Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

by
4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  36,309 ratings  ·  5,451 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' ...more
Kindle Edition, First edition, 320 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Forge Books (first published 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Dog's Purpose, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Gloria Not so much "sad," as deeply, deeply moving. I cried and cried at least in three parts.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Heidi Brydon
UPDATE TO MY UPDATE!

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
...more
Chrissie
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
W. Cameron
Jun 02, 2010 W. Cameron rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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!
Susanna
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.
Charlie
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 www.adogspurpose.com 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
Christa Desrosiers
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.
Marisa #1 Mahomie!!!
Sep 10, 2011 Marisa #1 Mahomie!!! rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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!
Ken Foreman
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.

A
...more
Saintseester
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
...more
Kyle
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
...more
John McDonnell


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
...more
Booklady
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
...more
Ashley
Jul 10, 2010 Ashley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
David
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
Dan Lemuria
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
...more
Lisa
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
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
Alfred
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
...more
Amber
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
...more
Elizabeth Higginbotham
Jul 22, 2010 Elizabeth Higginbotham rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Marty
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.
Emi
uniquelly written story. awesome storyline. I laughed, I cried (mostly laughed). Awesome.
Sinclair
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
Claire
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
...more
Collene
Won this at Goodreads. Thanks Goodreads. I'm really enjoying this book. It reminds me of a dog's version of Black Beauty. It also has wit, humor and it's just so delightful. The plot was carefully woven and thoughtful. I highly recommend it.
Cian O hAnnrachainn
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
...more
Marnie
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
Evi
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
Karen
I feel so privileged to inhabit the same planet as dogs. This book flattens me, the first chapter had me sobbing. I am in rescue, so I know the reality of a dog's life. And yet! They forgive us, they love us, they achieve, they love us, they don't complain, they love us, they don't whine "Why me, dear Lord, why me!" they love us. They live to love us. I always told my son, if you jump up at th door in delight when I come home (whether 5 minutes or all day, doesn't matter) yours will be the first ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fiction Fanatics: December 2014 - A Dog's Purpose 5 12 Dec 14, 2014 08:02PM  
Book Broads: Third book! 1 10 Jun 17, 2014 01:46AM  
What did Todd do to Marshmallow? 6 115 Apr 28, 2014 01:54PM  
Is this read? 15 156 Mar 25, 2014 06:21AM  
  • One Good Dog
  • Last Dog on the Hill: The Extraordinary Life of Lou
  • The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
  • You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness
  • Roam: A Novel with Music
  • Stay
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
  • Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs
  • Amazing Gracie: A Dog's Tale
  • Rose in a Storm
  • Through a Dog's Eyes: Understanding Our Dogs by Understanding How They See the World
  • Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog
  • Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight [Acts] Pets
  • A Big Little Life:  A Memoir of a Joyful Dog
  • DogTown: Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Redemption
  • For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend
  • Saving Cinnamon: The Amazing True Story of a Missing Military Puppy and the Desperate Mission to Bring Her Home
  • The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy
327737
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
More about W. Bruce Cameron...
A Dog's Journey (A Dog's Purpose, #2) Emory's Gift The Dogs of Christmas The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter: And other tips from a beleaguered father [not that any of them work]

Share This Book

“Because failure isn't an option if success is just a matter of more effort.” 73 likes
“Dogs have important jobs, like barking when the doorbell rings, but cats have no function in a house whatsoever.” 53 likes
More quotes…