Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

Review: The Last Dog on Earth by Adrian J Walker

My rating : 5 of 5 stars 

The Last Dog on Earth by Adrian J Walker is a post-apocalyptic novel set in 2021. “Hell!” I hear you say. “That’s not far in the future.” As you know, things can escalate very fast, especially when it comes to politics. People become hot under the collar, extreme in their views and, in the worst-case scenario, society could collapse.

This story is told from two different viewpoints: a mongrel dog named Lineker and his owner, Reginald Hardy.

Lineker swears a lot, and some readers may not approve of this, but I thought it worked well and added rather than detracted from my enjoyment of the story. Obviously nobody knows exactly what it’s like inside a dog’s brain, but if a dog of Lineker’s personality were to use human words, then he would use the f-word and the c-word without compunction, in particular with regard to cats, squirrels, foxes, and disagreeable humans. Even though he relates his insights and his plot narration in the English language, I would not class this as an anthropomorphic exercise. He is always very much an authentic dog of huge personality. Also, I felt that the author obviously knows his dogs well; he includes a great deal of interesting background information about their relationship with humans from the earliest times, when wild dogs first became domesticated.

Reginald worked as an electrician before the apocalypse, which comes in useful for fixing his recalcitrant generator, as well as it equipping him with a skill that post-apocalyptic society can use. The trouble is, he’s a loner who can’t abide any sort of physical contact with other humans, even a quick handshake; thus, the fact that the majority of people have left London and that he has the immediate neighbourhood all to himself, is a total boon, and he’s not in a hurry to leave it, until a starving orphan girl turns up on his doorstep, refuses to leave, and then asks for his help with something that involves him having to leave his flat. Lineker and the girl bond straightaway, and so it’s two against one when it comes to the final decision about this.

What follows is an adventure to end all adventures, triggering a rollercoaster of emotions. I found myself laughing, near to tears, my stomach in knots, breathless with anticipation, and, most important of all, I really cared for the three main characters. As for the baddies, they were spit-worthy and you wanted the worst for them. At the same time, you could understand their motivation, however twisted it might seem.

A highly recommended read (except for those who belong to the anti-swearing brigade!).

[Note:  There are two novels of the same title, as there are no copyright restrictions when it comes to book titles, so make sure that if you like the sound of the novel I’m reviewing, that you don’t end up ordering the other one and wonder what I’m rabbiting on about.]

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And a post script for my fellow authors re marketing…

I stumbled upon this fabulous book by typing in the keywords “dog fiction” on Amazon. Quite a number of books came up, but the brilliant and rather quirky yellow and black cover to Adrian J Walker’s novel particularly caught my eye. Then I read the product description, which wowed me so much that I had to read the opening pages of the novel. After that, I was so hooked, it wouldn’t have mattered what the paperback cost; I just had to buy it. This proves that experts’ advice about selling books on Amazon is true, although not all of us have Del Ray (an Imprint of Ebury Publishing/Penguin) as our publishers)!

Then, of course, there’s the marketing ploy when you’ve got to the end of a novel, only to discover some additional pages with an excerpt from another book by the same author. Thus, I found the first thirty pages of Adrian J Walker’s novel The End of the World Running Club, which hooked me so completely that I had to order a copy of the book straight away. I’m now two-thirds of the way through reading this and will post a review in due course.

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12 thoughts on “Review: The Last Dog on Earth by Adrian J Walker

  1. I’m slightly amazed there are three novels with this same name. What are the odds of that. Toss in the fact that the author hooked you very early on, with only a snippet, and I’m pretty impressed. Thanks for the review, Sarah! I need a good read right now, and swearing definitely does not bother me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’ll love this book, Bill 🙂 The dog, Lineker, had me in stitches of laughter with his insights about humans and life in general. He gets quite philosophical at times. It really is a tremendously entertaining read and so, so, exciting. You will really care about the characters. Let me know what you think, after you’ve read it!

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  2. I love the titles and premises of both the dog-based book and the running one (even though there’s presumption on my part regarding the content of the running-titled book), Sarah. Thank you for bringing them to my attention. I’m so behind with reading and just everything, as it’s the months of birthdays, T’giving, Halloween, and Christmas, so they will go onto a skyscraper-high TBR or TBB (to-be-bought) pile! In the meanwhile, hope all is wonderful in your realm with autumn’s sure arrival and the leaves still hanging on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a skyscraper of a reading list too. But no reading other than research-related stuff in November, as I’m attempting the crazy NaNoWriMo thing for the first time. So is my son. I think this will be a strange experience for Mister. We’ve promised not to forget he’s there!

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  3. I don’t belong to the anti swearing brigade. I might like this xxxxx

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    • They’re just words. I don’t know why people get so hot under the collar about them. Obviously if the f-word is the only adjective a person knows, then that gets a bit tiresome rather than shocking to the ear in real life, but in a novel when the author is striving for authentic characterisation and the character in question would never replace that swear word with “oh, fudge”… well, you know what I’m saying! xxxxxxxxxx

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  4. I love taking a chance on a new, or new-to-me writer and being delighted!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And it’s so wonderful if that writer already has several books to his or her name. I’ve just discovered that Adrian J Walker has two other published novels, apart from the two I’ve already discovered. It just goes to show that there are so many good books out there, if only we can find them This is why I think that recommending books via blog reviews and Goodreads is so important.

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  5. This sounds like a really intriguing story and an unusual idea Sarah.

    Liked by 1 person

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