I’ve always been drawn to stories told from the human perspective, deeply valuing an author’s nuanced exploration of human emotion as captured by keystrokes and poetic phrasing. Never would I have imagined myself engrossed in a story told by a dog, as much as I love my dogs.
A Dog’s Purpose, a Novel for Humans by W. Bruce Cameron is different. At the 2010 BlogPaws conference in Denver, I received a free copy in my swag bag. Otherwise bookless, I began to read it on the plane ride home and was deeply surprised.
Surely, you’ve heard about this New York Time’s best seller, also winner of Goodread’s 2010 Top 5 Fiction Award. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s clearly time you grab a copy of A Dog’s Purpose on Amazon (affiliate link). Or, more fun still, enter to win yourself a free copy in paperback below!
ABOUT THE BOOK
As the website describes:
A Dog’s Purpose tells the story of a dog who finds himself reincarnated and decides there must be a reason, a purpose he must fulfill, and until he does so, he’ll continue to be reborn. The story is narrated by Bailey, a wise and funny dog who is very much…a dog.
I didn’t expect to like Bailey’s perspective, feeling it might read as childish. At times, it does. But that’s also where the magic happens.
Bailey has a dog’s penchant for the here and now, although he remembers “before” as well, with no clear vision of the future. Author Cameron embraces this narrative device without apology not only to portray our common – perhaps even realistic – perception of a dog’s thought process, but also to deliver elements of surprise in a refreshing way. There is no guessing what might lie around the next bend.
Bailey lives many lives, from the product of a puppy mill, to that of a stray, to the perfect loving companion for a fun-loving, growing boy, to a search and rescue dog saving lives and more. Although you know this now, I have given nothing away.
There are hardships and loving relationships that will pluck symphonies from your heart stings, again and again. All the while, the story illustrates that the lives (and deaths) of dogs are as unique as those of human beings, and that they too must find their purpose.
The lessons learned are anything but childish. In fact, this book is not always an easy read, sometimes treading dark places that must be worked through with each turn of the page. But these page-turning moments are always met with tremendous reward and well worth your time.
If you’re settling in for an end-of-summer staycation, hanging poolside with the kids (like me), crack open this little gem. It won’t disappoint. Clearly, DreamWorks sees this too. A Dog’s Purpose will soon be a major motion picture.
US and Canadian residents: Leave a comment on this post below telling me what you might like about this book. Do so before 11:59 PM (ET) Sunday, August 14, 2011 and you’ll be entered into a random drawing to receive a paperback for your own end-of-summer staycation!
Have you already read it? Win it as a gift for the dog lover in your life! Just drop a note about what you loved most. But don’t give too much of the story away!
Best of luck to you all! I’ll announce the winner Monday, August 15th, in the comments section below.