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Red Dog

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  2,472 Ratings  ·  275 Reviews
No reader, regardless of age, will fail to be captivated by this charming story of a legendary dog, in Louis de Bernières’ Canadian publishing debut.

“In early 1998 I went to Perth in Western Australia in order to attend the literature festival, and part of the arrangement was that I should go to Karratha to do their first ever literary dinner. Karratha is a mining town a l
Hardcover, 124 pages
Published October 2nd 2001 by Knopf Canada (first published February 1st 1999)
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Plain tales, simply told, based on true stories of a dog who lived in the Pilbara area of Western Australia in the 1970s. Red Dog obviously touches a chord with the iron ore mining community among whom he lives: defiant, self-sufficient, obstinate, and thoroughly undomesticated, he embodies the pioneer spirit, the mongrel mentality, the sense of independence of that far-flung community. It's funny what heroes we memorialize with statuary:

Oh, and there was a film too:

Funny, too, what will keep ou
Sep 22, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia, fiction, dog
This is a piquant fictional account of a real dog in Western Australia who achieved a vibrant independent life and captured the hearts of a broad community of people. Red Dog was a kelpie (medium-sized herding breed) who abandoned his first owner for the pleasures of multiple “homes” and travel. He learned to catch rides by car and bus and expanded his range until he became known and supported over a large region.

Red Dog’s adventures are recounted in a short book that makes you want more. The t
Haven't read, but seen the movie, upon a high recommendation. (Noela, you have a lot of making up to do.)

I see that in the book the dog's only 'master' is half-Maori. In the movie they have made him American, played by an actor of some note, presumably because Americans don't watch movies that don't have an American connection. Cringe. I do wish Australians and English movie-makers would stop doing that. For me it spoilt the movie, if it had been made for an Australian market, as most of those
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk-fiction
Red Dog actually existed; the author notes in the author's note that the stories he tells in the book are all based in reality, and that all he invented were the characters. He first came across mention of Red Dog in 1998 when he went to Perth to attend a literature festival; part of the program was that the author would make his way to Karratha, a mining town to the north. There he came across a bronze statue of Red Dog, and wanted to find out more. To write the book, he later returned to the a ...more
I read this book in essentially one sitting, put it down, and heaved a huge sigh of contentment. I have two other books by this author on my "to be read" pile, but picked this one up because it was sent to me by quinnsmom. (Did you know today is her birthday? Happy, happy, chica!)

Anyhow, though this is simply told, I got very involved in the characters. I could relate to dogs that pass gas, cats that hiss, people that live life fully and all sorts of thing. What I didn't expect was the full rang
Aug 27, 2011 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As both a dog-lover (understatement) and an Aussie, how could I not love this short little tale of a dog with such character and personality (and wind)? It's incredible that the author never met this dog, the way he writes about the mischief and adventures is so genuine and feels so real, like it could be your own dog or you neighbour's dog he's describing. John was also a fantastic character, the kind of guy you'd love to be able to count amongst your close friends.
The rural Australian slang w
May 16, 2011 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Red Dog is the 5th book by Louis de Bernieres and was inspired when de Bernieres visited the West Australian town of Karratha for a literary dinner and came across the bronze statue to Red Dog outside the town of Dampier. As the author learned more about the dog, he formulated the novel, which is essentially an amalgamation of the anecdotes told about this much loved animal, his endearing and also his annoying habits, his ability to get under the guard of the most hardened characters, and his ev ...more
Quite randomly grabbed this in the bookswap, and I'm very glad I did now! Although with this book, Beth has now witnessed just how much I really can sob my heart out over a book... jeez, this easily got me as bad as Thunderwith did - twice over! I was crying so hard by the time Bill was unable to put Red Dog down that I couldn't see anymore. When I managed to return to the book, I barely made it through the next (and last) like, six pages before once more being blinded. It makes it worse that th ...more
Apr 12, 2012 Felisberto rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Esta é uma história muito bonita. Sem grandes profunidades, a leitura deste livro leva-nos longe. Os nossos olhos são guiados pela vida animal, num percurso simples e rico de fantasia e imaginação.

Assistimos à humanização de uma animal que realmente existiu - o que é fantástico. O livro é bem interessante e vale a pena para qualquer idade. É cheio de magia-viva: magia-animal.

