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The Last Family in England

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3.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,813 ratings  ·  295 reviews
By the author of Reasons to Stay Alive

Meet the Hunter family: Adam, Kate, and their children Hal and Charlotte. And Prince, their black Labrador.

Prince is an earnest young dog, striving hard to live up to the tenets of the Labrador Pact (Remain Loyal to Your Human Masters, Serve and Protect Your Family at Any Cost). Other dogs, led by the Springer Spaniels, have revolted.
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 5th 2005 by Vintage (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

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3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,813 ratings  ·  295 reviews


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April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Okay, buy why u gotta rip out my heart like that, Matt Haig????
Kirsty ❤️
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure when I started this and realised it was written from the dog's point of view if I'd like the book but it turned out to be quite a sweet tale full of twists and turns.

Even though the book is humorous it does cover a lot of more serious events such as the breakdown of a marriage, death and suicide. I really enjoyed the way these were written and covered. 

It's a quick read, short chapters that turn really easily. It's not the most highbrow of books (thank heavens) but it does pass an
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Tim
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This interesting book is the second adult novel from Mr. Haig, the author of the excellent and heartbreaking Dead Father's Club. The Labrador Pact is told exclusively from the point of view of a labrador named Prince, and the book details Prince's efforts to save his human family from being broken up by the forces of the outside world.

The entire book is a kind of extended (but loose) retelling of some of the main issues presented in Shakespeare's history plays. As with Dead Father's Club's rewor
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Cher
3.5 stars - It was really good.

The book opens with the narrator, a Labrador named Prince, preparing to be euthanized. I was incredibly close to DNF'ing the book right then and there, but I'm thankful I stuck with it. Prince tells the story of how he came to be on death row, which was a result of following the "Labrador Pact", which is what he abides by to protect and keep his human family together.

Fans of Shakespeare will appreciate the nod to Henry IV which is mirrored in the relationship betw
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Lucy Banks
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Astute observation of a family with secrets - bloody bleak ending though.

I enjoyed this book, as I enjoy most of Matt Haig's stuff - though I had a few reservations about it. However, overall, it was a clever concept, excellently executed (as always).

Prince is a labrador who is dedicated to the labrador pact - protecting the family above all else. He lives with Adam, Kate, Hal and Charlotte - a seemingly idyllic fami
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Shirley Revill
What a totally brilliant audiobook that I loved even though it was quite a sad story.
Prince the family's Labrador has one purpose in his life and that is to keep his family safe and happy.
The story is told through the eyes of a dog trying to keep his family together.
I needed tissues for this one. Highly recommended.
Lori Whitwam
Dec 27, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sid Nuncius
I thought How To Stop Time was outstandingly good and I also enjoyed The Dead Fathers Club very much, but I'm afraid The Last Family In England didn't really do much for me.

The book is narrated by Prince, a Labrador who lives by the Labrador Code of Duty Before Pleasure and protecting his (human) family at all costs. These tenets are challenged as other breeds undermine them and his family suffers emotional problems and comes under threat. It's a good idea, which is loosely based on Shakespeare'
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Amy Hawthorne
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This book was so emotional! I loved it. It's about the unswerving loyalty of the main protagonist, Prince, a Labrador. It was great how comedy was mixed into the sadness, following the labrador pact and the different dog stereotypes. All a bit crazy but heart warming and enjoyable. This book does contain some upsetting topics though and it doesn't end hopefully, but Matt Haig's writing is entertaining and great and I loved it.
Shonna Froebel
Nov 25, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you're an animal person, this book may not be for you. I felt sick when I finished, like I'd been kicked in the stomach, and it left me feeling hopeless.
The story is told from the dog's point of view. Prince is adopted as a puppy into the home of Adam and Kate and their two children, Hal and Charlotte. Prince abides by the Labrador pact, with a sense of duty toward his family. He must protect them, keep them safe and always be on the lookout for threats to their wellbeing, not just as individ
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Margo
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Sweet and sad. A must for dog owners.
Dearbhla
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really had no idea what to expect from this book, it was simply sitting with the returns at the library and looked vaguely interesting. Plus I follow Haig on twitter despite having read only one of his books, The Radleys. So I picked this up.

It is such a good book. But there is something in it that may put off some readers, I’ve even seen a review on Goodreads where someone rated it 1 stars because of this event, yet they didn’t read the whole book. But it is a spoiler, so I don’t want to give
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Ian Mapp
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved this book.

Simple tale told from the family labrador (Prince).

You know that he is in trouble from the start when he reveals on the first page that he is about to be put down. The question is how did he get there.

The labradors have a pact to protect the family and prince's family are in trouble. The parents are fighting and the father is about to embark on an affair with the hippy new neighbor. There is some history here, as it transpires that the hippy is married to the fathers former best
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Hollowspine
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I gave this book four stars it is not because I "really liked it." The book was written from a dog's perspective. And it was very well done. That alone deserves a lot of credit, to write an entire novel from dog POV and have it work beautifully and not come out like a joke is very difficult. The plot and story flowed gracefully towards the conclusion, not heavy handed at all. Overall a very well-written tight novel.

But having finished the story I feel depressed. Everything was so dark,
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Maybaby
Apr 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well...as a jaded reader whose finding it hard to find worthy reads. This one was a worthy read.
It's a quick read.
I won't spoil it for anyone.
It's not a great literary work. It's a fine piece of light modern fiction.
Stephen Gallup
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked Matt Haig's The Dead Fathers Club , which I found refreshingly new and original. It's great to see that he has other titles, and this one is equally charming if not more so. No, scratch that; it's the best to come my way in a good long while. It's the kind of book I wish I'd written.

