Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Labrador Pact” as Want to Read:
The Labrador Pact
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Labrador Pact

by
3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,298 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
Struggling with the typical throes of human life with the help of their loyal black Labrador, Prince, the Hunter family is aided in unusual ways by their canine friend when he perceives that they are becoming their own worst enemies.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 28th 2008 by Viking (first published 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Labrador Pact, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Labrador Pact

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Kirsty 📚📖❤️
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
...more
Tim
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
...more
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
...more
Lucy Banks
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lori Whitwam
Dec 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
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'
...more
Shonna Froebel
Nov 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Amy Hawthorne
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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,
...more
Ronja
Máte labradora jménem Lord a v knihkupectví narazíte na knihu, kterou vypráví labrador Princ. To je jasné znamení, no ne?

Vzhledem k uvedenému důvodu nákupu jsem od knížky naprosto nic nečekala, a proto bylo příjemným překvapením, že byla fakt dobrá. Jasně, samotná zápletka není nic vrcholně originálního, ale právě psí oči a nos tomu dodávaly šťávu a dělaly příběh ještě depresivnější. Jo jo, žádný milý příběh o zvířatech, ale život jedné rodiny, která v tom všem, co se jí děje, má štěstí, že má d
...more
Margo
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Sweet and sad. A must for dog owners.
Fence
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
...more
Maybaby
Apr 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
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
...more
Katy Noyes
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
April Andruszko
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nahalefa
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Herzerwärmend! In wunderschöner, einfacherer Schrift schafft es Matt Haig mal wieder, mich zu Tränen zu rühren. Großartiger Autor, von dem ich gerne noch viel hören möchte. Und mit diesem Buch steht es fest: ich werde einmal einen schwarzen Labradorrüden haben und ihn Prince nennen, damit er die Chance bekommt, die er verdient.
Theresa
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Liz
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ian Mapp
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
oved 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 f
...more
Hollowspine
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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,
...more
Gooddeeds
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Line
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dreamydreamer
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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....
Kim
May 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I don't like to read dog-centered books because the dog always seems to die through no fault of his own and it's very sad. This story follows that blueprint as well (don't worry, I didn't ruin anything, you find out early on). Like in The Art of Racing in the Rain, this story is narrated by the dog and is often humorous. The plot seems a little far-fetched, but there's an unexpected twist toward the end that made me appreciate the book more.
Eliza
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Melanie Chapman
Dec 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Bit silly. Written by a Labrador. Enough said. Easy to read though.
Cousin It
Mar 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
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/
Alison
Phew I made it through to the end. I never would have picked this book up if I'd known what it was about. Books like this just upset me too much and I generally prefer not to put myself through it and boy this was traumatic from the very beginning.

The fact that the story begins with dog Prince being taken to the vet to be put down was a very early hint that this was probably not going to be a happy read and it's not. From the vets. office we flash back to the events leading up to it and how Prin
...more
Patty Dohle
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feel-good, fiction
Matt Haig has solidified himself among my go-to authors, especially when I need a dose of the profound, of something that affirms life without forgetting to validate its struggles.

There aren’t really any books so far I have read by him that disappointed me, although with How to Stop Time he has set himself a benchmark of genius that will be hard to beat.

The Last Family in England he wrote, as he said, after his breakdown – writing, I fully agree, is an incredible therapeutic tool – and he clearl
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Rare Breed of Love: The True Story of Baby and the Mission She Inspired to Help Dogs Everywhere
  • The Wolf in the Parlor: The Eternal Connection Between Humans and Dogs
  • Just Gus: A Rescued Dog and the Woman He Loved
  • The Leanin' Dog
  • Bad Dogs Have More Fun: Selected Writings on Family, Animals, and Life from The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Greyfriars Bobby
  • Tales from a Dog Catcher
  • Shelter Dogs: Amazing Stories of Adopted Strays
  • Niki: The Story of a Dog
  • Dog Years
  • Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog
  • The Dog Who Spoke with Gods
  • Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop with Carla Sonheim
  • Woman's Best Friend: Women Writers on the Dogs in Their Lives
  • You Are a Dog: Life Through the Eyes of Man's Best Friend
  • What the Dog Did: Tales from a Formerly Reluctant Dog Owner
  • Bel Ria: Dog of War
  • Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul: Stories of Canine Companionship, Comedy and Courage (Chicken Soup for the Soul)
3,853 followers
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
More about Matt Haig

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Take Me with You
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty
    $7.49 $1.99
  • The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Her Sister's Shoes (Sweeney Sisters #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Rock Harbor Collection: Without a Trace, Beyond a Doubt, Into the Deep, Cry in the Night, and Silent Night (Rock Harbor #1-5)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • A Thousand Tomorrows (Cody Gunner, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Shoeless Joe
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Death in Venice
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Blonde
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ever After (Lost Love, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Rescue
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Lords of Discipline
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Sheltering Sky
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Gena/Finn
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Charles Martin Collection: When Crickets Cry, Chasing Fireflies, and Wrapped in Rain
    $14.99 $3.99
  • Remember Tuesday Morning (9/11, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Scavenger's Daughters (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Under the Udala Trees
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Streets Have No King
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Passion
    $11.00 $1.99
  • The Language of Hoofbeats
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Not Perfect: A Novel
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Seekers (Kent Family Chronicles, #3)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Don Quixote
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Essex Serpent
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Storycatcher
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Domestic Violets
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Devil Wears Prada
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Half a Heart
    $4.99 $2.49
  • The Keeper of Secrets: A Novel
    $9.24 $1.99
  • A Garden of Earthly Delights (Wonderland Quartet, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Golden Notebook
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Life of Christ
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Good Mother
    $5.74 $1.99
  • The Palest Ink (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters Prequel)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Go: A Coming of Age Novel
    $4.99 $1.99
  • As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Child in Time
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Lowcountry Stranger (Sweeney Sisters Series Book 2)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The Man in 3B
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Save Me
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Better Nate Than Ever (Better Nate Than Ever #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Time Bomb
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Heat and Light: A Novel
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Reunion
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Stay Up With Me
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Loser
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Map and the Territory
    $8.99 $2.99
  • You Know Me Well
    $7.09 $2.99
  • Father's Day
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Skeletons at the Feast
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Even Now (Lost Love, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Sackett's Land: The Sacketts (Sacketts, #1)
    $5.99 $2.99
  • This Bright Beauty
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Intervention (An Intervention Novel)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Star Sand
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Secrets of Nanreath Hall
    $11.74 $1.99
  • The Sugar Queen
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Birth House
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Open City
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Out of Sorts
    $5.99 $0.99
  • The Hearts of Men: A Novel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Revolutionary Road
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Blessings
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Choke
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Bachelor Girl
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Wednesday Sisters
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Allie and Bea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • After the War Is Over: A Novel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • What Belongs to You
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The History of Bees: A Novel
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Love Goddess' Cooking School
    $10.99 $2.99
  • All the Summer Girls
    $8.74 $1.99
  • The Girl From the Train
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bitter Winds (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
    $14.99 $1.99