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A Dog's Life

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,885 ratings  ·  183 reviews
The bestsellling author of A Year in Provence and Hotel Pastis now surveys his territory from a differnt vantage point: the all-fours perspective of his dog, Boy--"a dog whose personality is made up of equal parts Boswell and Dr. Johnson, Mencken and A. A. Milne" (Chicago Sun-Times). Enhanced by 59 splendidly whimsical drawings by Edward Koren.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 14th 1996 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published January 1st 1995)
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Sep 05, 2010 Lize rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2005, dogs
This book was a delight. It's a memoir by author Peter Mayle's dog, Garcon, written in the style of Proust:

“Over the years, I have developed a soft spot for Proust. He tends to go on a bit for my taste, but we do have several characteristics in common. Both French, of course. Both with a reflective nature. Both keen admirers of the biscuit—madeleines for him, and the calcium enriched, bone-shaped, extra crunchy model for me. And so, I thought to myself, if he can share his opinions about life, l
V.R. Barkowski
It's been a busy week, and I needed a pick-me-up, so I decided to reread a book that always makes me smile: A Dog’s Life by Peter Mayle. It worked. I’m still laughing. And for that reason alone, it deserves praise, If you love dogs and/or France, this is a must read. My favorite chapter? “Mano a Mano with the Cat in the Garage.” As a dog AND cat owner, the title alone makes me giggle.

What’s it about?
Peter Mayle is best known for his books detailing life in Provence. Consider A Dog’s Life a varia
Oh I don't know how to shelve this book...Thinking back on how I started reading Peter Mayle, it was all because of mom. When I ran out of things to read I would go through the book that my mom had gotten from the library or her personal collection, as any book-hungry child would do. I even went through some of those how-to-raise-your-child nurture books. I read voraciously and always wanted more. Anyway, back to Peter Mayle. It was different from the books I was reading, and because of that I w ...more
Mayleen Cadiz
If you have a dog or dogs, this book is a must read. Though the author used his own words in expressing his dog's opinions, his take on a canine's view of the human life is simply hilarious.

The dog named Boy is slightly mean, funny and above all smart. His comments on other dogs, cats, his human family, and other human beings can offend the sensitive type but honestly, most of them are true.

If all dogs can talk or write, they would definitely agree with what Boy wrote in his "memoir".
Ilana Waters
Who knew that Peter Mayle could write equally well from the point of view of man AND dog? Well, those who are fans (ahem, moi ;-) already had an inkling. But it's still fun to see the master in action for yourself, so pick up a copy and get ready to enjoy!
Boy is the key character in this humorous little book written by Peter Mayle. This dog is based on a dog Mayle once adopted whose "uncertain origins and dubious hunting skills" made him a dog only the author and his wife could love. Boy tells his own story from amorous approaches to a female far too little to really love to cats which he abhors and chases out of his territory to chickens which are a form of "sport and nourishment."

It's a light read that can be best enjoyed by dog lovers/owners.
Erma Odrach
This is a really entertaining and funny memoir written from the point of view of a canine of "mysterious lineage" named Boy. It recounts Boy's everyday life from shopping at a butcher shop, to getting a bath, to even quoting Voltaire.

Here's a small passage, "A brace of a pig's trotters had caught my eye, and I was deliberating between them and a handsome cut of veal when ...Enter the butcher, eyes popping with fury..."

(This actually reminds me of when my dog somehow stole a line of sausages and
Tina Culbertson
I have been a fan of Peter Mayle for a while. A Dog’s Life is different from his usual writing style but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This story is told from the dog’s point of view. It seems like a very accurate accounting of what I think dog’s reactions may be. But then I tend to give my dogs more credit regarding their thought processes and adding human emotion.

