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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 (2139 )
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  •  
    Blythe Longmont, CO, United States 08-27-10
    Blythe Longmont, CO, United States 08-27-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best dog book ever!"

    I'm not usually one to lavish praise or load on superlatives, but this book makes me want to break that rule! This was, hands-down, the best dog book I've ever read . . . I can hardly say anything without spoiling some critical plot elements, but I recommend this hands down to anyone who knows and loves dogs. If you loved Marley and Art of Driving in the Rain, you will adore this one. It does have a few moments that will bring you tears, both sad and happy ones (I was a bit embarrassed at points as I often listen to books while commuting on the bus!), but the overall experience is one of profound joy. All I can say is get it!!

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Spencer 07-13-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely Fantastic"

    What a great book! If you are a dog person, you need this book. Its heart warming, funny, sad, joyous & oh-so clever. I'm 29 and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it would also be a great audio book for the kids to listen to. It will make you look at your dogs in a whole new way, and wonder "what really goes on inside those furry heads of theirs?”

    37 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 01-11-11
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 01-11-11 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

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    "This book warmed my cold black heart"

    First of all I am technically a "cat person". I do not usually appreciate stories about mushy love between boys and dogs - or boys and girls for that matter. This book sliced right through my hard shell with humor and cleverly disguised action then stuck me right where it hurts the most - my weakness for the innocence and blind loyalty of pets. The narrator is perfect - he transports you into the mind of the dog with ease and makes it seem perfectly reasonable for a dog to be telling a story humans. This book is extremely well written and actually brought me to tears a few times which is rare (me, being of the hard-shelled variety of human 99% of the time.) I do not hesitate to give this one all 5 stars.

    31 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie Mosier, OR, United States 09-05-10
    Marjorie Mosier, OR, United States 09-05-10 Member Since 2009
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    "An all-time favorite"

    I'm still marveling that this story is told with such patience and love. I wanted to jump into the action and be a part of it every second. What more could you ask? Many thanks to W. Bruce Cameron for writing it and to George K. Wilson for his perfect narration.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lisa lacrosse, WI, United States 08-05-10
    lisa lacrosse, WI, United States 08-05-10
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    4
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    "Warning, strong emotions ahead!"

    Be prepared for lot's of smiles, laughs and tears. I think this is the best book I have ever listened to!
    Mr Wilson captured the voice of the dog wonderfully and the author W. Cameron has a true gift to write a story that can run the full range of emotions that this story brings out. If you listen while you are driving beware that some people may look at you a little strangely when tears are running down you face.

    24 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Woodbridge, VA, United States 12-19-10
    James Woodbridge, VA, United States 12-19-10 Member Since 2009
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    "A Favorite"

    I normally avoid this genre, preferring mysteries and thrillers, but this was one of my favorite books this year (and I've listened to over 50.) I even gifted it to the rest of my family. Fantastic creativity by the author. He even manages excellent character development in a dog! I had no problem suspending disbelief with the more surreal aspects of this novel. It made me laugh and brought tears to your eyes, and caused me to see my dog a little differently Anyone that likes animals will love this book.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda P-C The Tropics 08-19-10
    Linda P-C The Tropics 08-19-10

    Linda P-C

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    "Best Book in Years"

    This is The best book I have read, or listened to, in years. It's not complicated or deep - and perhaps that is the largest part of its charm. The joyous bits outweigh the sad ones, although a box of tissues is recommended for a couple of the moments in the tale. For anyone who has ever owned a dog, and most especially a Smart Dog - this book will explain a lot of things. Congratulations Mr. Cameron, and thank you.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Melbourne, FL, United States 08-08-10
    Beth Melbourne, FL, United States 08-08-10
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    "If you loved this, read . . ."

    This was a wonderful book which I thoroughly enjoyed and I think it deserves all of the five star reviews. However, once in a while a book comes along that just shines and The Art of Racing in the Rain is, in my opinion, the "dog book" that all others should be compared to. It was simply stellar.

    If you liked A Dog's Purpose, you will likely LOVE The Art of Racing in the Rain. Both books are wonderful.

    35 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly-o Seattle 04-01-12
    Molly-o Seattle 04-01-12 Member Since 2007

    English major. Love to read

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    "Very touching completely implausible story"

    A highly educated woman suggested this book to me and before I could roll my eyes, she said "this isn't just one of those dog books, this is worth reading!". I am glad I listened to her. I have to say that I love dogs- you probably have to love dogs to really love this book although you might get to love dogs because of it. The story is so utterly implausible but that didn't matter a bit-- it was touching and sweet and informative all at once. And to top it off, it was well written.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 10-12-10
    Amanda 10-12-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Adorable! :)"

    I would recommend this book if you like dogs and want a look into what they may think on a day to day bases. I laughed and cried and I still have to laugh a little about some things that my dog does because of this book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
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