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A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans | [W. Bruce Cameron]

A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans

After a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey is surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy. Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of eight-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?
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Audible Editor Reviews

Grab the tissues. This heart-warming novel told from a dog’s perspective is even more touching due to the pitch-perfect narration by George Wilson. Bailey starts out life as a mutt named Toby, but after a short existence is reincarnated into a golden retriever who finds a loving home with 8-year-old Ethan. Bailey loves Ethan eagerly and without bounds — as only a dog truly can — and believes that this must be his purpose; this must be why he was reborn. But after a long life with the boy, Bailey dies yet again — and is reborn as a German Shepherd police dog. As Bailey ponders his new existence and what his new purpose must be, the bond he had with Ethan never wavers and he misses the boy desperately. “How could I possibly have a more important mission than loving the boy?” he wonders. Yet he begins the journey of life again, searching for its meaning, and always on the lookout for Ethan.

Wilson’s warm and buttery voice delivers Bailey’s thoughts with an earnest sincerity — without overdoing it. He easily captures the excitement, innocence, and fierce loyalty of a dog in his tone. Listeners will be convinced that if their dogs could talk, they would sound exactly like this narrator. Wilson also expertly and subtly changes tone and pitch when portraying the human characters around Bailey — his admirations (“Good dog, Bailey!”) and admonishments (“No, Bailey, no!”) have such emotion behind them, that you instantly empathize with Bailey and look forward to a human asking him if he wants to go for a “car ride” or have a “biscuit”.

Bailey’s observations on human life are naïve, yet clever, and often hysterically funny — he’s like the Forrest Gump of the canine set. For fans of Marley & Me and The Art of Racing in the Rain, this is your new favorite dog book. —Colleen Oakley

Publisher's Summary

After a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey is surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy. Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of eight-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, A Dog's Purpose is not only the 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 beautifully crafted novel teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends arealways with us, and that every creature on Earth is born with a purpose.

©2010 W. Bruce Cameron (P)2010 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"The most accurate window into a dog's mind I have ever encountered. I couldn't put it down.... I feel like I have been waiting my whole life for this book." (Dina Zaphiris, host of Animal Planet's Petfinder)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2673 )
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  •  
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 11-14-11
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 11-14-11 Member Since 2015

    Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 12-year-old daughter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A must for dog lovers"

    The one bad thing about this book is that I had to listen to all of Part 2 on my computer since the file would not play on my iPod. Audible and the publisher are still working out the bugs as I type this. Beyond that inconvenience, this book will mist up the eyes of anyone who has ever owned a dog. The sad moments were looped by the moments that are sure to bring tears of joy to the eyes of dog lovers everywhere. If you have ever loved a dog and/or were loved by a dog, listen to this book. You won't be sorry. Enough said.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 01-25-11
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 01-25-11 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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    "Charming"

    I chose this title partly because of the reviews and partly because of the new puppy in our home. I found the story unexpectedly charming, in large part because of the quality of the narration. George Wilson's ability to infuse character to the dog's point of view allowed me to buy into the premise of Bailey telling his own story. It brought to mind the naive eagerness that made Dug, the dog in the movie UP, so appealing, but avoided the sense of a cartoon characterization. Over the week or so that I listened, I found myself wondering what our new puppy Charlie thinks about us, especially as we try to house train him and teach him some basic tricks.
    Beyond the amusing observations of humans from the canine point of view, Bailey's quest to understand his purpose in life and his recognitiopn that lessons learned in one context can have surprising relevance not only in another context, but even in another life experience, offers a simple wisdom that we as humans can learn from. It is a celebration of loyalty, doing your job and enjoying life in the moment.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Fallston, MD, United States 12-10-10
    Linda Fallston, MD, United States 12-10-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Thought I wouldn't like this...."

    I thought I wouldn't like this audio book, and during the 1st few chapters, I almost stopped listening, but I am so glad I didn't! This has to be one of my favorite books that I've listened to this past year (my all-time surprise favorite still is the "the Help". It is definitely, a feel-good and good-cry book for anyone who has ever loved "man's best friend."