Prince is a fairly young labrador retriever who has the responsibility of preserving unity in the Hunter family. It turns out labs are the only breed still serious about caring for their masters, who,
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Megan (ReadingRover)
Enjoyable but a bit too drawn out and philosophical for me at times. I’m wavering between 3 & 4 stars. It’s really a solid 3.5 since it’s narrated by a dog I’ll go with 4.
Bob
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow! I should have hated this. A novel narrated by a family's pet labrador. It's everything I detest. But Matt Haig pulls this off remarkably well and, and... I didn't see the twist at the end. That's probably because it's not really a twist, just a logical conclusion. This can give the impression that it's a young adult novel or at least a novel that your kids might like. Just be warned: there's a moment or two in here that are definitely adult rated. Give this a go. It's an easy read and can b ...more
Candy
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Since I have been on a Matt Haig read-a-thon, I'm only rating this two stars because it's terribly similar to his other books.

Having just finished The Radley's (and before that The Humans), the story line is pretty much the same, only told by different characters. I appreciate his writing style, his humor and he knows how to tell a story. However, I disliked the ending of this one and can't rate it any higher because of that!

He's a good story teller, so give it a go if you like a quick read.
Theresa
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, audiobooks, literary
This book is the story of the Hunter family as told by their dog, Prince, a black labrador. This is not a happy book--do not read this book if you want to feel good at the beginning or at the end.

Prince goes for daily walks to the park with his master Adam and meets up with an older, wiser golden labrador, named Henry who tutors him in "the labrador pact". The labrador pact teaches that labradors must protect their families ("duty above all") and that if they do so then they will get their "ete
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Liz
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
So far this year I've read books where the protagonist has been a chimp, a zombie and an alien. In this book, the protagonist is a dog - a Labrador. The entire book is narrated by Prince, pet dog of The Family. It tells the story of how Labradors must follow the Labrador Pact in order to protect the family who they serve. All dogs understand human language and are constantly trying to communicate this understanding with their masters. This book raises many questions about faith, loyalty and obed ...more
Katy Noyes
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dog's point-of-view of a family falling apart

4.5 stars

Prince is a Labrador intent on following the 'code', to protect his Family, to use his canine wiles to do his duty and watch out for them.

Tutored by an older Lab, tempted by a Spaniel into breaking the code, Prince does his best to protect the Hunter family as potential marital strife and teenager issues threaten to tear them apart - but can he do anything?

The point-of-view of the dog is well considered, and we get the best of both worlds, s
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Line
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's a while since I read this, but I remember two things:
1. It’s a good book
2. I was incredibly sad on behalf of the dog, Prince (the narrator), whose only wish is to help his family and keep them all together.

If you’re an empathic animal-lover, it will probably leave you feeling quite depressed by the end of it. I had to go and hug my dog tightly when I was done.
Eliza
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
The four-star rating owes a lot to Simon Jones, who is an amazing narrator. I'd listen to anything he does on audio - he brings things to a whole other level. Other than that the story was good and the narrator engaging, even if the premise was a little hard to swallow. I liked how every scene is described according to smell, and I admired how loyal and sincere Prince is even if it doesn't always work out for him.
Dreamydreamer
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was a good read, it made me look at my own dogs behaviour! I'm glad I don't let my dog see me naked, at least if he writes a book he can't describe me! I found it slightly menacing - which bothers me - the words - "she collects people" has stayed with me. I got that dark feeling at the end of the first third and didn't want to pick it up, but I cannot leave a unfinished book (it feels wrong) and after this I found it easier! Not predictable and finishes well....
April Andruszko
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This is a real page turner. It gives an unusual perspective on family life. It is so moving and sad. what is amazing is how quickly it draws you into its world and you accept its central conceit of the Labrador pact and the relationships between the different dogs. This really reflects the skill of the writer.
Jo-anne
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
A dark book. Too depressing to recommend. Much preferred some of his other books ( loved The Humans)
Cousin It
Mar 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA books. Just keep in mind it is based on one of Shakespeare's more tragic histories. Cool website too-
http://www.labradorpact.com/
Megan
3.5 Stars

It's always a risk for a dog scientist and behaviourist to read a book written from the point of view of a dog. I'm likely to pick up on aspects which don't quite work with the reality of dogs. I tried my best to put my knowledge aside however and just try to enjoy the story for what it was!

I loved the idea of there being a "pact" where dogs have agreed to look after their families and do their best to keep them happy and together. The idea that only Labradors have kept to this pact whi
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Kate Jordan
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This might be one of my first reads from a dog's POV. But, if other books like it have a similar style to The Last Family in England, I would gladly read them all!
It seems to me that Matt Haig has done an awful lot of thinking about the human disposition - the choices we make, the mistakes we regret, the actions we unknowingly take. To take the complexity of family life, and to display it through the eyes of a dog was very clever.
Of course it's only natural that dogs would see things differently
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Play Book Tag: The Labrador Pact - Matt Haig - 3 stars 1 15 Mar 08, 2019 04:56PM  

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Matt Haig was born in Sheffield, England in1975. He writes books for both adults and children, often blending the worlds of domestic reality and outright fantasy, with a quirky twist. His bestselling novels are translated into 28 languages. The Guardian has described his writing as 'delightfully weird' and the New York Times has called him 'a novelist of great talent' whose writing is 'funny, rive ...more