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No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII
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No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,111 ratings  ·  227 reviews
The extraordinary tale of survival and friendship between a man and a dog in war

Flight technician Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, met in the most unlikely of places: a World War II internment camp in the Pacific. Judy was a fiercely loyal dog, with a keen sense for who was friend and who was foe, and the pair's relationship deepened throughout their captivity.
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Hardcover, 387 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,111 ratings  ·  227 reviews


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Start your review of No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII
Sandy Brehl
Remarkable in the quality of the narrative, but even more so in the fact that it is all true. When I think nothing will ever surprise me about a dog's brilliance, loyalty, endurance, problem-solving, strength, and any other favorable trait you can imagine, an impossibly amazing dog story comes to my attention.
Don't let it miss yours.
I say this as someone who AVOIDS reading dog stories, due to the heartache they are likely to cause. In this case we know at the start that this is war time, it's
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Alger Smythe-Hopkins
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Almost unreadable. This book is like being cornered at a dinner by your slightly unhinged aunt who has replaced her children with a labradoodle, and has pictures and daily anecdotes. Weintraub is that aunt with a research budget.

The feel of the book is an upbeat piece of WWII era propaganda, and the structure of the book once the Japanese assault begins is to describe some appalling act of brutality then follow it with a heartwarming anecdote about that beloved dog Judy. Not only are we given a
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Anne Maesaka
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading this wonderful book. Judy is a true inspiration to the men and women that she survived with in WWII. The books gives lots of information about the battles in the Pacific region during the war and insights into the prisoner of war camps . There is quite a lot of information about the actual war so if you do not enjoy reading about the hardships of war I would not recommend this book. But it is a very inspiring story and well worth the read.
Miriam
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story! Judy was the only canine POW in WWII. She was so brave and a natural soldier. From her role as a nurse to injured soldiers to notifying when bombers were approaching, to her role in the POW camp and her friendship with Frank Williams.

Everyone who loves history or loves dogs (or both!) must read this book.
Jill Griset
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic. It tells an amazing story of Judy, a dog with seemingly 9 lives, who is a war dog with the british navy in WWII. It tells about her life and the lives of the men who fought next to her. It is very well written and a really incredible story. Highly recommended.
Phillip
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story about the true love found between a man and a dog. This book tells hilarious stories of this dog's adventures during World War II. The book also tells a few stories of other dogs used by other ships, those stories don't end so well for the dogs. The main dog, Judy, that the story is about had spunk and personality. As a dog lover, This book has been awesome. Judy was the only P.O.W. in World War II that was a dog. The Japanese could have killed her, but for some reason didn't. ...more
Steve
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An amazing and inspiring story of the first dog to become a POW in a Japanese prison camp during World War II. The owner was a Flight Technician in the British Royal Navy and was stationed in Shanghai. Judy was a pointer and a loyal dog who survived the bombings and later with the owner was in a POW camp. She was the war's only canine to receive official POW status and faced hardships but survived.She later passed away at age fourteen but received military honors.
Michelle
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story! The author so astutely captures Judy's personality that your mind's eye has no difficulty in imagining her grinning, assessing her many stressful situations, and acting with incredible intelligence and selflessness. In addition to telling the story of Judy and Frank, Weintraub also gives a compelling narrative of the POW camps on Sumatra. Really, really good.
Chad
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let me start of by saying I really enjoyed reading this book. There were some stories added in that I didn’t think tied in with the main story but it still turned out to be a good book. A good read for history and dog lovers alike. Judy, what a amazing dog.
Carol
No Better Friend by Robert Weintraub is a well-documented story of English pointer named Judy and her life as a war dog and the service men she took care of, especially, Frank Williams. A purebred born in Shanghai and adopted as a mascot of a Royal Navy Gunboat.

Before war had started, Judy had already amazed her shipmates by moving her sleeping box with blanket near the current group of people that she wanted to sleep near. She pushed, pulled and even pulled it down a ladder. She was friends wi
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Cary
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is as amazing a story of survival as there is. Captured at the beginning of WWII in the Pacific, Judy (the dog) and the men captured along side her endured years of brutal imprisonment, force labor, malnutrition, disease, and more.

One can understand why some Pacific POWs doubt the veracity of Judy's story - that a dog, viewed as food by many in the area (including her captors), could have survived where so many men did not.

To say that this story is heart-wrenching for man and dog, puts it m
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Lesley
Well I am honored to read this book (thanks goodreads!) My honest review is this is such a story of survival and courage and loyalty. I didn't expect to really like this book but Judy was as the title says NO BETTER FRIEND in the time of need for Frank as well as the other men. I did not know there was a dog that was a prisoner of war so I read with a lot of interest. I can say if one likes reading of history and animals then they will find compassion in this book! This book talks about PTSD of ...more
Dottie Resnick
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful story for dog lovers, but also for history lovers and is a great read on World War II and the Pacific theater. I learned so much about the early phases of the Japanese aggression in the region as well as components for bringing America into the war. Although Japan, Italy and German were allies, the motivations and reasons for their alliance were not.

