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A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose #1)

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  49,091 Ratings  ·  6,701 Reviews
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here?

Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey'
Hardcover, 319 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Forge Books (first published July 1st 2010)
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Cathy I read A Dog's Purpose in two sessions (only because I had to go to work) through tears. As a dog lover and Veterinary Technician, it hurt to read the…moreI read A Dog's Purpose in two sessions (only because I had to go to work) through tears. As a dog lover and Veterinary Technician, it hurt to read the neglect and abuse. But those tears turned to happiness and then to sadness. My opinion was that you really understood dogs. (read my review) I wondered where this writer had been hiding? 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter?!?! Not my thing at all. Then I enjoyed A Dog's Journey and Emory's Gift, then finally read 8 Simple Rules, really disappointing after the first 3 I read. I've not yet read The Dogs of Christmas, looking forward though, (too many books on my lists) and I do want to read The Midnight Plan... I doubt I'll read any more How to... or Rules..., just not something I'm interested in (even though when I like an author, I try to read everything)
Cathy It has some sad parts, but overall, it's a 'feel good' book. It's worth the read
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronMarley and Me by John GroganWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson RawlsThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
Great "Dog" Books
2nd out of 806 books — 1,610 voters
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Best for Book Clubs
59th out of 4,050 books — 10,067 voters

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Apr 30, 2011 Chrissie rated it it was amazing
It made me look at my own dog differently, wondering how it feels, how much it loves me, and what it thinks about his own life. I hope that all animals souls are like the ones in this book and I found myself laughing as much as I was crying while reading this book
Heidi Brydon
Jan 09, 2011 Heidi Brydon rated it it was amazing

This book was one of the top five "Best Fiction" in the 2010 Goodreads Awards! It came in at number 4, beating out Jonathon Franzen's Freedom, which got a lot of hype. I'm so psyched that so many people agreed with me that this book was the best novel of 2010!

UPDATE TO MY REVIEW BELOW! I JUST FOUND OUT ON FACEBOOK THAT THIS BOOK IS NOMINATED FOR THE GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD OF 2010!!!! I hope all the people here who have loved it as much as I did will vote and it wins!

I got an
W. Cameron
Jun 02, 2010 W. Cameron rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This book confirms what you know in your heart to be true, that love never dies, and that our animal friends are always with us.
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Sep 13, 2012 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Hooked by Title and Cover
This story is bitter-sweet, sentimental to the extreme and stylistically almost childlike in its simplicity, exactly what I expected from a book titled ‘A Dog’s Purpose’. It didn’t disappoint. 4 stars for delivering such a charming piece of escapism, couldn’t put it down, polished it off in a day and a half.

And I just want to say to Toby, Bailey, Ellie & Buddy – Good Dog!
Aug 24, 2010 Susanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have or have ever had a dog in your life, PLEASE pick up this book. I tore through this in 48 hours with very little sleep and experienced the entire roller coaster of emotions.
Feb 10, 2011 Charlie rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! After I finished reading it I couldn't decide whether to loan it to somebody else so they could experience it or read it again. I decided to buy two more copies so I could read it again while I loaned it to my boss and my roommate. The author has a website where my rottweiler Maverick was almost voted dog of the week (we lost to a puppy, such is life). I found out that the book is going to be a Dreamworks movie (anyone know a release date?) and ...more
Marisa #1 Mahomie!!!
Sep 10, 2011 Marisa #1 Mahomie!!! rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
such a good book with so much emotion. you can really tell that the author took his time creating a dog with enough love and determination to make this story great.he did a marvelous job getting in to a dog's brain and interpreting the things they see and hear. i loved the ending to this book and i would recommend it to anyone who loves a wonderful book. great job W. Bruce Cameron! i truly loved it!
Beth Allen
Sep 13, 2012 Beth Allen rated it did not like it
I knew better than to believe the gushing reviews that said this was the best book ever written in the history of books, and that the author "accurately" captured what goes on in a (reincarnated) dog's mind. Really?

While cute and mildly entertaining, this novel is, at best, an easy-to-read, mediocre tale about this dog's lives, and his favorite owner. I just don't get the hype over it. Editorial reviews call this a tear-jerker. It tried, but failed to really pull at my heartstrings, and I am a
Ken Foreman
Aug 28, 2010 Ken Foreman rated it it was amazing
Written from the perspective of a dog, "A Dog's Purpose" is just as much about people as it is dogs. The hardships, the joys, the loves and the losses we experience all define our purpose and our growth to a greater purpose. Reading the repeated lives of a dog through Toby, Bailey, Elle, and Buddy, I laughed and cried. Bruce Cameron is a masterful author who has captured the complexity of people's relationships with their pets and our struggle to understand ourselves, to give our lives meaning.

