Is there a God? Is there no God? Is there God who doesn't care about us? These are tricky questions—in There Is No Dog, not even the people who work with God every day quite know the answers. Should we have faith in God … or should we just have faith in ourselves? Mortals and immortals alike struggle with these questions throughout the novel. In the end, the only answer we seem to get is faith that things will be better in the future.
By caring for Earth, Mr. B proves that he's really God.
Godhood is about creation rather than preservation. Because Bob created (almost) everything on Earth, it's really he who is God.
Ah, love. How many poems, songs, and overly sweet drugstore boxed chocolates have been created in your honor? Everyone—even Bob—seems to want love in There Is No Dog, but actually getting it is pretty tricky. Just like in real life, some people get lucky; some people just get dumped. And some people are just way too wrapped up in themselves to even see it. Happily for Luke and Lucy (anyone else notice how similar their names are?), sometimes love is just where you're not looking for it.
Everyone in There Is No Dog is looking for love.
Bob is the book's most tragic figure, because only he doesn't end up with someone.
If there's one lesson that human history has to offer, it's that people will do a lot for just a little bit of sex. Well, the gods are no different. Bob seems willing to destroy the whole earth for some sex in There Is No Dog. Not only that, but he doesn't even know if what he is feeling is love or lust. What's the difference? We wish we knew.
Rosoff suggests that, unlike love, lust is not a universal feeling.
There Is No Dog suggests that lust is basically a negative force in human relationships.
As Donkey said before he and Shrek became friends, "I'm all alone, there's no one here beside me." Humans spend a lot of time trying to feel less lonely—why else would sites like Match.com and eHarmony exist? Unfortunately, there's no dating site for Gods (that we know of). And there's no after church coffee hour for Bob, either. So how is he supposed to reach out and connect? (Don't say Facebook.)
Power is the greatest isolating force in There Is No Dog.
In this novel, love rather than friendship is the cure to isolation.
Most people don't want to suffer, but we live in a world full of suffering. Some people ride in fancy cars while other people die of thirst; some people let their vegetables rot in their crisper (not that we've ever done that …), while other people die of hunger. It's a hard, unfair, cruel world. And There Is No Dog suggests that it was designed that way. While most of the characters are concerned with trying to figure out how to make a little less suffering in the world, Bob/God says inequality makes Earth beautiful. Who's right here? We think we can appreciate our ice cream without having to suck on a lemon first, but … what do we know? We're not God.
There Is No Dog suggests that suffering is a necessary and beautiful part of human life.
In the world of There Is No Dog, it is impossible to end suffering. Suffering is just something for humans to accept.
Guess what: we don't actually have eternity to play Angry Birds. Right? It's pretty shocking. Luckily, we don't have to think about our mortality too often. Unless a big disaster strikes or someone close to us is sick, we can usually go about our lives without worrying about that kind of big-picture stuff, and it's a good thing, too. (We think.) But the characters in There Is No Dog are obsessed with these questions. Since this is a novel about God it even gets to ask questions like why is mortality a thing in the first place? Isn't a God that would do that cruel? The answer? Yes and no.
In There Is No Dog, life is beautiful because it is brief.
Mortality is a curse. Given the choice, anyone would choose to be immortal rather than mortal.
Friends. They got your back. You got their back. You sometimes even hang out with them in person instead of writing on their Facebook wall. It's just a big pot of platonic love. In There Is No Dog, friendship is even stronger than mortality. (Kind of.) It stretches across galaxies, proving just as powerful as romantic love. The only thing is, it's mostly missing from the novel because, well, most of the characters are too self-centered to care about anyone else.
Friendship is bigger than romantic live in this novel.
Estelle and Eck form the only true friendship in There Is No Dog.
Every time Apple gets ready to announce the new iPhone, we remember why people are filled with hope for the future. But when we look outside our bubble—at famine, war, ethnic cleansing, drought, floods, you name it—things stop looking so hot. In There Is No Dog, Earth teeters on the edge of hope and hopelessness. Throughout the novel, the characters struggle with finding hope in a world that seems hopelessly damaged by a terrible God. In the end, somehow, they manage to find a little bit of hope in all the muck—and it's not even branded by Apple.
In There Is No Dog, Earth and its inhabitants are hopeless. There is no point to all the suffering, and Rosoff suggests humans would be better off just giving up.
Even though life is difficult and God is capricious, humans in There Is No Dog never give up hope.