Cover Image: Tomorrow

Tomorrow

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Member Reviews

What a strange and beautiful book. Dibben does an excellent job of bringing us close to uncomfortable events and the vagueries of history through the pure and suitably inadequate narration of the dog. Valentyne is a sort of alchemist, blessed and cursed with a scienticfic, enquiring mind long before science was considered a suitable field of study (point of fact, during the middle ages maths and science were considered akin to witchcraft.) He discovers he secrets of immortality and sets off across the centuries with his chosen companion, a dog which he calls ‘his champion. What follows is a sometimes bizarre mixture of The Last Family in England, The Time Traveller’s Wife and historical fiction. I can see why some people might have trouble connecting with this novel because it is rather avant garde but I found it stunning. Highly recommend.
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4.5 Stars 
So, when I first read the description I thought "this book is not for me". It was an historical fiction novel (great so far) from the point of view of a 217 year old dog who has followed his owner through the centuries. I could not have been more wrong with my first thoughts on this title and I am so pleased I have read it. I raced to finish it because I needed to know what was going to happen and then felt that familiar sense of loss at having finished it! 
The writing was incredible and had me hooked from the first page.  
The themes are as relevant to us now as they ever have been - humans bent on their own destruction at war, contrasted with the beauty of humanity through art, architecture, music and literature. It explores family, friendship, love, loss and social justice, to name a few of the topics touched upon. Reading it, I was reminded of this quote: 
Tomorrow and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Only, in this instance, the candle is anything but brief and that's the point. What difference it would make to our limited days if they were suddenly unlimited. 
Thank you to NetGalley, Michael Joseph, Penguin UK, and Damian Dibben for this thought-provoking ARC, provided for the purposes of an honest review.
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Sorry but I could not get into this book at all.
Will try again at a later stage
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An outstanding, intensely moving saga sweeping through the eras of The Renaissance, English Civil War to Napoleonic Europe and end at the period of the Industrial Revolution. This is a book which doesn’t fit into a specific genre – it is based on a fantastical premise, provided by ‘alchemistry’ but the emotions, thoughts, events, philosophies and some (famous, named) of the characters are very real.

The story is told through the eyes of a loyal dog, a dog who lives for his master and who is parted from him, cruelly. He waits for 127 years in the place they agreed to meet should they be parted, but his master never comes...

The descriptions of warfare, brought this so true to life for me (not technical details, more emotional ones, particularly of the Battle near Waterloo); I usually jump pages when battles are being described, not so here. I cried a few times, I so wanted man and dog to be reunited. The resourcefulness of the dog and his colleagues along the way felt like real relationships. I loved the way this was written – the almost poetic language, the ‘message’ the book held; about life, philosophy, attitudes to carrying on, loyalty, love and forgiveness.
I read this in 2 days – compulsively! The only part I found less than perfect was concerning Vilders, near the end (I felt it could have been condensed). But perhaps this just proved that Valentyne is a better person than me! I will be seeking out other works by this author.
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Such an interesting premise, I've read a cat narrated novel this year, but this is my first dog narrated novel. 
I loved the idea of history as seen through the eyes of man’s best friend, and the fact that it spans such a broad sweep of time only made it appeal more, although this could put off some readers. 
The book also makes extensive use of flash forward/back, which may grate for some, but I personally liked how they built up both the story and the characters’ histories. There were several well executed twists and revelations peppered throughout, alongside some oblique references to famous people and events which are enjoyable to pick out, but the narrative did seem to become a bit flabby in the middle, dragging out sections which could have been condensed. The ending was a little underwhelming, but this book was far and away the most original concept I've come across in a long time.
This book is a marmite book, love it or hate it. I loved it.
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Some books when you start to read them lead you to exclaim ‘Wow’, and this, the latest from Damian Dibben is certainly one of these.  I do read a lot of standard books that we all read, but I also like to keep an eye out for something that may be a bit quirky, a bit different, and this certainly delivers, as we have a tale told by a dog – and no ordinary dog at that.

Opening in 1602 this takes us up to 1833, although we do at times read of events farther back in time, as our narrator dog overhears conversations by his master with others.  After the prologue then we find that this dog has been patiently waiting for his master in Venice for over a hundred years, ever since he mysteriously disappeared.

With appearances of famous people as well as well known events, such as the Battle of Waterloo, so there is much incident here, and we find out why this dog has lived so long, as well as his master, and the seeming nemesis that is always close on their tale.  Don’t think however that this is some canine that can speak to people, he cannot, he is just the same as any other dog, and so we see him making friends with people as well as other dogs, just as your pooch at home does.

This raises many questions and themes, such as what kind of person would want to live seemingly forever, and what it would do to your mind, as well as what it is to be human.  Along with this we are drawn to themes of loyalty, love, friendship, hubris, compassion and humility, as well as the importance of family ties.

This beguiling book should be a big hit and is sure to go down well in time with book groups, as it just gives so much to us for discussion and thought.  If you are looking for something that will charm and amaze you, whilst making you think about many issues, then you cannot go wrong with this.

I was kindly provided with a review copy of this by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes.
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