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Sophie: The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  584 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
The story that became a global sensation: Sophie, the Australian cattle dog who was lost at sea and swam six miles through shark-infested waters to a remote island where she survived in the wild for five months. It was just another day in paradise as Jan and Dave Griffith, along with their blue cattle dog, Sophie, motored out of Mackay Marina for a gorgeous weekend at sea. ...more
Published January 24th 2012 by Oasis Audio (first published 2011)
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Darth Olive
If I could, I'd give five stars for the dog and one star for the book itself.

The good: The story and setting are interesting, and Sophie is undoubtedly an amazing dog.
The author clearly did a lot of interviews and put a lot of work into giving the most complete account of Sophie's story possible (though this is both good and bad as the book tended towards the over-detailed in areas); as the author says time and again, it's impossible to know exactly what Sophie got up to in her time on the isla
This was a present, and as I have a cattle dog, I was excited to read blue heeler propaganda - the story is really quite nuts.
On the actual book, though, I don't know what to say about the writing. Given the author's bylines, I have to assume she can write, but the text was head-smackingly simple and grammatically odd. The details were at times mind-numbing, especially the amount of speculation ("while no one knows how long sophie spent on that island, she could have bathed in the sun and maybe
Oct 06, 2012 Suzy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-books
I followed this story in the media when it happened, so I was very excited when the book came out. A true story about an Australian cattle dog named Sophie, who is knocked overboard in rough seas and survives for months on her own on a deserted island. The story is fabulous, but this book let it down.

The entire thing read as if it were a long-winded newspaper article, and I was not at all surprised when I read the acknowledgements to find that Emma Pearse is actually a journalist. The font size
I'd love to give Sophie herself five stars, but the book? Not so much. It was filled with redundant details and the writing was sub-par at best. I also really got tired of reading about how Sophie's people kept their dogs outside and how they treated their dogs "like dogs." While I don't exactly blame them for Sophie going overboard (accidents do happen), they certainly weren't very likable otherwise, either.
Sep 26, 2011 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animal lovers
Bridget was just 16 years old when she first saw Sophie and fell in love! She had been begging her Mum, Jan, and Dad, Dave for a dog of her own for a long time. While working two jobs during the holidays, she'd nip down to the pet shop in her lunch break to gaze into the window at the litter of cattle dog puppies. Sophie was a sleepy girl, whilst her siblings were much more boistrous and energetic. When the litter was reduced to two puppies in the window, Bridget knew she needed to act quickly. ...more
Oct 26, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-book
This truly is an incredible story, just as the title promises. Sophie the dog is separated from her family, and somehow survives against all odds for five months until they are reunited. With that being said, I think the story was so exciting that it had the potential of a much better book than this one.

Sophie: The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog really needed another edit. The book was just overly detailed, to the point that it became boring. It was tedious to read chapters upon chap
Mar 20, 2012 Marleah marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I got around halfway in this book and just didn't feel like reading it anymore. I knew that the dog was going to survive, and it's not like the dog can tell us what she was up to the whole time on that island. I agree with other reviewers - the details in the writing just were unnecessary and I would skim through several pages without really reading anything.

I rarely say this (I usually say the opposite) - but I actually think this story would make a better movie than a book. Think "Marley &
Lindsay Foster
Aug 23, 2012 Lindsay Foster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a dog lover, and a huge fan of cattle dogs, the story of Sophie was heartwarming and a joy to read. I shed tears of joy when Sophie was reunited with her owners after months lost at sea. It's amazing to me that any dog conquered what Sophie did and survived.
Harry Lane
Who could not love a true story about a dog lost at sea, who swims five miles to an island and survives for several months on her own and is joyfully reunited with her family. It is indeed a lovely story told in detail. Too much detail. I think the story would have lost nothing and gained impact had it been edited down by about a third. (Audiobook)
Dec 07, 2013 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
We have an Australian Cattle Dog mix in our family (as pictured in my current avatar), so Sophie's picture on the cover is what drew me in, as it very much looked like my dog lounging somewhere. Her story tells the perseverance of the breed, as she somehow falls from her family's boat in the seas off the coast of Australia and is presumed drowned when the boat canvasses the area where they believe she fell and there is no sign of her. For 5 months she lives on islands, miles from where she fell ...more
Julie G
Aug 21, 2012 Julie G rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I was excited about receiving this book, although I don't remember hearing about Sophie when all of this happened. The idea that she could have swum as far as she did and survived for 5 months in the wild seemed almost impossible to believe.

