Cover image for When Mr. Dog bites / Brian Conaghan.
When Mr. Dog bites / Brian Conaghan.
Title Variants:
When Mister Dog bites
Paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury, 2016.

Physical Description:
359 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Originally published in Great Britain in January 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
"All seventeen-year-old Dylan Mint wants is to keep his Tourette's in check and live as a normal teen, but during a routine hospital visit he overhears that he is going to die, and in an attempt to claim the life he has always wanted he makes a list of "Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It" and sets out to have some fun."--From Publisher.


Library Branch
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
1 Bob Harkins Branch CON Paperback Teen Collection
2 Bob Harkins Branch CON Paperback Teen Collection
1 Nechako Branch CON Paperback Teen Collection

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All Dylan Mint has ever wanted is to keep his Tourette's in check and live life as a "normal" teenager. The swearing, the tics, the howling "dog" that escapes when things are at their worst--nothing about Tourette's makes it easy to meet cute girls or have normal friends (or many friends at all). But a routine hospital visit changes everything--Dylan overhears that he's going to die. In an attempt to claim the life he's always wanted, he decides to grant himself parting wishes, or "Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It". In an intimate portrayal of life with Tourette's, Dylan's journey to come to terms with the disorder that has defined his life and his preconceptions about the world around him is hilarious, painful and, ultimately, utterly masterful.

Author Notes

BRIAN CONAGHAN is a forty-year-old Scot, living and working as a teacher in Dublin, and has a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. When Mr Dog Bites is his debut American novel.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this no-holds-barred coming-of-age story, Conaghan's U.S. debut, the British author introduces 16-year-old Dylan Mint, who struggles daily with Tourette's syndrome. When Dylan learns that he's likely to die in a few months, he sets out to accomplish three things: have sex with a girl, help his best friend Amir overcome prejudice, and get his soldier father home from Afghanistan. Naturally, nothing goes as planned, as Dylan discovers truths about his family, his own condition, and the people in his life. Focused through narration rife with bursts of profanity and Cockney rhyming slang, this story takes on an almost hallucinatory tone (" 'BIG GIANT SHITE' I shouted, then whooped a few times and then headed back to class in a massive daze"). It's nevertheless an uncompromising look at the effects of Tourette's, autism, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder on those who have them and their friends and family. Though the story occasionally goes astray amid a meandering plot and dialogue that takes effort to unpack, Conaghan, who has Tourette's himself, does an excellent job of portraying his unconventional and memorable protagonist. Ages 14-up. Agent: Ben Illis, the Ben Illis Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Dylan Mint has Tourette's syndrome, and things go from bad to worse when he becomes convinced he's going to die. He winnows his bucket list down to three things: get laid, find a new friend for best friend Amir, and bring Dad back from the war. Plot is minimal (and slow), but the narrative voice is engaging and the issues raised are important. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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