions of Clara were that I think Daniel and Doggo had a little bit of a lucky escape. On looks alone Doggo is an unattractive dog, described as tiny, white and almost entirely hairless. As the book progresses though you can't help but fall in love with him.

Daniel sets out to return him only to find himself sticking up for Doggo when the nice woman behind the desk starts making 'snip snip' gestures. To protect Doggo from the torture, Daniel takes him back home, with no idea what he's going to do. The book is very comedic in places, as you would expect from a book about a man and his dog, plenty of mishaps make for very entertaining reading at times but this is also a serious read too, focusing very much on Daniel and his life, his new job, his future and some particularly big revelations regarding his family. The focus therefore isn't always on Doggo which I expected. He was the standout character for me and honestly, I found my interest waning when we were reading about Daniel's personal life. I just didn't relate to him much and he's in a different stage of his life than me.

As the book progresses so does the relationship between Daniel and Doggo as we see the two of them begin to appreciate the other. The behaviour of dogs is at times intriguing to observe and the way Doggo acts towards Daniel in the beginning is quite funny. It is impossible not to love Doggo, even if just the fact that he develops a bit of an obsession with Jennifer Aniston. If it was Tomb Raider Doggo developed an obsession with this book would have found itself in the bin, ugh. Those with a dog will definitely relate to Daniel, and recognise some of the problems he faces along the way. A dog is after all for life as Daniel soon finds out.

With a brilliant ending this book is almost crying out to be a film. Films with dogs aren't exactly original but I think the story here is unique enough for it to be interesting enough. As a book though it's very entertaining and I highly recommend it. They say that a dog is man's best friend, well pick up this book and make Doggo yours (ladies too!). You'll finish the book wanting to take him home with you, or if you already have a dog it'll remind you just how much you love him/her. A brilliant read.

Thanks to bookbridgr for the review copy. 

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