Fica na cabeça a história e as peripécias do cão vermelho, fazendo deste livro algo de muito bom para se ler. Envolve-nos
Sep 16, 2011 Gwyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If this author didn't have a bestseller or five already under his belt, I'd like to have heard him try and pitch this book to a publisher- "Well, it's a collection of true stories about a flatulent red dog in Western Australia, and, along the way, we all learn something about human nature, the immigrant experience and the incipient stirrings of a new culture in the Southern hemisphere." Luckily, Louis DeBernieres has enough money to do whatever he pleases these days and as a result we have this ...more
Sep 26, 2011 Mozette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I firstly went to see the movie - as it was out on the big screen and I didn't know it was a book before a movie. Then, I went out to look at how much the book was and found it was far too expensive to purchase it for myself; however that afternoon, Mum bought it for me! How's that for fate! I was supposed to read this book!

I loved Red Dog. His character is strong in this book. I laughed out loud to the stories in this book; no matter how far-fetched they seem. But, it looks like you have to be
Apr 18, 2015 Poonam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I had already watched movie about The Red Dog. I picked up the book due to beautiful, minimalistic illustrations inside. The book was a quick read. The places in Western Australia mentioned in the book were familiar to me due to my work: Dampier salt field, Hammerseley Iron, Karratha, Paraburdoo airport, Mt Tom Price. But, I felt I had better hold on these locations now. The selfless bond between different people of Pilbara and the red dog was sweet. The incident when they lose pay as well as sp ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Hobbes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction

Red Dog was a Red Cloud kelpie, full of character with an insatiable appetite and an even larger appetite for a wandering life, always managing to find any action to be found. I can see why Louis de Bernieres became obsessed with Red Dog's story and the massive impact he made on countless people and other animals. He became renowned throughout North-Western Australia ensuring his legend remains. Very few dogs get such literal and figurative mileage out of life.

I love my dogs above all else and I
Erin Wasley
Sep 06, 2015 Erin Wasley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the reason Australian stories shouldn't be written by non-Australians. This collection of awkwardly phrased sentences - which relied on a plethora of unnecessary drawings to reach the page numbers required to be published as a book - is an insult to anyone who considers themselves Australian. The book is populated with caricatures and offensive stereotypes that make Australians look mentally deficient.

The movie was a heartwrenching look at the loneliness of Northern WA mixed with down to
Dana Nucera
Sep 14, 2011 Dana Nucera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this little book. I read it in one day. It's a true story about a dog that lived in Australia and belonged to everyone. It is hard to believe this dog did the things that people say he did, but being a dog lover I believe every word of it. If you ever looked at a dog and wondered what he would say if he could talk, then you should read this book.
Sabia muito pouco sobre este livro antes de o ter iniciado, e foi já durante a leitura que descobri que se baseia em factos reais. Pelos vistos, na década de 1970, viveu um cão muito singular na Austrália Ocidental. Cão Vermelho, assim era chamado, era um cão de raça Kelpie australiana que ficou famoso pelo seu gosto pelas viagens e pela empatia que criava com as pessoas com quem se ia cruzando. O Cão Vermelho apanhava boleia de conhecidos e, assim, ia explorando as várias localidades a seu bel- ...more
Gemma Nugent
Jun 29, 2013 Gemma Nugent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, audio-book
I saw the Red Dog movie last year, and I did love it. But it is typical for me to prefer the book to the movie and this was no exception. Mind you, being a native Western Australian, I have been to some of the places where these stories are set so perhaps it is easier for me to visualise the scenery and the local atmosphere. In any event, this is a much loved tale in our north west, and I think De Berniere did it good justice. It's quite hard to believe that he isn't a native Australian, he did ...more
Jack Pringle
I chose to read this book as it was a suggestion from my sister and i had also just seen the new movie on Red Dog. This book fits under the 'book that has been made into a film' section on the wide reading bingo board.

My favourite quote from this book is "get him out before he demolishes the whole place. I found this to be a relevant quote to Red Dogs character as he was a wild, free and messy dog. I also found this quote interesting because I can relate to the the messy nature of a dog because
Mar 17, 2011 Bonny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a remarkable story about a dog who has friends all over Western Australia. He is a free spirit and roams where he pleases making friends wherever he goes.

If you have a dog, if you like dogs or even if you want to read a story about dogs and their human friends, you have to read this book.

