The Cambridge Geek

Tomorrow - Damian Dibben

The relationship between people and dogs is both a wonderful and sorrowful thing. Wonderful in that dogs are loving pack animals, who will be a loyal companion, shower you with affection whenever you need it, and understand just enough of our conversation to be useful, but not enough to argue back.

But it's sad because they live for about a tenth of the time we do.

So if you happened to live forever, you might just want an eternal dog. Which is where Tomorrow comes in.

Tomorrow is a good boy. At the start of the book, he's waiting for his master to return, exactly where he's been told to stay. He's been waiting there for 127 years. And no, that's not in dog years. Luckily, he's had some company over the years, both in the form of other dogs, the occasional passing sailor, and lots of vegetable pie. Yes, vegetable. Tomorrow has spent a very long time learning about the world, and that includes ethics. He's seen a bit too much butchery, both in terms of war as well as mutton, and has decided he'll never kill again. This is one enlightened pooch.

He remembers happier days when he and his master walked the world, plying his master's trade of alchemy and science to the great courts of Europe. They helped cure Kings and Queens, and then joined battlefields to try and heal the common man after the horrors of war.

But then their life is disrupted, when Vilder, an old friend of his master returns, to try and coax him into "one last job". And his master goes missing and doesn't come back.

So he waits.

Until one day, when he sees Vilder. The hunt is on.

The book follows Tomorrow's journey through the world, finally leaving his waiting spot, taking with him only his dreams and a fellow dog, Sporco, abandoned when he was a puppy by his mistress so she could chase after a sailor.

It's a good book. There's less sappiness than you might expect from a tale about a dog missing its master, and the intrigues of immortals gives it a lot of scope to play with. But it's mostly about relationships and how they can change over hundreds of years, from love to hate and back again. Rather enjoyed it.

Score 4

Tagged: Book Magical Realism Personal development Novel Print