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Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog: The funny, heartbreaking memoir of losing a family and gaining a dog

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  1,066 ratings  ·  78 reviews

The funny, heart-breaking, wonderfully told story of love, family and overwhelming loss which led Emily Dean to find hope and healing in the dog she always wanted.

Growing up with the Deans was a fabulous training ground for many things: ignoring unpaid bills, being the most entertaining guest at dinner, deconstructing poetry. It was never home for the dog Emily craved.

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published March 7th 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Average rating 4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,066 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Start your review of Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog: The funny, heartbreaking memoir of losing a family and gaining a dog
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my kind of book.... the title tells the story, as Emily says herself at the beginning of the book, but the story behind it is funny, sad, honest, moving and ultimately uplifting. Emily writes incredibly well and with such great humour all the way through. She explains how she struggles in such a way that I feel like I know her extremely well after reading this book. Its fabulous and I recommend it to everyone. The family dynamics fascinated me as well. A really great tale, and one told ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, full disclosure, I have listened to Emily on the Frank Skinner podcast for years and love her attitude and sense of humour. As soon as I heard she would be doing the Walking the Dog podcasts I started listening and haven't missed one, they are brilliant, so I was aware of some of her background and bereavements but couldn't wait to read the book and get the full story.
This book has not disappointed. It is beautifully written (as expected) very entertaining and heart-breaking in parts,
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cried and laughed and squeezed my dog a little bit tighter after reading this book. Brilliant!
Everyone is guilty - no one is to blame.
Vicki Antipodean Bookclub
Dog families punished you for misdemeanours by sending you to your room or withholding your pocket money. Not by sticking a series of handwritten Shakespeare quotes up on cupboards. This above all: to thine own self be true or more hauntingly, Cowards die many times before their deaths.
Emilys father was a BBC broadcaster and her mother an actor. She and her sister Rachel survived a childhood of intellectual chaos. Bailiffs were invited in for tea, final demands were used as coasters and
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
The first half is like a real life I Capture the Castle and the second is sad but ultimately uplifting - and it made me want a dog. Listened to the audiobook which was read by the author and it was a great listen - she does the voices very well. I really enjoyed this. ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Emily Dean speaks so honestly and openly about the realness of death and the feelings of grief. The book made me cry with sadness but also made me laugh at the humour of family relationships. Beautiful beautiful book ❤ ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been listening to Emily Deans podcast Walking the Dog for some time, so I was aware of some bits about family and upbringing, and I was excited to hear about this memoir and rushed to reserve it old school style, from the local library . I enjoyed the stories which are mainly centered around her growing up with eccentric parents, her older sister Rachel and a slightly potty sounding grandmother. Emily and her sister always wanted a dog but never had one, and had a fascination with dog ...more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-stories
I came across this book almost by accident. I had the radio on and heard the author being interviewed and it made me inquisitive. It really was the most touching book I have ever read. Emily Dean is brought up in a rather bohemian family - eccentric mother and father but, along with her sister Rach, they are a team that can survive and thrive in that environment. Then disaster. Rach dies, then their Mum and, finally, their Dad. I know - it tells us what happens in the title but it's amazingly ...more
Kathy S
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was an incredible, raw, emotional and open insight into the authors life. It examines the messiness of families, the roles we play (and assume) and so much more. There is wisdom contained in this book that we can all benefit from, dog lover/dog owner/dog family/dog hater alike.
I cannot express my gratitude enough to Emily Dean for sharing her life story (and those of her family members) with us. ♥🐶
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I was just browsing in the bookstore when the title caught my eye (wasnt expecting to find anything, tbh). The story caught me completely off guard as I did not expect to experience the rollercoaster of emotions that I did while reading.

Reading about her grief made me relive mine. Reading about finding herself made me hopeful. Ultimately, I finished this book feeling uplifted and a lil less alone.

