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Normally, if a book makes me sad, I chuck it immediately. But this book is so brilliant, I broke my own rule. Julie Burchill

I love this book. It's fabulous and moving and funny and strange. It will go down among the great animal books. Jeanette Winterson

Dark, comic and quite brilliantly adult, Haig's thinking animals never stray into the sickly sweet zone. Alison McCulloch, The New York Times

This debut novel is a winner from page one . . . A subtle, dog's-eye view of the frailty of human relationships, it is perceptive, enchanting and destined to be this summer's must-read. Mail on Sunday

Hard on the heels of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, this clever, funny and oddly dark novel is clearly destined to become a cult hit. I only wish my dog had thought of it first. Carla McKay, Daily Mail

The Last Family in England is so multi-faceted it could be re-read time and again . . . This is a remarkable book and a brilliantly entertaining read. Emmanuelle Smith, Big Issue

A comic tour de force . . . Haig has pulled off the difficult feat of sustaining a joke right the way through . . . On another level it's a desperately sad view from underneath as a family falls apart. Fiona Hook, The Times

... a wry, serio-comic family tail, er, tale, for our serio-comic times. Molly Gloss, Washington Post

An incisive insight into contemporary life, somewhere between Watership Down and Animal Farm, that will make you think hard, as well as laugh. Angela Levin, Weekend Magazine (Daily Mail)

Matt Haig is obviously a novelist of great promise. Paul Pickering, Daily Express

Haig pulls it off stylishly and unsentimentally. The Observer

This enchanting debut novel is quite unlike any book you'll have encountered before. The result is a treat - both moving and unexpectedly thought-provoking. Hephzibah Anderson, Daily Mail

One of the best books I have ever read . . . I'm sure that Disney will want to make the movie. Mark McCrory, Belfast Telegraph

Matt Haig is a rising young star in the literary galaxy. Yorkshire Post

A snappily written, intelligent, warm-feeling of a first novel that makes you believe absolutely in the idea that our dogs have their own agenda. These dogs talk among themselves, have raging desires, peculiar habits, swear a lot and want to get high - and probably deserve their own reality TV show. The Last Family in England is the doggie life manual that every Labrador should own. Mark Palmer, Dogs Today

Abandon hope all ye who were raised on 101 Dalmations for this canine dystopia is as black as its Labrador narrator . . . Don't look for a happy ending, but be entertained along the way. Rachel Hore, The Guardian

The Last Family in England is an enjoyable modern-day fable. Matt Haig writes with a true dog-lover's understanding of our best friends, effortlessly capturing the essential characteristics of different breeds. Humanising animals in literature can quite often result in sickly-sweet sentimentality, but Haig avoids this by injecting doses of cynicism and black humour. . . touching, funny and unique. Kirsty Knaggs, The List

There's much to enjoy in The Last Family in England: read it curled up in front of the fire beside your own mutt, and bring tissues. Sonya Hartnett, The Age

Irresistible. Anne Weale, The Bookseller

Our gallant canine hero struggles through a quagmire of obligation and ethics, striving to protect the family at all costs . . . and the author romps through a carefully plotted maze of tragi-comedy. Philippa Jamieson, New Zealand Herald

Extremely funny . . . One of the most enjoyable books you could read this year. . . Who would enjoy this book? First of all, of course, dog lovers, who have probably always known that our four-footed friends are thinking, feeling, communicating beings. Secondly, anyone who enjoys the kind of book that hooks you so much you start reading at eight in the evening and finish the next morning at two (as I did with this). Thirdly, anyone who has ever seen, heard, ignored, played with or tripped over a dog. Now is that everyone? Martin Higgs, Waterstone's Literary Editor, Waterstone's Books Quarterly

. . . explores the hidden dangers of family life from the perspective of the only family member who gets to see everything - the knee-high, four-legged observer in the corner of the room. Through Prince's eyes (and nose) readers come to realise the secrets which hold families together and which, once dug up, can lead to their destruction. Matt Haig shows us the idiosyncrasies of our world by viewing humans through the eyes of a dog. Angela Barnes, Yorkshire Evening Post

. . . Dog lovers will be engrossed with Haig's interpretation of every little nuance their pet makes and he writes in such a direct way that when he makes you laugh, you have to put the book down and recompose yourself. . . Highly engrossing, hilarious yet heart-breaking. Philip Jones, Ink

In this novel with a difference, Prince, a young black Labrador is the narrator. The Hunter's family pet feels saddled with their troubles. It may sound a bit daft, but the view of humans through the eyes of a dog is intriguing. Marie Keating, OK!

