Thursday, December 01, 2016

Book Review:Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff

I recently came into possession of a book by an author previously unknown to me but whose style and latest novel I love - after reading the first twenty eight pages. It was serendipity. I went to a rural touring community cinema screening  organised by  Lowdham Bookcase and was handed a freebie - a gift-wrapped. uncorrected proof of Jonathan Unleased by Meg Rosoff. It's hilarious but also indicative of the stresses that young people are prey to in the twenty-first century. If you are in need of reading material that will make you laugh out loud (and occasionally weep) find your way to the nearest bookshop or library and grab a copy. It's just the ticket when you want to spend a cold winter evening on the sofa with a blanket and a mug of something warming.

The story line: Jonathan lives in New York and is caring for two dogs, left with him by his brother. His life is going to the dogs - literally. He personifies them and projects his own anxieties on to them. Jonathan sees life from a city dog's point of view.  The writing is fast -paced, suggestive of the legendary fast pace of New York life, and the voice is very youthful. The tone reminds me in some respects of Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

Based on the style and the idiomatic voice, I formed an impression that  Ms. Rosoff was a young writer, so was surprised to find from her bio that she is in fact only nine years younger than me. She is an American living in London and is a best-selling author of prize-winning childrens' books. Jonathan Unleashed is her first novel for adults.

A reviewer writing in the Observer said 'You will want to read everything that Roscoff is capable of writing'. Too right.


  1. This sounds like a wonderful read, Ms. Rix. I am a dog enthusiast and I love stories about canines. Just by reading your synopsis I can tell that I had better have some tissues available. :) Thanks for the recommendation.