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The Labrador Pact

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3.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,057 Ratings  ·  195 Reviews
The story of a family in crisis and the loyal dog that holds them together, from the witty and imaginative author of The Dead Fathers Club
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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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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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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.
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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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.
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.
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
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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
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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  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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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,
...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
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  ·  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.
Hollie
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...Well that was pretty traumatic. I spent a good five minutes staring into space after I finished The Last Family in England, all misty eyed and a little heartbroken. In typical Matt Haig fashion, this book is a bit odd, very thought provoking and beautifully written, and despite it being fairly distressing at times, I really enjoyed it.
Melanie Chapman
Bit silly. Written by a Labrador. Enough said. Easy to read though.
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/
Marie Mccann
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my third Matt Haig novel. I love his style and his insights. Like Haig's novel "The Humans," this is an observation of human life from an outside point of view, in this case, the family dog. I couldn't put it down (the book).

I can't get enough of Haig's writing.
Kristen U
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took a little while to get into but once you learn the characters but once I had them down and understood the plot I was into hooked a desperate to see how everything played out. Duty over Everything!

I own two Labs and hope they don't feel responsible for my crazy decisions!!
Sarah
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Matt Haig but I never really connected all that well with this book. I thought it was a really interesting premise but then I was a bit disappointed by the actual storyline. I still recommend Matt Haig to everyone though because he’s an excellent writer and nice human.
Darlene Wilson
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.
Emma Vardy
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't read this book in public if you are a dog owner, in tears. Loved this book, couldn't put it down. Perhaps it's because I'm a Labrador owner and understand the power of a dog. Really interesting to narrator the story from the dogs.
Jeannine
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
💗 🐕 😭
Michael Ritchie
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unusual and beautiful, but utterly heartbreaking. Haig had a great start with this first novel, and he only got better with time.
Nicola Wise
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful and sad story which has left me very pensive.
Jessica
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick, funny read. An interesting perspective of human relationships from a dog's point of view, but also a commentary on religion, loyalty, secrets, and faithfulness.
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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
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