A Dog's Purpose Paperback – 20 April 2017
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I really loved this book. Bailey is an amazing dog who narrates the story and really gets into your heart and I loved hearing his thoughts and his perspective on the world. Poignant and affecting it reflects on life and the biggest question of all; what is our purpose? The author captures the simple love and trust a dog has for its owner that will warm your soul. It very much reminded me of Garth Stein’s Art of racing in the rain, and is so much more than a cute dog story but a reflection on life, the things that make it worthwhile and also learning to let go. I find the idea of reincarnation fascinating - there comes a time when pet owners have to let go of their beloved pets, but imagine if this wasn’t goodbye forever? I felt the full range of emotions reading this, (I laughed and cried!) but closed the book feeling I had read something extra special that I won’t be parting with. Tissues recommended……
(Having since seen the film I would strongly recommend that too – it was just brilliant!)
This book helped me on many levels, and was such a good read , at one point i was in tears and less than 10 minutes later was laughing,
I would recommend this book to any animal lover or anyone who is just feeling a bit down.
This book came into my life just when i needed it most so big thank you to w.bruce cameron you helped me keep living , i was so close to calling it a day at the age of 32, now i have the strength to keep going in the hope one day i might meet gotti again in this life or the next.
The story of a Good Dog, written from his perspective, was so engaging. Whether he was thinking about his humans, what he was supposed to be learning or why cats are so pointless, I couldn't help but think about my own dog and whether he thinks about things in the same way.
The focus is on finding his purpose over the course of a number of lives and reincarnations, each time remembering what he had already learned about himself, his people and how to open a gate. This knowledge was then used to enable him to be a 'better' dog each time and undertake some important jobs, including being a search and rescue dog, but mainly just completely loving his boy.
It's not often nowadays that I find a book I want to re-read, but this is definitely one of those.
It is written in the first person of the lead character. ...a dog. This dog lives and dies and is reincarnated several times. We are told how different people treat the dog, some good and some bad. The dog learns different things in each reincarnation.
The story mostly focusses on the second incarnation....when the dog (then named Bailey) is lucky enough to find a happy home with a boy named Ethan. This is the best part of the book. But Ethan's life is not without tragedy and he is seriously injured in an arson attack, after which he has to give up many of his hopes and dreams, and goes on to lead a less fulfilling life. When he is about 18 Bailey dies and is reincarnated and has new owners. I confess I skipped on to a later incarnation in which the reincarnated Bailey finds his way back to a now elderly Ethan. As in the film this all works out well and the reincarnated Bailey brings Ethan happiness in his later years....but then right as the end, when the book seems set to have a happy ending...it diverges from the film and has horrible end in which Ethan has a stroke and dies all alone in the house, with only the reincarnated Bailey there. It isn't even clear in the book whether Ethan ever truly recognizes his final dog as being the reincarnation of Bailey. So whereas the film has a happy and uplifting ending, in which Ethan clearly recognizes Bailey and both are alive....the ending of the book is hollow and upsetting. It seemed cruel to me and the makers of the film were very wise not to go down the same route.!
Finally then, although the book is okay until the last 15 to 20 pages, unless you happen to like unhappy endings you'd do better to go for the film, which is much better.
Top international reviews
A canine’s first person perspective makes this book amusing & touching. The book is bound to change your perspective about your pets, especially dogs.
I love the first "person" narrative from the dog's view, that illustrates how kind and also cruel some people are towards animals.
I cried in some sections that are poignant and moving, and rejoiced in the happy sections.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves animals, especially dogs.
Währenddessen fragt er sich zunehmend, was das alles soll und worin der Sinn seiner Existenz besteht.
Es gelingt dem Autor hier durchaus gut, die Perspektive eines Hundes einzunehmen und darzustellen, wie menschliche Verhaltensweisen und Beziehungsmuster auf ein solches Tierchen wirken müssen.
Natürlich dürfen dabei einige Klischees nicht fehlen und manchmal wirkt es etwas übertrieben, wie viel der Hund teilweise versteht und welch schlaue Pläne er entwickelt, während er in anderen Situationen wieder so gar nicht erfasst, worum es den Menschen eigentlich geht. Doch bei einer Geschichte, die aus der Sicht eines mehrmals wiedergeborenen Hundes erzählt wird, darf man selbstverständlich keinen Realismus erwarten.
Sehr gut gefallen hat mir jedenfalls, dass hier auch thematisiert wird, wie schlecht Hunde von uns Menschen bisweilen – teils aus Bosheit, teils aber auch einfach aus Unwissenheit oder mangelndem Einfühlungsvermögen – behandelt werden, sodass hier nicht nur fröhliche Geschichten erzählt, sondern diverse Facetten der Beziehung zwischen Mensch und Hund ausgeleuchtet werden.
Alles in allem ist dies ein nettes und flott lesbares Buch für alle Hundeliebhaber, das oftmals zum Schmunzeln animiert, aber auch traurige Momente nicht ausspart.
It touched me deeply.
After finishing the book I really got the impression that it gave me a very truthful insight into a dog's mind. I even regard dogs differently now, after reading this particular book.
I find it's an absolute must-read for animal- or dog lovers.
Apart from giving new insights it does what any good book should do; it makes you laugh out loud sometimes and share funny passages with the people around you as well as sometimes it moves you to tears. And it leaves you thinking afterwards...
It's a faithful and honest book, just like its hero - a dog!