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A Dog's Life

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,973 ratings  ·  302 reviews
Boy, an uncannily shaggy canine of unknown origins, and now undisputed master of the Mayle household, recounts his event-filled life in Provence in this unique, rollicking memoir.

A pure-bred paranoid labouring under delusions of grandeur, Boy is a character of rich intricacy. His journal - somewhere between Proust and Eeyore - contains apercus by Voltaire or Machiavelli ch
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 14th 1996 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published January 1st 1995)
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RatLife005 I honestly don't think kids at this age would appreciate it; although the story is narrated from a dog's perspective, its jokes and criticism are clea…moreI honestly don't think kids at this age would appreciate it; although the story is narrated from a dog's perspective, its jokes and criticism are clearly aimed at older readers, perhaps 15+. (less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,973 ratings  ·  302 reviews

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Mar 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals
I Like This Boo~~Maubee

Good morning Jessaka’s friends. My name is Maubee, and I am Jessaka’s new kitten. I have only been with her for 2 months, long enough to know her, after all I sit on her lap when she is reading, and I chew on her toes. I am just so cute. I also have beautiful long black hair that looks kind of brown at times. I think I have brown mixed in with the black. I can’t see myself to tell. And Jessaka thinks that I only squeak and sometimes cry little meows. She doesn’t know that
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dogs, 2005
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
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mayleen Cadiz
Jun 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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".
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Zeineb Nouira
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who knew that one could relate to a dog?!
Pearls of wisdom and witty comments on the human existence are provided by an uncanny canine called Boy. One may forget that this book contains the musings of a dog that lived through struggles which are not so different from those of Man.

It is a very unique take on the autobiographical tradition and that of personal dwelling on [human/canine] existence!

A fun and interesting read without a doubt!
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A cute and amusing book! This is a quick read and great pick-me-up when you are feeling low or have just finished a depressing or text heavy book. I would recommend this book to anyone, just don't take it seriously or analyze it, it was meant for fun.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of fiction written from a beloved pet's point of view....due mainly to the propensity of said pets to solve crimes that baffle their owners. Really, how often does Bowser need to reliably dig up an incriminating arm bone before someone yells, "Drop it! It's beyond the bounds of believability!"

This light entertainment, though, I recommend due to the humor involved. The main character routinely and unconsciously points out his varied character flaws, and Peter Ma
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Peter Mayle's tongue-in-cheek humor through the eyes of the foundling dog, Boy, is hilarious throughout. Boy's sophisticated thinking and social commentary began with his description of being born as one of too many for his mother to nurse in a litter of pups. His adventures then went through being wanted and not wanted, plenty and hunger, a very funny attempt at making a hunting dog of him, in the woods alone, finding scraps in the town, and finally the irony he witnessed regularly while living ...more
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
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: logos, animal-stories
This is the book Marley could have written if he were as educated as "Boy." Boy (Mayle's real life dog) tells it all from his abusive puppyhood to his rescue by "madame," his adapting to the house, learning the rules, and his observations on those weird humans. (The chapters on "The Joy of Balls" and "By Their Smell Shall You Know Them" are particularly funny.) With illustrations by Edward Koren, this book is just delightful.
May 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I seriously laughed until I cried reading this book. I received this, along with several other books, from a relative, and just picked it up and thought it looked like a fast, easy, enjoyable read, but was completely enthralled and my favorite part was the "bath" section! Anyone who owns a dog, MUST read this and even if you don't have one, you will still enjoy!
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked 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.
Roxi Kirstein
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dawn Hough
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a delightful, fun book. Put your feet up over the weekend and enjoy! Can easily be read in a sitting or two. If a dog lover, you will recognise all the antics and have a laugh at the wisdom of not only our canine friends, but our human friends as well (self included). A wonderful interlude that will make you smile, warmly and laugh out loud.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Short book, ostensibly written by the dog. He refers to his owners as "the management." Waxes philosophical with statements such as "To err is human, to forgive is canine." Believes that while some people think that couples have dogs to make up for not having children, he believes couples have children to make up for not having dogs. He attempts to provide advice to young pups in matters such as how to be apologetic after destroying something belonging to the management. Quite cute.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Remember that we live in an imperfect world. People make mistakes.... Life is short. My advice is to make the best of it, and to make allowances. To err is human. To forgive, canine.”
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
"To err is human. To forgive, canine."

I'm a sucker for books that anthropomorphize pets. What can I say. This is a sweet book that pretty well encapsulates what I think my dog is thinking most of the time. It's a quick, easy, heart-warming read you can knock out in an afternoon with a good blanket and a couple mugs of tea.
Jess Atkinson
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
A fun and thoughtful look at human nature and life in Provence though the eyes of Mayle's plucky Garçon.
Jul 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Gregory Pedersen
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Uniquely humorous, this book took me by surprise (another blind date book from the library) mostly because under normal circumstances this book wasn't ever on my list of books to read. The world through the eyes of a dog, or through the eyes of Peter Mayle through the eyes of a dog, is an intellectual adventure of life and the many unfortunate events one must face (especially as a dog). Overall this was a funny, quirky, and quick read worth a glance for dog lovers and cat lovers alike.
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. :)
May 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Jason Jackson
Très charmant
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at the last library book sale. Holding it in my hand, all of a sudden I heard a women very close to me say, "I loved A Dog's Life. It was so funny." It took me a few second to realize she was talking to me, since I had already forgotten what I was holding, because I was on the hunt for more books to purchase. I love when fellow readers notice a book you want to buy or are reading, and says something about it. I like to do the same too.

Only 192 pages, this is a cute, funny s
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
"People are touchy about how they see themselves, I've discovered. One tiny crack in the mirror of self esteem, and they sulk for hours. Or they take out their foul temper on the nearest available object—in this case, me."

This book was so much fun! It's super entertaining to read, especially if you have a dog. I think the author did a great job of using observational skills to write about the little things dogs do and interpreting the world how a (highly humanized and snarky) dog might see it.

Donna LaValley
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
Here’s a typical “shaggy dog” story. Pup is one of 13 in the litter, has a deprived childhood with a man in big boots who tries to make a hunting dog out of him and fails. Said man drives dog out into the country and abandons him there. Lanky and lucky, a charming French woman rescues him and he becomes part of a family with 2 older dogs, no kids, and a different kind of man, one who stays home as a writer. “Boy” (his new name) describes his adventures and misdemeanors, and comments sagely about ...more
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Dog Lovers Book Club: A DOG'S LIFE 3 5 Feb 24, 2020 03:06PM  
who do you think was the best owner for the dog? 1 4 Jun 07, 2013 11:33AM  

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Peter Mayle (born June 14, 1939, in Brighton) was 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 ...more

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