Book review: Pug, Actually

This feature is in association with NetGalley.

Pug, Actually by Matt Dunn
Many thanks to both NetGalley and to HQ Digital for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of Pug, Actually.

Well, what can I say? When I started to read this book and saw that it was written in the present tense, I wanted to hate it. Despite that, the story, or rather the narrative, drew me in and I was hooked.

I loved this story. I love the twist on a famous film. I think I even fell a little in love with the narrator – Doug the pug.

At first, I thought it would be too easy for the heroine, Julie, to sort herself out. But Matt Dunn skilfully threw in twist after turn and then finished it in exactly the right place. And he did so with plenty of smiles along the way.

Gripes …

There are no chapters. Therefore I wasn’t sure while reading it whether or not it was a substantial change or a minor change between parts.

The layout didn’t help, but I think that was more to do with this being an advance copy and I assume the print issues will be sorted by the time the book goes live. In particular, the letter ‘f’ often had a space after it, and right in the middle of the book the page number footers (or headers, can’t tell on a Paperwhite) suddenly started to randomly appear.

Also, this is a very British story, set in a very British place, peopled by very British characters, and narrated by a very British dog. And yet there were far too many Americanisms, such as leash instead of lead and cell phone instead of mobile phone.

Surely publishers credit their American readers with sufficient intelligence to know the Britishisms by now? It’s like British readers reading a western and having cows instead of steers. Because this grated with me, the review lost its fifth star. It took the edge off what would have otherwise been an excellent read.

Otherwise, a great little smile-along tail tale.