STARRED REVIEW
April 2018

A dog’s hunt through time

By Damian Dibben
Review by

“You are the soul of all men,” a man tells the canine narrator of Tomorrow, written by Damian Dibben, an actor, screenwriter and bestselling author of the History Keepers, a children’s book series. This dog is more than a best friend; he is a loyal companion for more than three centuries, remaining by his master’s side as he works as a chemyst, mathematician, doctor and metallurgist in European castles, courts and field offices. After they’re separated in Venice in 1688, the dog continues to wait and look for his master.

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“You are the soul of all men,” a man tells the canine narrator of Tomorrow, written by Damian Dibben, an actor, screenwriter and bestselling author of the History Keepers, a children’s book series. This dog is more than a best friend; he is a loyal companion for more than three centuries, remaining by his master’s side as he works as a chemyst, mathematician, doctor and metallurgist in European castles, courts and field offices. After they’re separated in Venice in 1688, the dog continues to wait and look for his master.

When Vilder, another long-living man, thinks he’s spotted the master in 1815, he leads the dog on a search through the Waterloo battlefield and beyond. By the time we learn the dog’s and master’s names toward the end of the book, they have already made indelible marks on everyone they’ve met, including readers.

The dog’s search for his master is also a search for what endures through the ages. The master encounters Galileo, Queen Henrietta Maria (nicknamed Generalissima by her inner circle), Louis XIV (in the era of “grand hair, heeled shoes, exaggerated cuffs, coloured stockings and everywhere—attached to elbows, knees and ankles—bows and fussy spills of ribbons”) and famous British poet Lord Byron. While these powerful people rise and fall, the arts provide abiding inspiration and comfort for the hopeful master and dog wherever—and whenever—they are. They delight in their senses, particularly smell, which is excellently rendered by the canine narrator. In London, the dog finds a “universe of odours . . . the all-pervading rye-starch smell of painted timber, here the air was spiced with exotics: sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, coffee and chocolate.”

With a hint of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and a dash of W. Bruce Cameron’s A Dog’s Purpose, Tomorrow confronts big questions about life’s purpose and celebrates life’s pleasures.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Tomorrow

Tomorrow

By Damian Dibben
Hanover Square
ISBN 9781335580290

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