How did Sophie get stranded on the island? How did she survive? And how did she get rescued - and manage to get back home to her family?

It's an amazing story.

This book follows Sophie's life from newly-adopted puppy through her first boat excursion. To the day
Feb 23, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
This story is so incredible, but this book just wasn't that well written. The story follows the Griffith family and their dog Sophie. When the last of their children goes off to college, it's just Jan, Dave, and Sophie. One beautiful day they are out on their boat sailing to visit friends when the weather changes and Sophie somehow falls off the boat. Sophie is an avid swimmer and they search for hours, but there is no trace of her so they assume because of the rough seas she must have hit her h ...more
Mar 27, 2012 Almira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dave and Jan took their blue cattle dog out on their boat, Sophie disappears in a matter of moments to their disbelief, naturally, they search for her, but due to the weather they finally must give up. Torn apart with grief, they return home devastated. But even in this day and age, miracles DO happen, somehow Sophie not only manages to survive in the shark infested waters, but she comes ashore on an island about 5 nautical miles from where she went overboard. No one will ever know how Sophie ma ...more
Dec 04, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, own, nonfiction
I heard about this story from my mother. My parents owned an Australian Cattle Dog for years and couldn't help but perk up anytime they heard about another one. Sophie's story is amazing - she fell overboard while boating with her family one day and then survived for five months on the isolated islands off the Australian coast before being reunited with her family. While the story is gripping, I didn't find this book as good as I hoped because Pearse's writing is very elementary and not at all e ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful story of an incredible dog, a theme that is always a crowd pleaser. The writing is a bit amateurish (her first book), but very readable. For a while, I never thought we would get to the story. Granted, knowing Sophie before her journey, was important--how she was raised, how loved she was, etc. But it began to seem like a proud dog owner gushing about their special dog when it took up the first half of the book. But, being a proud dog owner myself, I sort of understand; it's ...more
Jun 23, 2012 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was thoroughly disappointed with this book. The writing was overrun with way too many ridiculous details and speculations. It would have made a great 75-100 page story, not a 300 page book. Emma Pearse just went on and on in excruciating detail and repetition for way too much of the text. The story itself was amazing--Sophie went overboard and was picked up on St. Bees five months later, and once home, still acted like the loyal, loving companion she had been before (minus scarfing down bones ...more
Pam Fullem
I am always drawn to remarkable dog stories. A member of my family has always had Australian Cattle dogs (blue heelers) so I was very curious. It is a remarkable story of the dog's will and ingenuity to survive. I do feel there was too much unnecessary detail concerning the lives of the family that had little to do with real story of this amazing dog. I found myself thinking, get on with the story already! I got very impatient. Maybe an edit is in order. Amazing dog.
Nov 16, 2012 Marie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have given up on this one for a few days, not sure if I'll pick it up again. Writing style is grating on my nerves.... "Jan and Bridget went for a swim...Sophie enjoyed it". I think whoever wrote this was a novice writer with their eyes on a film script....
Jul 21, 2012 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story and the dog are adorable. The writing is horrifically bad. It is so bad that I didn't want to even finish the book, which almost never happens. I love dogs and enjoy stories like this in general, but this book was absolutely terrible. I couldn't recommend it.
With many others, I thought the dog aspect was good, but the details were over the top. Who cares if Dave, the father, put a lemon in his Corona.
Jennifer Lay
Nov 08, 2016 Jennifer Lay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading about Sophie and learning about her family. I had to skim often because the writing style was odd and choppy at times as well as over detailed. It's a very long book and I'm not sure why. It has lots of filler chapters that could have been edited out. It's a great story and makes your heart hopeful.
Jan 28, 2017 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable story line, but writing was OK. It is an amazing story of survival for Sophie Tucker.
Jan 09, 2017 Clarissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this book. I love true animal stories & I remember it being on the news. However, the book felt at times that the author was just trying to fill book space & could've been shorter. The size of the text made it seem childish. & the changing from Celsius to Fahrenheit, shows that it's more aimed at the American audience. Still, it's an easy read & like I said, I wanted to love this book. But just couldn't.
Sophie the island dog was a blue heeled puppy, bought at a pet store as a gift to Bridget, who had wanted a dog forever. Her siblings had dogs, so why shouldn't she? The family had Australian cattle dogs before, including one at home named Jody. Sophie was different. She loved people, and Bridget adored her, as with the whole family.

