A Dog's Purpose
by W. Bruce Cameron
Series: A Dog's Purpose #1
Published: July 6th 2010
Genres: Adult Fiction
Format: Paperback (336 pages)
Source: For Review
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here?
Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8 year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?
Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh out loud funny, this book is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
A Dog’s Purpose is told from the dog’s perspective which can be tricky but I think W. Bruce Cameron pulled it off. I found the dog’s voice cheesy at first, but as I got used to the style it quickly stopped bothering me. The voice also got better as the dog grew up and it became witty and frank. That dog made me laugh more than once.
W. Bruce Cameron was great at using context to narrate so it always felt like it was from the dog’s point of view even though sometimes I knew more than the dog. And sometimes the dog knew more than the characters but had no way to tell them. This imbalance of information enhanced the story. It made the dog endearing when he was exasperated at being a bad dog again “for some reason” (pg 89) because I could clearly see why the humans thought that, but the dog’s perspective showed me why he wouldn’t be able to see that. I just wanted to hug him and give him a treat.
I enjoyed the refreshing and unique view of the world that the dog provided. It’s the same charming innocence that a child’s view of the world will give you. Like when the dog meets Grandma and Grandpa for the first time and notices Mom calling them Mom and Dad which he dismisses as her just being confused (poor confused mom). The dog found the beach and the snow similar. He had to run through waves and snow with the same jumping gait and people used boards to play on both. The dog’s perspective often fascinated me.
Reincarnation was a cool twist on the typical dog story plot. Because of this, the dog lives several lives that involve being a stray, being neglected, being loved, living in the pound, and being a working dog. Basically he lives every type of life a dog could have. Without being preachy, it shows effectively what neglect can really do to an innocent dog.
I tend to stay away from dog books because I know how its going to end. We all know how a dog story ends. But A Dog’s Purpose was different. I found the ending uplifting and satisfying. The dog doesn’t die! (Ok kind of. He doesn’t die at the end. The dog actually dies a lot in the middle because of the whole reincarnation thing. Sorry if that’s a spoiler). I loved it!
Book Review of A Dog’s Purpose on a Post-it
I received this book for review from the publisher, Macmillan, in exchange for an honest review. I was not told what to say, I was not paid to write this review and all the opinions expressed are my own.