Judy, a Pointer, was a ship mascot dog who eventually ended up as a Japanese POW. She not only was helped to survive by the men
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Dave Hoff
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A YA book put in the Adult section and a Plus for me. A must read for middle schoolers to give them the WW2 history all should have. And a book all dog lovers would appreciate. An English Pointer and an English Airman meet up in a Japanese POW camp where both suffer the most brutal inhuman conditions, Unbelievable. Starving they barely find enough to survive on, many POW didn't or were killed other ways . The Airman trained the Pointer, Judy, to hid when the guards were looking, find snakes, rat ...more
JD
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2-in-the-air
The story about Judy's survival is remarkable, but the author just went overboard a bit with all the other details stemming from his research. The story just of Judy would have been great, but the author goes of track during the book so many times that the books get labourious to follow. Some of the chapters are about the early battles in the Malayan Campaign and Prisoner of War life under the Japanese where Judy's name is only mentioned as an afterthoght and the author makes too many prusumptio ...more
John DiConsiglio
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-2016, 2016
A real-life WW2 story of 2 British soldiers & best friends enduring ruthless Japanese POW camps. Oh, and one of them’s a dog. Unbroken starring an English pointer. (Unbarken?) Not exactly artful & there’s lots of filler to show off the author’s research skills. But it’s still a pretty remarkable tail… umm... tale. The pooch & her pals brave so many close calls, from bombers to torpedoes to Axis cruelty, that I often checked the notes to make sure it was all true. The dog saves more soldiers than ...more
Janis
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Weintraub recounts the story of Judy, a dog who started her life as a mascot on board a British Royal Navy gunboat and spent the years of WWII in a Japanese POW camp. She survived bombings, led men safely through deep jungles, and repeatedly risked her life to save others. Loved by many, she eventually became one lucky man’s dog, and gave him reason to live when all seemed dark. An amazing account of an incredible animal, and an eye-opening historical narrative.
Pat Resende
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting story, but not at all what I expected. It's definitely not A Dog's Journey or The Art of Racing in the Rain. It's more a war story, with an occasional "...and, by the way, the dog was walking around in the woods..." observation. The dog didn't play a significant part in the story until the very end, so I was pretty disappointed overall. The book is well written and the story is well told, but another title and a different marketing pitch might have been more accurate.
Karen
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book. And what a gut wrenching book. Once I started it could not put it down. There were times when I wanted to cry, times when I felt like throwing up and times when I could only give my dog a big hug. I had NO idea of the extent and depth of what happened in the Pacific during the war. An amazing true story!
Ms. Yingling
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So Good! So sad! If you need books about dogs or books about WWII, just buy it.

I cried, especially since my own dog was snuggled up to me the whole time I read the book!

More coherent review when I am in less pain from foot surgery. (Or not. But this was an excellent book with lots of great details about WWII!)
Jill Manning
May 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
I wanted to love this book. And then I would have settled for liking it but it has taken me way too long to finish it and now I just don't care. I feel bad that I'm abandoning Judy somehow by not finishing this book but it's lacking. Not the story itself but the way it is written. It reminded me of why I hardly read nonfiction, I have the hardest time staying interested.
Rebecca Berto
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
5 stars for the miraculous stories that made up this manuscript but an average 3 stars for the lack of direction and slight dragging in places of the writing.

The people (and dogs) who were victims yet came out and became heroes are truly mindblowing and deserve endless respect. ☆☆☆☆☆
Renee
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story of a man and the unconditional love of a dog! My daughter recommended it and it was fun to brush up on history. Great read for all ages.
Nina Usherwood
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Hero

Crying while reading a historical account is pretty unusual but the story of Judy an English pointer is remarkable. The love and support that Judy and Frank her companion for the last eight years are an unforgettable narrative. Judy is most deserving of an accolades she would receive latter in her long life. From the very beginning she showed her heroism defending the people around her. The number of lives she literally saved is unknowable. She defended and saved lives in the most horrific
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John Parks
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pauline
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most unusual stories I’ve read. I read it aloud to my husband and he often would say, “is this really non-fiction?” Yes! It is! But it is an amazing tale of war, hardship, terror dovetailing perfectly with love, courage and loyalty that is hard to believe. You will laugh, cry, cheer and grimace as you read this true story of Judy, the pointer, who becomes a Japanese POW. Very interesting side bars of information accompany the story. This young readers edition was an easy but g ...more
Vanessa
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: wwii, non-fiction
Very detailed story of Frank Williams and the Judy, the mascot of the navy ship he is deployed on in WWII in the Pacific. Amazing that he became a prisoner of war and she did too. They both survived (won't tell more on that) and did other adventures. What a hard life- but what a life.
McKenzie
Mar 10, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Cheryl
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Abandoned.
Maxwell
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction-books
No Better Friend is a non-fiction true story about a young boy named Frank that meets a small dog that saves his life and helps him survive the 2nd World War. I enjoyed reading this novel and here is why...

The novel starts of with the backstory of each character: Judy (dog) and Frank. Judy was born in 1936 in Shanghai, China, in a kennel for dogs belonging to British citizens. When she was just a few weeks old, Judy escaped from her outdoor pen. She then was taken care of by a little girl that f
...more
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Robert Weintraub is a sports columnist for Slate.com and has written for ESPN.com, Play, The Guardian, Football Outsiders, and many other publications, as well as written and produced for ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, ABC Sports, the Discovery Channel, and dozens of other television outlets. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.

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