When Bridget grew up and moved away, her parents let Sophie become an indoor dog, and relished her fun and spirited behavior. The couple lived near a pretty bay, a
Feb 22, 2012 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
My review from the Sunday, March 4, 2012 edition of the Burlington Times-News.

October 25, 2008 promised to be another gorgeous day on the Great Barrier Reef for Jan and Dave Griffith. They loaded their boat, the Honey May, and headed out of Mackay Marina in Queensland, Australia with their blue cattle dog, Sophie, onboard as always.
Sophie was truly a water dog. She grew up playing on the nearby beaches, and loved to swim in the surf. A seasoned sailor, Sophie had logged many nautical miles befo
Oct 23, 2013 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-read
This book seriously disturbed me in several ways. I don't usually make a long litany of things I don't like, but I will here because I'm hoping to understand more.
Dave expresses his continuing concern for his on-board passengers, even before Sophie was lost. Yet, there is no mention of lifejackets anywhere in this book. Is this is simply an oversight of the author or is this an Aussie thing. Surely, Australia has the same safety boat rule as America; a life jacket on board for every person. Am I
Dec 21, 2011 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It’s a story that became a worldwide sensation.

Australian cattle dog Sophie fell off her family’s yacht in 2009 in the Whitsunday Passage and was feared lost forever in shark-infested waters.

Five months later, she was found on a remote island off the coast of Queensland and reunited with her beloved humans.

Sophie is the first book for Australian journalist Emma Pearse but I’d like to suggest she stick with magazine writing.

The first lot of chapters focus on Sophie and family life with the Grif
Alicia Blakeley
May 22, 2016 Alicia Blakeley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the book Sophie dog overboard by Emma because the cover page popped out of me because I love animals

I rate the book Sophie dog overboard four star because it was interesting and and I really enjoyed it. The book its about a dog called Sophie That had fallen off a boat in the middle of a ocean the owners Jan was so sad that she don't want to go back on her boat. jans kids where very nice and got Jan another dog to keep her company but I wasn't the same is Sophie. Jan though that Sophie wa
Dec 18, 2013 Alyson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
The book was okay- a really remarkable story, but wayyyyy too much useless detail about the family and their routine and life. I got it... Jan gets seasick and needs Diet Coke. The Dad likes lemon in his Corona. No need to tell me 500 times throughout the book. Geezus.

And full disclosure: I REALLY dislike the owners...dogs living outside their entire lives in the hot cold and rain, making a friend bring their "beloved" family dog to the vet to get put down because they couldn't deal with it, th
Jan e Dave Griffith sono una coppia di mezz'età che vive con il loro fedele cattle dog, Sophie. Per Jan e Dave Sophie è come figlia, ed è proprio per questo che dividono tutto con lei: anche le loro amate gite in barca.
È proprio durante una di queste gite che Sophie scompare. Jan e Dave sono terrorizzati, la cercano per giorni, ma senza risultati.
Senza più speranze di ritrovare la loro amata cagnolina, i Griffith si rassegnano.
Ma, cinque mesi dopo, comincia a correre voce che, in un'isola vicin
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Emma is an Australian living in NYC, writing about travel, pop culture and feminism... and slowly at work on her second book. Her first is a biography and travel book about one heroic blue heeler-—an iconic Australian farm dog—-who survived a harrowing adventure in far north Queensland, Australia in 2010. Sophie was published worldwide by Hodder Stoughton and Perseus Books in the US. It's on books ...more
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