Christa Desrosiers
Apr 06, 2011 Christa Desrosiers rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have read. Anyone who has ever had a dog needs to read this. It is funny and heartwarming.
John McDonnell
Jul 06, 2010 John McDonnell rated it it was amazing

Three Words, July 6, 2010
By John C. McDonnell

This review is from: A Dog's Purpose (Hardcover)
I received a publisher's advance copy of W. Bruce Cameron's first novel, "A Dog's Purpose". In a word? Magnificent. OK, two words. Brilliant. Actually three. Soul.
Bruce Cameron has brought forth a magnificent, touching piece of a soul's journey through life in search of purpose and meaning. At times hilarious and yet other times heart breaking, Bruce brilliantly weaves a story of a dog and its quest th
Sep 16, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok
I don't just own a dog. I'm the sort of person who considers her chocolate labrador to be a member of the family, so it isn't a stretch for me to believe that a dog has thoughts and feelings. What is a bit too much for me is the idea of a reincarnated dog soul who uses words like "ignominy." And ultimately, though I was moved by the dog's desire to fulfill its purpose, I was disappointed in the narrative voice that Cameron develops for the main character. There simply isn't enough excitement or ...more
Jul 21, 2010 Booklady rated it it was amazing
A Dog’s Purpose is one of the most fantastic, wonderful books I’ve ever read. Many have tried to write from the animal’s perspective, but Bruce Cameron has hit it head on. I’ve never experienced so many emotions while reading one book. I laughed, I cried, I cheered.

Put in the context of what is going on in my life right now, I was just waiting for A Dog’s Purpose. My son and his wife had to have their 15-year-old golden retriever put to sleep after a long and full life, a short time ago. Even t
Sep 13, 2011 Kyle rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, audiobook
I usually find these "point of view from a dog" books hit or miss. Sometimes they can be absolutely amazing (see Marley and Me and The Art of Racing Through the Rain) and other times, they are so cheesy that I can't even continue reading them (which explains why none come to mind right now). This book was a "hit" for me.

I usually try not to look too much at the synopsis of a book before reading it because I like not knowing what to expect so when Toby was reincarnated into Bailey, I was pretty s
What a unique and heart-rending tale of a dog’s quest to find its purpose for its existence, with a voice and mannerism so childlike and highly convincing – it will make you believe that it’s written by a dog.

A Dog’s Purpose is like reading four short stories, each one of them highlights different scenarios of a dog’s lifestyle and outcome from stray, to child’s pet, to working dog. What ties them in together is that it’s based on a single dog, reincarnated over and over again so that it takes w
Cian O hAnnrachainn
Feb 10, 2012 Cian O hAnnrachainn rated it did not like it
We're not letting your wife pick books for the book club ever again.

You know we like her as a person. She's great craic, really, and the fact that she's fond of dogs is more apparent than ever.

But, sweet Jaysus, we're not fifteen years old, son, and we're not all girls in this book club. A dog's purpose? It's to have a soft mouth and retrieve the feckin' birds without eating them.

Following a dog's...what, its soul? Through multiple incarnations where the beast experiences the good and bad that h
Jul 10, 2010 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dog lovers
Recommended to Ashley by: Cathy
What a beautiful story - I loved this book. My mom won it through First Reads and loved it too; she told me I had to read it.

I cried (several times), but Bailey and his story were so worth it. Cameron tells the story of Bailey (aka Toby, Ellie, Bear, and Buddy) and his different lives as a dog. In each new life, Bailey is searching for his purpose. The story is told from Bailey's point of view, which was the only way these stories could have been told. While Bailey isn't as intelligent as his h
Sep 28, 2010 David rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of Dr. Temple Grandin's books, so when I read on Facebook that she gave a rave review to this book, I had to get it and I agree 100% with her blurb of A Dog's Purpose, "I loved this book and I could not put it down".--Dr. Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation. I was so thrilled that this was not yet another anthropomorphized "talking dog" as has been done to death in so many other books, the dog narrator of this book doesn't speak English, or understand what his people ...more
Mary (BookHounds)
This book is one of the best dog books I have ever read and I read almost everything that has a dog on the cover, in the title or description. A Dog's Purpose is almost a religious experience where the dog in question goes through reincarnation and grows through each lifetime. I just adored it and found myself near tears as well as feeling so hopeful that this dog did indeed make a difference in the lives of many. Cameron nailed Toby/Bailey/Ellie/Buddy's voice and developed that voice as the dog ...more
Sep 20, 2010 Alfred rated it it was amazing
I found this book on Kindle (read a sample online) and loved it so much I read it to my two kids as a chapter book. Though it's not a Y.A. novel, there's nothing in it that I found offensive content wise for my 8 year old boy and 10 year old girl. I thought it was a very wise and spiritual book and the kids were as enthralled as I was with it.

