Sunday, 19 January 2014

When Mr Dog Bites - Brian Conaghan


Dylan Mint, sixteen, hormones all over the place, in love with Michelle Malloy, attends a special school with the rest of the town's "spazzies" and has Tourette's Syndrome. His best pal, Amir, is a paki who is somewhere on the Asperger's register. They get along fine. Michelle doesn't want to have anything to do with Dylan, Dylan desparately wants to shag Michelle, Dylan's Mum cries a lot and posts his letters to his Dad (currently fighting in Afghanistan) for him. And that's his lot - until, at the hospital one day, whilst reading a new "facts" book, he overhears the Doctor tell his Mum that he will be dead by March next year.

This book, aimed primarily at young adults (make that older young adults)can be read by anyone at all, and as an exercise in understanding people not quite like you, it's brilliant, because there is no preaching at all. Just a book about a Tourette's sufferer, and how he deals with it. How sometimes it's very funny, and sometimes it's a headache and a half. There's sex in there too. Not a lot, but that's funny as well.

I loved this book set in a Scottish town. Of course, it helps that I am married to a Jock, and therefore understand all the little jokes and nuances. I do wonder who else might know that your napper is your head? Still that's a small price to pay - make yourself a Glaswegian friend and all will be revealed!