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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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Performance
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  •  
    Melissa Draper, UT, United States 10-11-10
    Melissa Draper, UT, United States 10-11-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Wonderful book!"

    I just bought this book on Friday and finished it this morning (Monday). I couldn't quit listening! This book made me laugh and cry. It also made me look at my dogs in a whole new way.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angelique J. Kelly 09-12-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Loved this dog(s)"

    I loved this story. My son and I listened to this story two times. It has all the emotions humans can give, but all the perspective from a dog. Great story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-26-10
    11-26-10 Member Since 2009
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    "It was good"

    This was good and I was glad I listened to the end but it is not a book I would be pushing into the hands of friends as a "must listen". The dog was too much of a hero and it was all too simple.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 06-25-13
    Karen 06-25-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Beautiful story"
    What made the experience of listening to A Dog's Purpose the most enjoyable?

    The narrator was so good at expressing the dog's emotions. The story was so close to how I believe a dog thinks. Or at least how I hope they think.


    What other book might you compare A Dog's Purpose to and why?

    "The Art Of Racing In The Rain" is another book written from a dog's point of view. But this book gives the dog repeated lives as he continues his quest for a purpose.


    What does George K. Wilson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The emotions in his voice bring the dog to life.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both, I cried when he said good bye to Ethan both times.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Short 05-10-13 Member Since 2015

    TeacherMom

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    "Heart Wrenching"
    What did you like best about A Dog's Purpose? What did you like least?

    It is a good story about a dog and the many lives he leads. At the same time, the tragedy that flows through the book is hard to listen to.

    In terms of the writing, it was repetitive (I lost track of the times that "instinctively knew" was used. If I had the text, I probably could have counted it on every other page. In the beginning of the book, the language was stilted. As the book continues, the author flip flops between low level words and complex words and concepts. If it was a progressive movement, it would have been understandable. Unfortunately, the dog would be discussing things on a 3 year old level and then suddenly would be talking on a high school or even college level. Consistency is not one of the author's better qualities....


    Would you be willing to try another one of George K. Wilson’s performances?

    Probably not. He has a drone that gets monotonous.


    Was A Dog's Purpose worth the listening time?

    I listen to books on my commute to work and to visit my parents. I can't say it was a waste of time, but I kept waiting for it to get better or at least give me a few laughs. Instead it was an emotional train wreck. Was it worth the time? Well, considering the only other options I had for that time was... ummm.... welll, nothing but driving. So, yes it was worth the listening time. If I had been doing something other than driving, I would have put it down long before the end.


    Any additional comments?

    For those who have dogs, some of this makes sense. Unfortunately, the word choice repeatedly slams the listener right out of the suspension of disbelief. I wish I could say it was a delightful book, but I can't.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kimberly Fair Oaks, CA, United States 05-03-13
    kimberly Fair Oaks, CA, United States 05-03-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Written and read for 2nd graders"

    This is a horrible and utterly dry book. I skipped from chapter 6 to 17 and didnt miss a thing. I can't even waste anymore time on this and will be asking for a refund. Not a single deep thought here.....see dog run, see dog roll over.......oh this must be a man, this must be a girl dog.....ad nausea. I felt like I was listening to story time in a kindergarden class without the juice and cookies. This is all nap time...Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    DONT SPEND THE CREDIT. This book has been misclassified as adult reading when I am sure it should be in the children's section.

    Better dog book would be: The art of racing in the rain.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pokemonika Stowe, VT 04-29-13
    Pokemonika Stowe, VT 04-29-13 Member Since 2013
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    "I wanted to love it but..."

    Described by many reviewers as the best dog book ever, I started this book ready to be moved, fall in love, shed some tears and hopefully all of the above... Unfortunately the story was too simple to have any depth and didn't inspire me any emotions (except boredom?). After listening several chapter waiting for improvement I gave up. One of my first listening books was Oogy the Dog, and that was such a beautiful and powerful story, I could not wait to finish the book to pass it around to my friends and family... I can't say that I will be recommending A Dog's Purpose to anybody any time soon...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leigh Mount Pleasant, SC United States 03-23-13
    Leigh Mount Pleasant, SC United States 03-23-13 Member Since 2013

    There is nothing better than a good book!

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    "An absolutely heartwarming and touching "Tail"..."

    I purchased this after I read the the book. And.....I enjoyed it so much more! It is the kind of story that stirs up every emotion we have inside- joy, anger, sadness, excitement, humor, contentment, etc.... It is full of witty dialogue, heart-wrenching decisions, and life lessons....given to us honestly and simply by man's best friend, a dog.
    This is a must-have for my fellow dog lovers who believe that life isn't complete without a faithful canine by your side!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark E. Smith Gulfport, Ms USA 01-25-13
    Mark E. Smith Gulfport, Ms USA 01-25-13 Member Since 2012

    Myself a geeky engineer. I like in the following order, 1 - SciFi, 2 - Fantasy, 3 - Thrillers, 4 - Mysteries. My most most memorable book was "Dune" by Frank Herbert. My most thought provoking book, "On A Pale Horse" by Peirce Anthony.

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    "WOW!!!! What a fantastic book"

    This is one of the best books I've listened to to date. While the plot line is predictable, what makes it so interesting is viewing it from the dogs point of view. The story is written in a prose that you can see going through the mind of your own dog. George adds the child like wonder I see in my dogs head with his inflections and tone. The combination of Bruce Cameron's prose and George's inflections made laugh and cry throughout the book. Anyone who has had a dog they truly loved will be touched by this story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara C. Strout 10-17-12

    Babs

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    "A must read for dog lovers!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Dog's Purpose to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version, but either way, it was a wonderful story.


    What other book might you compare A Dog's Purpose to and why?

    Racing in the Rain because the story is told by the dog.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the entire book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. It helped me to think of what my animals--dogs, cats and horses--must think about what we human guardians do. I hope I can be even more loving and patient with them.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book on a 3 for the price of 1 sale just to take advantage of the offer. I probably would not have paid full price for it. But after listening to it, I think it is one of the best books I have ever read, and it is worth buying at full price. I have been telling anyone who has a dog about it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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