Kristin's Reviews > A Dog's Purpose

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
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Jul 20, 2010

bookshelves: read-in-2010
Read in July, 2010

Read from 7/17 - 7/18.

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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Katie Are you kidding me? Did we read the same book? That dog was all about his boy...seriously, did you read the whole book. I can not fathom how you could possibly see this dog as selfish.
Stick w/ cats lady...they're just as detached from reality as you are!!

message 2: by Jimone (new)

Jimone You, obviously, have not read the same book that the rest of us have. Either that, or you have never have had the fantastic opportunity of loving a dog and delighting in the love that they give us back. I, as you, adore and love cats, but if you were to call any animal "selfish", it is the domesticated cats that we choose to live with. Dogs spend their entire lives trying to figure how to make us happy, as the soul in this book does. Cats spend their lives being affectionate when *they* want to, and yell at us when they're hungry! Like I stated, I do adore cats, but there is NOTHING like the love of a dog...they're as devoted as the day is long. I've worked with dogs for many years and the word *selfish* is the LAST word that comes to mind when anyone that is the least bit dog-savvy would say describes them.

It's too bad that you haven't experienced the love of a dog...

message 3: by Kristin (new) - added it

Kristin Katie wrote: "Are you kidding me? Did we read the same book? That dog was all about his boy...seriously, did you read the whole book. I can not fathom how you could possibly see this dog as selfish.
Stick w/ ..."

Insults are juvenile and not appreciated. Please do not reply to me any more.

message 4: by Kristin (new) - added it

Kristin Jimone wrote: "You, obviously, have not read the same book that the rest of us have. Either that, or you have never have had the fantastic opportunity of loving a dog and delighting in the love that they give us..."

I have experienced the love of a dog. The reason that I felt the dog was selfish is because he was constantly seeing the world as it relates to him and not to his boy. He seemed to have been written to be loyal to the boy, but not necessarily to UNDERSTAND him, the way dogs are usually thought to do. I also find it odd that the dog's loyalty is so touted and used an example of unselfish love, and yet the family that he lives with in his third life pales as he constantly yearns for his boy. Where is his loyalty to them? Aren't they just as deserving of loyalty as his boy?

Thank you for at least being polite in your response. I don't agree with your view of cats and how they compare to dogs, but then, everyone's experience of cats vs. dogs is different. :) I actually plan to give this book to my husband, who is very much a dog person, because I want to see what he thinks.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I think what you deemed selfishness was part of the point, actually. The book was written from the dog's viewpoint, of course, and his world was very focused on his environment and needs -- the smells, the joys and pain, the longing for attention and food and warmth. He yearned for his boy in future lives because his needs were fulfilled during that lifetime (at least, that's how I saw it). But, I do understand your point.

I didn't care for the way the dog responded to cats in any of his incarnations; I think that could have been handled better, simply because a lot of dogs get along fine with cats and vice versa. It did seem that there were some cliched descriptions of the felines (as a cat owner, I know better -- there are plenty of cats who are dog-like in their outgoing natures; I am owned by one and once was owned by a cat who stuck her nose under my chin if I was feeling blue and licked away tears if I cried). I took a half point off for that, but otherwise I thought the book was remarkably touching and beautifully written. I was particularly impressed at the way he made it clear that a dog's needs are very basic and that neutering is protective and helpful to pets.

Julie090 I think a lot of people respond so negatively to your review because a one-star review really broadcasts that this book is badly written, offensive or a huge waste of time. Your one-star rating just seems so harsh and drags down the overall ratings at a time when this obviously loved book is just becoming known to the general public. You could do some real damage to its progress at this point. You may sniff and feel you can just do anything you like, but you should be aware of the consequences. A one-star rating is just mean-spirited and clearly undeserved. You have read the book through the lens of your own experience and felt it came up lacking, but you don't seem so offended or outraged by the book that it would deserve only one star. That's my take on it. Maybe you haven't been involved in many reviews or the very start of an extraordinary book's ascent. Please understand that one star is the WORST you can say of a book. Is this really the WORST book you could possibly read?

Peter I agree with you. I read this when it was looking for a publisher, and I didn't like it at all (and I love dogs). I don't understand the amazing praise this has gotten. I particularly had a problem with the multiple incarnations. I felt that as soon as we got attached to the dog and his surrounding people in one life, he died and moved on, and I didn't think that his previous experiences came into play enough to tie everything together. Furthermore, I thought that the observant nature of being dog made the narration feel more detached and told rather than shown.

(Also, as a side note, the star ratings are completely subjective and a reader is certainly allowed to rate based on his or her opinion of a book. No one needs to think of how it's going to effect the overall average. I don't look at stars but instead read the reviews because everyone has their own criteria for how they rank books.)

Candace Dear Kristin (and Peter): I'm just posting in solidarity. I gave this book two stars, and OMG did somebody rip me a new one for daring to not be absolutely gaga over it. So, just in case the Book Review Police attempt to administer a beat-down, I wanted you to know that you're not alone.

Maria Hernandez I am with you as far as not being fond of this book, it was ok-not something I would die for..It is not the worst book I have read but it didn't move me at all like it did others. Yes, it was a heartfelt book, but just not my cup of tea.

Maggie C. I am so sorry you had a bad experience with this book and felt compelled to share your misery. Are you trying to influence people not to read this book? As someone else noted, your one star rating just seems mean spirited.

Maria Hernandez No, I am not mean spirited. If you knew me on a personal level, you would not say that. I am entitled to like or dislike any book just like anything in life. No, I am not trying to influence anyone not to read this book. Read it-don't read, I don't care. I can only share that it is not my content style. There are other books I gave a one star rating to as well. Do you mean that you love all the books you have read?

Maggie C. Of course I don't love or even like every book. I just choose to not share my displeasure unless the book is truly offensive ( rascist, sexist, homophobic etc.) I prefer to encourage others to share in my joy when an exceptional book has come to my path. But, you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

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