The Last Family in England is a novel that's about a very normal family's various problems - seen through the eyes of their pet labrador . . . he deftly balances it out with a dark, edgy tone. For Haig to choose this topic instead of writing some Trainspotting-esque romp ends up feeling strangely like an act of rebellion . . . Forget about drink, drugs and the excesses of youth, middle-class English families are the new rock and roll. Dom Dwight, The Leeds Guide

Matt Haig's novel, The Last Family in England, is a fable for our time, which deals with the politics of family values. What makes this story of modern life different to so many others is that its narrator is a family Labrador called Prince. Prince learns from his elders but is deceived by those dogs closest to him as he tries to keep his family safe. A thoroughly enjoyable work of fiction. David Bradley, City

Quirkily waggy tale . . . If Matt Haig ever visits you make sure he doesn't jump on the couch. Ed Perkins, Bournemouth Daily Echo

You take a risk, as a debut novelist, if you set out to rewrite Henry IV Part I and give all your characters Shakespearean names. The risk of hubris is hardly diminished if your narrator, Prince, is a black Labrador waiting at the vet's to be put down (death row for dogs). Falstaff is a Springer Spaniel and Lear a Rottweiler. Still, young Matt Haig overcomes the obvious problems admirably well and the result is a plausible sounding dog's nose view of human family and frailty. The structural difficulty is that in the end you cannot help wondering how Prince delivered the manuscript, given the outcome at the vet's, but by that point in the novel your disbelief will have been well and truly suspended. Maris Ross, Publishing News

The clearly very talented Matt Haig's debut novel joins a fast growing pile of works by fresh faced authors who are making this a great age for those who enjoy a good read . . . This is a highly original and often funny work and like a good dog, won't let you down. Lads Mag

I am lost for words. This is a quite extraordinary book. I have never read anything like it. It was impossible to put down. Prince is such a charming and believable character - I was completely hooked. I would recommend it as a must for everybody interested in dogs and their behaviour, but you will need tissues at times. Also don't start it if you have a busy day. I had to know what was going to happen next. Never what I thought. Joyce Stranger, Dog Training Weekly

And here's a selection of reviews from various representatives of the canine community and one cat:

Matt Haig’s book, The Last Family in England, has already generated a lot of hostility from the Labrador community. My worry is that this was exactly the kind of pre-publicity the author was hoping for. I therefore advise all Labradors to ignore the existence of this dangerous and terrible book, in the hope their masters will do the same. Wordsworth, Labrador, The Lake District

A fantastic insight into the stupidity of Labradors and the futility of their cause. However, Prince, the narrator, is a completely unrealistic character. I have, to this day, never met a Labrador who is able to see through the propaganda of the Labrador Pact. Sam, Springer Spaniel, Manchester

I read this whole book and by the end of it I was left with one overriding feeling: who cares? Labradors, as we all know, are ridiculous. For those of us sensible enough to have given up on our human masters years ago this book offers little new wisdom. Russell, Jack Russell, Islington, London

Fucking shit.
Arnie, Rottweiler, South Wales

Absolutely wonderful! A riot from beginning to end. It serves to confirm what cats have known since Egyptian times: both dogs and humans are quite daft. Lapsang, the cat, had the right idea – stick to the radiators and keep quiet. A hilarious summer read perfect for your holidays! Poppy, Burmese cat, Nottinghamshire

A novel acknowledging the pressures of the present moment for dogs of all creeds. There can be no denying that we are currently witnessing a historic turning point. We now realise that human actions are occasionally beyond our control, but we should not give in. Labradors must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other breeds in identifying the challenges that lay before us. I can only assume that whichever Labrador wrote this (using a human pseudonym, obviously) has gone into hiding. But one day we will all realise that the Pact should not be treated literally, but rather applied to the needs of our age. A remarkable feat of courage. Name withheld, Labrador, St Albans