“Boy” was a pup with an unhappy childhood. He was chained outside with barely any shelter and had a cruel owner. When he was taken huntin
Who wouldn't want to read about a dog living a dog's life in Provence, France? If you are familiar with "A Year in Provence" -I listened to it through books on tape-you will, (no doubt) have a fond remberance of the writer's ability to transport you into the humorously charming world of France and all its foibles.
This book is written through the dog's voice and it works out perfect.
Roxi Kirstein
I had the pleasure of my gndmother reading this book to me when i was just eight years old whilst on a visit to see her in Cape Town. The tone and expression which she used only made it all the more entertaining and sarcastic. I will NEVER forget this book, i swear it.
This is a funny little book on how dogs see humans of course, but also is the story of a French dog, so also pokes fun at the Franco stereotypes in a gentle way. Delightful cartoons illustrate throughout. A quick and sweet little book for observers of dogs.
One of the most fabulous and entertaining books I'v ever read in my life. Not your typical Peter Mayle book really. It is written entirely from the dog's point-of-view. So good...a fun, fabulous, easy read. :)
Yes a book from a dog's point of view on human behavior. I know its supposed to be whimsical and witty but it fell flat for me. There is no "story" and wasn't all that enlightening.
Entertaining and well-written
author's note: following the current autobio custom adopted by politicians in their memoirs, I have adjusted the truth wherever it might reflect unfavorably on myself. is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short
27..I took that as a hint that my services were no longer required at Chateau Despair.
53..The chicken, you see, is that happy combination of sport and nourishment
57..a life of privilege--luxe et volupte'--stretched befor
Kelly Dang
IN MY OPINION, this book could have been better written. Now I'm not saying that this book was terrible, it's just that every time there was an opening for an emotional scene, the word choice of the author has killed the mood. The concept of this book has so much potential. I don't think I've ever read anything similar. Basically, it's about the many lives of one dog and that dog's point of view. I find this funny because many situations, I knew what was happening as a human. But seeing how a do ...more
A very clever and sweet easy read. Very funny observations if people and life in
Provence - all in the voice of Boy the dog. From not very good and humble beginnings as an unwanted pup from a large litter to wandering the streets to becoming part of the Mayle household it's a great story. Amorous adventures, dinner party eavesdropping and eating, living with the two other older dogs...I really liked Boy's wit and style. I'll look for more by this author!
Lisbeth Solberg
"Brooding over the mysteries of existence is bad for your health. Look what happens to philosophers. Most of them end up barking mad, taking to the bottle or becoming professors of existentialism at obscure universities."--Advice from Boy, the canine protagonist/memoirist of A Dog's Life

Not exactly a romp, but certainly a spirited ramble through the life of a dog and its loving owners. Full of sly witticisms about human and canine behavior.
Candace Burton
If you have a dog, or have lived with one for any period of time, you will find this book laugh out loud funny--particularly if, as is often the case around here, you tend to anthropomorphize your canine friend because dangit, their facial expressions are just so erudite. It's short, and very much in keeping with Mayle's memoir writings elsewhere. I am personally a much greater fan of his autobio's than his fiction, insofar as I think he's better at recording than creating. Left to his own devic ...more
A fabulous book by Peter Mayle, told from the perspective of Boy, the dog. This book is guaranteed to make you laugh as Boy describes everything from the strange social habits of humans, to hunting chickens and dealing with cats. Best chapter "Mano a Mano with the cat in the garage".
Thank you Courtney for giving me this book. I just got into it today and am half-way through. For anyone who has ever owned or loved a dog, this is a great read! It's from a dog's perspective with segments such as the following:

From the chapter, "The Art of Communication" - too cute and true...

"Anyway, I may not talk, but I like to think that I am one of the great communicators. I have a manly and distinctive bark, an eloquent sniff, a squeal of horror that serves to discourage any attempts at g
TheIron Paw
Another lighthearted view of Provence, but this time as viewed by Peter Mayle's somewhat philosophical dog "Garcon". It presents an "under the table" perspective of life in Provence (after tidying up the hors d'oeurves left on the coffee table of course). A worthwhile read.
With such high praise by reviewers as well as friends I came into this book with high expectations. I should have known better than to trust these expectations as I have been disappointed before when expecting much more than is delivered. Unfortunately when expectations are so high there is no where to go but down. I certainly found the book witty and will always be a fan of dry humor but did not find it "wickedly funny" or "laugh out loud" funny or to be the pick me up as promised. Instead, I s ...more
a dog's life as told from the dog's perspective. a classic peter mayle romp through the french countryside, every bit as wry and entertaining as his "provence" books but somehow BETTER. if you love dogs and tales of adventure in the French countryside read this!
I remember Mayle's A Year in Provence: it was circulated among my class mates when I was 17. And at that time everything related to France made me want to read them all by some obscure reason. Oh I also remember that I didn't like his book.

Anyhow, I bought this book last Monday (15th feb) at half price. It might not be that bad and it's just half price after all. Guess what happened next? It happened that on that particular day Note Udom had his talk at Siam Paragon and the traffic was like stic
Brendan Kelly
Simply AWESOME!!!! I think I read it in a couple days and then read it again the following summer. Enjoyed it both times. Great tale and perspective from man's best friend.
Carol Naille
To err is human. To forgive,canine. Funny, funny book written from the dog's point of view. His owners are known as the management. Laughed and loved it !
Вполне приятственное чтиво. Правда, особой смысловой нагрузки оно не несёт, но местами забавно, в общем и целом мило. И главное - это совершенно очаровательные иллюстрации! Вроде так просто, и вместе с тем - лучше не придумаешь! Браво художнику!
Fun, easy read for those of us who adore dogs! This is what they are really thinking… at least if they live in England.
Love, love, love. Delightful, as are all of Peter Mayle's France books.
I laughed through this entire book and recommend it with great enthusiasm.
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Peter Mayle (born June 14, 1939 in Brighton) is a British author famous for his series of books detailing life in Provence, France. He spent fifteen years in advertising before leaving the business in 1975 to write educational books, including a series on sex education for children and young people. In 1989, A Year in Provence was published and became an international bestseller. His books have be ...more
More about Peter Mayle...
A Year in Provence Toujours Provence Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew A Good Year

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