I gave it to my wife after that and she flipped for it. I have a sneaking suspicion that quite a few people in our family will be getting this one as a Chr
Dan Lemuria
Aug 19, 2010 Dan Lemuria rated it it was amazing
Previously I would have rated "The Art of Racing in the Rain" as my favorite book in the newly popular "dog book" genre, but I have to say, I think this work is the greater book. What author W. Bruce Cameron does in this book is nothing less than a literary feat of high wire walking, he manages to artfully write a book as told from the point of view of a dog while seemingly obeying the actual inter-species communication of that of a real dog.

In other words, this isn't a talking dog as in "The A
Jul 13, 2010 Sinclair rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading "A Dog's Purpose". It cost me a night's sleep as I couldn't bring myself to put it down. Having just put down our German Shepherd, Toby, a mere three weeks ago I was a little afraid of what this book might bring up for me. My Toby has been and will forever be the standard to which all other dog's will be measured (and will fail). He was the most intelligent, loyal, and driven dog I've ever come across. I've had other dogs and will again someday, but I've always known that ...more
Jul 23, 2010 Amber rated it it was amazing
I'm not really an animal person. I like dogs best - they're nice to pet and the unconditional love is great - but I'm not the type of person who sees a dog on a book cover and thinks, "Wow, I need to read this!" James Herriot is uninteresting to me, and I've never had any desire to read Marley and Me. So I read Bruce's book - given to me by my parents - fully intending to be entertained, but not expecting to be engrossed like I often am when I read.

I was wrong. I sat down with the book last nigh
Elizabeth Higginbotham
Jul 22, 2010 Elizabeth Higginbotham rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
Recommended to Elizabeth by: It jumped out at me at the library
"A Dog's Purpose" made me laugh, cry, and feel even closer to my beloved trio of four-legged tail waggers. From the very beginning of the book, I knew it would be one that I could not put down until I reached the last page (which made tears stream down my face). Throughout the book, the dog seeking to fulfill its purpose of life, eloquently narrates its thoughts and feelings toward events and other beings. Common dog behaviors like tail wagging, getting into the trash, being put in the garage, r ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Marty rated it it was amazing
When I finishes this book I was ever so grateful I had not read one review before I started it. The reviews I have read since I finished it would have ruined the book for me. It is a shame that people feel the need to spoil things for everyone.
This book is beautiful. It is so very different from any dog book I have ever read. I wanted to finish it before I brought my new rescue dog home and I did. I hope it helps me with his transition.
I loved this book..........I will re-read it again for sure.
Rebecca McNutt
May 14, 2016 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it
A Dog's Purpose is a dog story, but whether you like dogs or not, this is also a brilliant and eye-opening story about life, death and the meaning of it all.
Dec 08, 2010 Emi rated it it was amazing
uniquelly written story. awesome storyline. I laughed, I cried (mostly laughed). Awesome.
Jan 10, 2011 Evi rated it it was amazing
There's an argument going in my book group as to whether this or The Art of Racing in the Rain is the better first person dog narrator book and I have to say this is the better book, hands down. Though I don't see why it has to be a contest. The Art of Racing in the Rain's narrator is, for wont of a better term, a cartoon dog, a wise-ass Snoopy kind of dog except instead of Sopwith Camel's that dog is obsessed with race cars. It's witty and wry and all kinds of fun but not particularly surprisin ...more
Oct 22, 2010 Marnie rated it it was amazing
If you like your writing phoney and pretentious and depressing read Jonathon Franzen's Freedom which felt like work. If you like clear, brilliant storytelling that makes you think about larger questions, the nature of life, of joy, why we're here, what's really important, read A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. I bought this book because it had so many good reviews on Amazon, and for once I have to say the reviews got it right. This is a great book. Some people mistake the fact that the narrat ...more
Jun 23, 2010 Claire rated it it was amazing
I am so excited about this book that I couldn't wait to give it 5 stars and then realized I forgot to add a comment.

I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this book. I'm not ashamed to say this book made me cry. Well, maybe a little bit ashamed--I don't cry easily. But it's not a tearjerker: it's very real, very fair, very believable. It's just that it all comes together in a way that makes you happy and sad at the same time and so very very much in love with your dog (if you're lucky en
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I’ve always loved dogs, which puts me in a unique category along with what, maybe two or three billion people?

What’s not to love about an animal who will sit in your living room all day long, waiting for you to get home, and even if you need to work late and then stop for a stress-relieving beverage on your way home, when you unlock that front door, is absolutely overjoyed to see you? How could yo
More about W. Bruce Cameron...

Other Books in the Series

A Dog's Purpose (2 books)
  • A Dog's Journey (A Dog's Purpose, #2)

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“Because failure isn't an option if success is just a matter of more effort.” 95 likes
“Dogs have important jobs, like barking when the doorbell rings, but cats have no function in a house whatsoever.” 81 likes
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