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Rosemount, MN, United States 12-06-10
    Frank Rosemount, MN, United States 12-06-10 Member Since 2011

    Coinmn

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    "The Best Dog Book of 2010"

    If you are a fan of The Art of Racing in the Rain, or Marley and Me, or any of the other "dog" books, this one will surely be worth your credit to listen to. I loaded it on to my ipod and hit the road for a 4 hr drive for business and it was a great listen. I couldn't wait to get done with my business meetings and hit the road home for another 4 hour session of A Dog's Purpose. The book is written from a dog's point of view. The story brings into focus what is important to dogs, and a refreshing look at how a dog sees our daily life. Everything boils down to "good dog", "treats" "go for a ride" and "our dogs dedication to us". Touching, quick moving, and moments of sadness followed by moments that make you smile. If you own a dog and ever wonder what they may be thinking, you need to read the book or listen to this story. If I could have given it more stars I would have! Great read, great story, unique take on a dogs life and their special purpose. If you have owned more than one dog, you can always look back to "The Dog" in your life. Not that you don't like your current/prior dogs, but you had ONE DOG who was the ONE. Well this book will give you a new perspective on why he/she may have been your ONE DOG! Dog's may also have that ONE PERSON, that they thought were "THE ONE" Great Listen!
    Listen to it, you won't be disappointed. I have over 200 books in my audible library and this is a top 10!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Mayfield, KY, United States 08-24-10
    Sarah Mayfield, KY, United States 08-24-10
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    "Great Perspective!! Humerous!! Endearing!!"

    This book is well written, attention getting AND keeping. The author makes one think perhaps these are things that dogs actually might think. The author is quite familiar with dogs, their behavior, habits and instincts. I totally enjoyed this book from beginning to end. Lots of tears and lots and lots of laughter throughout. I found myself sighing with contentment with the last sentences. Good Job!!! Everyone!!!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Fort Worth, TX, United States 06-09-13
    Kristi Fort Worth, TX, United States 06-09-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Sorry, just not for me..."

    After seeing great reviews I chose this book, but honestly couldn't wait for it to be over. Found it to be a little predictable and just not compelling for me at all. I love dogs, but just couldn't get into this one. And the narration was slightly annoying for me as we'll. Too slow (probably because I wanted to get done already).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 03-31-13
    Rebecca 03-31-13 Member Since 2009

    Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For the Love of Dogs"

    This isn't a spoiler, it's known to everybody who has loved and been loved by a dog. A dog's purpose is to save people. I loved this book.

    Toby/Bailey/Ellie/Buddy are incredible dogs. Each time the dog returns, he/she learns lessons from the last life. The book has humor and is touching. If you have had close relationship with one or multiple dogs, be prepared to be hit emotionally. I got seriously verklempt several times.

    Dogs are such a blessing in our lives - may we be the same with them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Parkville, MD, United States 08-13-12
    Jerry Parkville, MD, United States 08-13-12
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    "Amazing!"

    We had just lost our 12 year old dog to cancer, although it may have been too soon for me to listen to, and it was tough. I think it helped me and I learned alot about things from a "dogs perspective"

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CAM 09-29-11
    CAM 09-29-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing."

    I, too, feel taken in by the many 5 star rave reviews. I'm a self-described crazy dog lady and I once actually had a beloved golden retriever named Bailey, so I was fully prepared to love this book. It was just mediocre. It wasn't particularly funny, or exciting, or touching, or much of anything except overly long. The characters were uninteresting cardboard people, the plot developments predictable, and the story dragged on far too long. No tired cliche of dog behavior (loves car rides, hates cats, protects the house, chews shoes etc.) was missed in the telling of this story. I gave it 3 stars as literary junk food. It's a sweet empty nothing of a book, but hardly the clever insight into canine-human relationships it was purported to be.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C enfield, NH, United States 10-20-10
    C enfield, NH, United States 10-20-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book"

    I'm buying it for everyone I know who loves dogs. It is a roller coaster of emotions but well worth the ride. No sooner do you laugh then you cry then you laugh.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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