When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan (YA)


When Mr Dog Bites tells the story of a few months in the life of Dylan Mint, a Glaswegian teenager, who also happens to have Tourette’s, and finds out he’s dying.

Conaghan has managed to capture a fantastic voice here, the happy-go-lucky attitude of the main character allowing the reader to settle into his quirks and tics after only a few pages.   Dylan has all the insecurities of any other typical teenager, but with a tinge of gullibility and innocence at the same time.   The author shows brilliantly the love Dylan has for those closest to him.

The fact that Conaghan manages to engage the reader in the main plot, as well as the stand-out characteristic that is Dylan’s Tourette’s, is impressive.   His depiction of Tourette’s and what is happening in Dylan’s brain is excellent and gives a great insight, from an author who was diagnosed with Tourette’s himself a few years ago.

The humour of the story is the main hook however.   The informal and conversational style of writing allowed me to read at pace naturally, pausing frequently for laugh out loud moments.   Dylan’s turn of phrase, like having his own rhyming slang and his straight-up, honest style of speaking make him an enjoyable read.

The cover mentions life, death, love, sex and swearing.   So, pretty much your normal YA book, but with way more swearing!


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