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A Dog's Purpose
(4 out of 5)
"A Dog's Purpose" tackles life's big questions from a canine's point of view.
June 16, 2011 1:51 pm | By Zootoo Editor Flinn D.
“A Dog’s Purpose,” by W. Bruce Cameron, tackles the compelling question “why are we here?” in a unique way — written from the perspective of a dog. Bailey, the protagonist, takes us on a journey through several of his reincarnations – first, he’s a stray mutt who meets an unfortunate end only to be reborn as a cuddly, golden-haired puppy.
Although Bailey can remember everything about his past lives, he has no way of communicating this to the humans in his life because of his canine form. As a puppy, Bailey quickly becomes the loving companion of a young boy named Ethan. Ethan and Bailey have many adventures together, most of which include Bailey helping Ethan navigate the various problems that a young boy encounters — such as choosing the right friends, making good life decisions and dealing with the pressures of his family.
The tone of the book is light, humorous, and definitely engaging. W. Bruce Cameron’s first book is called “8 Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter” and “A Dog’s Purpose” is written with the same acute, insightful sense of the absurd which pervades modern family life.
The story continues to follow Bailey through several lives as he struggles to find his purpose and is constantly perplexed by his relationships with the humans he encounters –who can be both loving and hateful towards him in almost the same breath. Anyone who is a fan of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” in addition to Cameron’s earlier book, will love this one and relate closely to the touching – if a bit predictable – conclusions that the narrative arrives at in the end.
Pros: Humorous and touching; insightful observations about family life.
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