Seriously, this is arguably the best dog story I have ever read. It's a bit unusual because it's not a cute, feel good fiction story but the book is a memoir to a real dog. a dog who knew how to enjoy li
Jessie Blackwood
Loved it. A short book, but a tale based on reality, a fine illustration of human and animal relationships, a dog's eye view and vividly brought to life against the backdrop of Australia. I loved Red and his zest for life and total disregard for anyone else's censure. Yet his attachments were loyal although his life was short. This story proves even tough guys can feel, although like most men, the neither want to admit it nor show it. Human beings have unique relationships with animals and this ...more
Suncan Stone
Seems like a slow start, in which you think that it is just a collection of stories about a semi wild dog in the Australian outback. And well, this could be the case. But as you move along it starts to grow on you. The style is convincing and you slowly forget you are reading a book. Didn't really think I will like it when I started off, but by the end I started thinking I need to read something else by Louis. Or maybe that is just my love for animals and my deeply buried faith in human goodness ...more
People have been raving about the film, some saying its life changing, others that they are not sure why but that it means so much to them, that it has made them feel.

On the whole the stories are beautiful. Filled with compassion and love for a dog with immense spirit and love. Anyone who loves dogs, and anyone who understands that dogs are mans best friend, and smarter than they are given credit for. The writing style is easy, and a young teen could pick it up and read it with no problems.

I c
Nov 22, 2010 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ana by: Conceição Duarte
Podem ler a minha opinião completa no Floresta de Livros.

Adorei ler este livrinho que me conseguiu deixar bem humorada de cada vez que pegava nele.
Só achei que o tipo de escrita utilizada (embora adequada), deixou transparecer um certo "afastamento emocional", que no final da narrativa, quando esta se tornava mais dramática, pecou na intensidade e me impediu realmente de amar este livro
Ainda assim, foi uma leitura que pretendo repetir muitas vezes.
Jan 20, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally got around to reading this one after seeing that they've made a movie out of the famous "Red dog". A very easy read by my favourite author. Red Dog is the story of a dog who belongs to no one in particular (but he does have a best mate)and goes wherever he pleases. Mostly fictional but de Bernieres did spend a couple of weeks in WA researching. Had a little tear in the end but I found all the short stories inside completely delightful. A good, easy one for dog/pet lovers.
Anthony Cassidy
Jul 19, 2016 Anthony Cassidy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I have seen the movie a number of times, I enjoyed the book, mostly because of the many characters, but also it was charming in the way it was told in two parts, In times of John, and post John.
Red dog was as much a character of the times, as well as a dog for all people, and a unique fixture of the North-West of our great state,and remembered in bronze just to top it all off.
A fun read.
Jan 07, 2012 Looosie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will always get me. It's inspirational, uplifting and heartwarming. I don't think I had ever read a book that has made me feel just about every emotion possible, before this one.
The characters are high spirited, lovable Australians and the dog ... well, what can you say about Red dog. You can't help but love him.
I would suggest that at some point, everybody (animal lover or not) should read this book.

NOTE: 'Red Dog' the movie actually does the book justice.
Adorei o livro! Todas a histórias do Vermelho, tudo o que ele passou... E ver que ele era amado e acarinhado por pessoas de locais tão distantes! Gostava de o ter conhecido! :)
No fim do livro fiquei com um nó na garganta... Sinto-me como se o tivesse conhecido e andado por lá com ele!
O livro lê-se muito bem!
Aug 10, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very sweet and touching story that shows off that quintessential Australian outback spirit and the love of a community (or rather, several!) for a dog. Louis de Bernieres gives Red such a poignant yet utterly believable voice that Red Dog will make you grin, giggle and gasp. Read in one sitting - loved it - read it!
Karen Jeffery
Apr 09, 2011 Karen Jeffery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this as an audio book whilst on a road trip up the west coast of Australia. The surroundings, along with the fact that we had just recently lost our dog Sam (at a ripe old age of 20), this book was just beautiful to me...I fell in love with red dog and his story. It made me laugh and also had me in tears. Anyone who has had a dog and likes a bit of Australiana, read this.
This was a short, sweet book about a red kelpie who used to wander around some of the more remote parts of Western Australia and became everyone's friend and bringer of mischief. It wasn't terrible but then it wasn't anything that special either. More could have been made of it I think but it was a very quick and easy read.
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Novelist Louis de Bernières was born in London in 1954. He joined the army at 18 but left after spending four months at Sandhurst. After graduating from the Victoria University of Manchester, he took a postgraduate certificate in Education at Leicester Polytechnic and obtained his MA at the University of London.

Before writing full-time, he held many varied jobs including landscape gardener, motor
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“There is only one thing worse than losing the one you love, and that is losing them without knowing why. If you are a dog, then your master is like a god to you, and the pain of losing him is greater still.” 0 likes
“to believe there’s so many dogs that all look the same.’ Nancy smiled to herself. Red Dog was everybody’s dog now,” 0 likes
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