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A Dog's Life

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,546 Ratings  ·  256 Reviews
Once upon a time in Provence, Peter Mayle adopted a dog of uncertain origins and dubious hunting skills and gave him a name—Boy. Now he gives this canny canine a voice in an irresistible “memoir” that proves that the best vantage point for observing life may well be on all fours.

As Boy recounts his progress from an overcrowded maternal bosom to unchallenged mastery of the
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 14th 1995 by Knopf (first published January 1st 1995)
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Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-stories, logos
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.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
May 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
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  ·  review of another edition
"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.
Jul 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sea Witch
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
sooooo funny pls try to read this one. Althought it's discontinued you will easily find it online 💖
Gives an amazing point of view of life from the Dog's view. He pretends to be an intelectual when he really doesn't know what he's referring to ... haha. He does not restrict his lenguage when talking about puddles or small dog breeds. It was funny because the author gives a reasonable explanation to every act they (dogs) make which really makes sense. This doggy main character disagreement with hu
Gregory Pedersen
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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. :)
Jason Jackson
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Très charmant
May 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
A Dog's Life is written in the point of view of the main character, a dog called Boy. It's a relatively short book of 183 pages, and shortened even more with numerous sketchy drawings of the protagonist. I found the drawings distracting and annoying: while my imagination was trying to conjure up the image of something lovable that looked like, say, a golden retriever, the drawings forced me to see something that looked like an overgrown sewer rat.

Peter Mayle has written the story with tongue fi
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light and entertaining read by an author I have not read before. This is the story of a dog--as told by the dog. The canine's name is "Boy" and the author found him after he was abandoned in the woods. Boy has to learn to fit in, which he does, but manages to get into trouble now and then. Part of the charm of this story is that it is set in Provence ( Mayle also wrote a book- "A Year in Provence" about how he came to live there). The book is nicely illustrated by Edward Koren.
Miroslav Kožnar
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doporučení hodná četba. Už dlouho jsem se u nějaké knihy tak dobře od srdce nenasmál. Dílko rozsahem nevelké, leč plné vytříbeného humoru, delikátní gradace point, s jemným buketem všudypřítomné komičnosti věcí ve zvířecí říši každodenních. U některých pasáží, s reálným rizikem, počůrat se smíchy. Ležérní, světácké, bohémsky přibarvené, leč bezprostřední a tklivé. Provance, bon amour!
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One can always count on Peter Mayle for a satisfying and amusing summer read. I think any dog owner will find a bit (or more) of their pooch in Boy, and will appreciate his observations of human behavior. Time for a walk!
Jessica Nilsson
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Such a wonderful, delightful and witty book. It's short and simple, but fun, well written and simply a pleasure to read. A little knownledge of dogs and people, and you will most likely laugh. Even if you don't, you will probably still giggle!
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it. Because it's by Peter Mayle. And it's about dogs.
My own book, The Maxim Chronicles, is much influenced by Mayle's 'A Year in Provence'.
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Fun book
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who do you think was the best owner for the dog? 1 3 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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