Emily Dean wrote beautifully; with a sense of humour and raw honesty. I cried and laughed through
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2020
Funny and well-written. I wanted to read this as the author was a neighbour and shared a lift to school when I was a child (I remembered it being her mother driving, but we could all have been in someone else's car). I wish I could have told her that I thought her family was a Proper Family compared to mine. Plus she was on telly!
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loooove Emily's podcast and this was a wonderful insight to the journey that got her there. Lots of life nuggets and a beautifully written memoir of an eccentric family life. I also rate anything that celebrates dogs!
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you have been listening to Emily Dean on the radio/podcast for many years then a lot of this may come as no surprise, but she is as funny and sharp as ever and its good to hear the story in full with no interruptions.
When is the stand up show, Emily??
Jo Coleman
Surprisingly, the real hero of the story was a cat.
Harriet Elizabeth
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You read a book with its telling all title with much trepidation when you know what will happen. But this is told with utter brilliance.
I cried on the way to work when the inevitable happens, the first tragedy for Emily and her family.
This book is simply beautiful, I love knowing that a dog lives in the moment and when a dogs owner passes away they spend their whole lives thinking they might return as they have no clue of the future..
I wish we humans had this capacity to deal with lifes most
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listen to the frank skinner podcast and learnt of this book. I was intrigued as because emily had always been the one with the posh privileged amongst the three hosts. I was curious (or nosy more like) as to what happened to her. Its a really easy page turner that I read in one sitting. She hits a right mix of humor with grief and loss that makes u clutch at ur heart and reach for the tissues. ...more
Rebecca Dunbar
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zoe Antoniades
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. I completely related to this. I have written a memoir about growing up in 1980s West London with my own eccentric dysfunctional Cypriot family (with plenty of plate smashing but for all the wrong reasons). I too lost a sibling, far too young. I don't yet have a dog - but keep saying that I know I should have one. Emily Dean's life and experiences, though different, also touched raw nerves in a hugely poignant way. There were so many bits where I wanted to shout out to the writer - ...more
Anna Maria
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed ever minute reading this lovely book. It reminded me of my life story. I called myself 'The angel of death'. So many of my family were dying, (they were elderly).I was the only one who would stay with them to the end'. I cried when I read about Emily's sister Rachel, it seemed so cruel she got cancer and, died so young while her children were babies. Emily did not write a book that was boring. I found it read like what it was 'real life as it happens in some families'. Some ...more
David Smart
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
So this is a book choice where I wander over to an area in the library, close my eyes and pick one off the shelf. There have been some howlers, however, this time I was pleasantly surprised it had dogs in the title. Now to the book. It's not really about dogs. Then again it is about dogs. Here is a story of loss, disfunctional family life, rubbing shoulders with celebrities and a quest for acceptance of normality. The longing to be a "dog family" with all its perceived benefits is threaded ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this because I listen to Frank Skinner's Absolute Radio Show, where Emily Dean is one of his co-presenters. She's always seemed an intelligent women with an acerbic wit so I thought I might read this. I think I expected it to be sickly sweet & sentimental. I'm also not a dog person. So, I went into this with low expectations.

However, it's a brilliant book. Dean tells the story of her childhood, which is complicated and bohemian. Then she tells the story of the deaths of her sister -
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have listened to Frank Skinners radio podcast, where he is supported by Emily Dean and Alun Cochrane, since he started 10 years ago. I was therefore intrigued to find out more about Emily and her backstory. I had found her slightly irritating on the podcasts initially, but soon grew to understand and love her sense of humour and the rapport she obviously had with Frank and wanted to know more. The book was gripping from the off and I found myself alternating between chuckling and having a ...more
Roos Havinga
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melanie Lewis
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible-books
Many, many people have suggested this would be a great listen for the recently bereaved. They couldn't be more wrong! I don't feel this book can be touted as a 'self-help' book. As a personal memoir, it's lovely. A heartfelt and heartbreaking account of how Ms Dean suddenly found herself bereft of family at a ridiculously young age and how awful that must have been for her. I understand she now podcasts about her walks with her dog and it gives me enormous pleasure to know her personal method of ...more
Gaz Watson
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, but it was also a massive let down. I'd bought it after hearing Emily on Adam Buxtons podcast recently. And I'd thought the book would be about the dog she got and how it healed her, ar least that's what I'd thought she suggested on the podcast. But no, there is no god till the very end, and very little is said about him, the first 3 quarters of the book are basically an autobiography. So if I was eating it as the book if expected this would be a 1 at best, but judging it on ...more
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved loved loved this book. I listen to Frank Skinners radio show so when I listened to him interviewing her about this book and it moved me to tears, I decided to give it a go. Im so glad I did. Its been my favourite book of the year so far. Beautifully written, laugh out loud funny and also moved me to tears on several occasions. I too lost my elder sister and my beloved dad in the last few years and also got a dog who has turned my life upside down and given me the happiness Ive always ...more
Abigail Buchanan
I didnt really know what to expect when I picked this up in my local library- but it certainly wasnt this.

Of course Emily Deans life cup splurged on hardships, however reading her story has refreshed my whole outlook of what it really takes to be a human. Ive laughed and cried on the same page, resonated and been baffled by her enigmatic childhood, but most of all I have learnt a very valuable lesson; All of us are guilty, but none of us are to blame.

Life lessons blindly encapsulated in such a
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
"My family weren't around anymore but they had left me with a sense of where I belonged. It was a place where you were allowed to be a little strange. Where no one cared if you took a different path to everyone else. The funny world where the people not-quite-like-the-others lived. I was happy to come home."

"The only thing that really ever connected you with anyone else was the truth"

:') so honestly written, so courageously open-hearted.
loved it.
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