Book Buzz: A Dog’s Purpose

Anyone who knows me knows I love books and I love dogs. So it is no surprise that I love reading books about dogs.

I will tell you why A Dog’s Purpose is one of my favorites, one of the most charming dog books ever written. The author, W. Bruce Cameron, has an uncanny ability to get inside a dog’s head. Combine that with his sense of humor and talent for storytelling, and you can understand why his books are so pupular popular. A Dog’s Purpose was on the New York Times bestseller list for a solid year, and deservedly so.

I am so beyond excited that A Dog’s Purpose is coming out as a movie next month. More about that in a minute. Let me tell you first about the book.

A Dog’s Purpose

Book Buzz: A Dog's PurposeMeet Bailey the dog, the narrator of his story, who yearns to figure out his purpose in life, and finds himself reincarnated over and over to continue that quest. With each life he is a little wiser, remembering life lessons from his past that continue to guide him.  Author Cameron is so attuned to the gestalt of dogs, he has truly provided a window into their souls giving us readers a deeper understanding of what makes them tick. Why they love us unconditionally. Why they like sniffing nasty smells. Why they are clueless about cats.

Here, for example, Ethan the boy is teaching Bailey to rescue him in the water. Bailey recounts:

I looked down at the frothy water where the boy had gone in, then back at Grandpa.

“Go on!” Grandpa told me.

I suddenly understood and looked at him in disbelief. Did I have to do everything in this family? With one more bark I dove off the end of the dock, swimming down toward the bottom, where I could sense Ethan lying motionless. I gripped his collar in my jaws and headed for air.

“See! He saved me!” the boy called when we both surfaced.

“Good boy, Bailey!” Grandpa and the boy shouted together. Their praise pleased me so much  I took off after the ducks, who quacked stupidly as they swam away. I got so close to being able to nip off a few tail feathers that a couple of them flapped their wings and briefly took flight, which meant I won, in my opinion.

With the perfect balance of joy and pathos woven through a page turning adventure, the book will touch your heart, make you laugh and cry, and sigh with contentment at the end.

Bailey’s story will leave you hungering for more, and thankfully Cameron heard our cry and wrote a sequel, A Dog’s Journey, another terrific story.
Book Buzz: A Dog's Purpose

I loved this book too, in which Bailey is now Buddy, who rescues a little girl and realizes his purpose is to protect her forever. Over the course of her life, that is exactly what he does, but I won’t tell you any more because I don’t want this to be a spoiler.

I would have gone into a deep depression after finishing this book, bereft without a Cameron dog book to look forward to, but then I heard about the movie and I felt better.

A Dog’s Purpose, the movie

Starring Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson and Josh Gad, A Dog’s Purpose opens in theaters January 27, 2017.

True to the novel, the narrator is Bailey, a bounding Golden Retriever who has already lived several lives and come back to fulfill the elusive purpose he knows is his destiny. Bailey’s running commentary on life as a dog is just what you would imagine a dog’s thought process to be. I guarantee you will fall in love with him.

One of the takeaways is that you can make a dog very happy just by telling him he is a good dog. So don’t forget to do that when you have the chance.

This movie trailer gives you a preview of the magic that is to come. I can’t wait.

Don’t wait until January to become a fan. Read one or both of the books first.

Thanks to the author, I am delighted to offer either A Dog’s Purpose or A Dog’s Journey to one of my readers. Please leave a comment below, and a winner will be randomly selected. USA addresses only, please.


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53 Thoughts on “Book Buzz: A Dog’s Purpose

  1. When I first saw this trailer I told Gary we have to see it! Hoping it’d be what would put him over the edge of getting a dog. (Highly doubt)

    I fell in love with Bailey. But my heart jumped when one life ended and then boom! My heart was saved because, well, you know the rest.

    Any tail, er, tale about animals is something right up my alley! Thanks for a wonderful review, Helene.

  2. Just watching the clip made me cry, not just well up! Of the unconditional love!

  3. Ok, so here’s the truth. I can not read or see anything with dogs that die, get hurt, are challenged even with happy endings. I can’t. These years, my emotions about my dog and pets in generally are just too raw!

  4. What a fantastic review of both books, Helene! I completely agree with your assessments. And I can hardly wait to see the movie myself. Is it January yet? (No need to enter me into the drawing. Not only do I have both books, but I’ve bought multiple copies of each, especially A Dog’s Purpose, to give as gifts to anyone who has ever loved and then lost a dog.)

  5. I have some friends who would love these books and the movie. Thanks for the reviews Helene. Those dogs are just gorgeous.

  6. I’m *just about* done with this book and love it. I wasn’t positive I would enjoy a book written from a dog’s point of view, but it’s poignant, funny, memorable. I look forward to seeing the film!

  7. So cute! I can already tell that this is going to be a good one and that there may possibly be tears involved :p

  8. That looks adorable. I’m a dog nut and believe one of my dogs was reincarnated. I have to see it.

  9. Oh, I’m going to be a basket case during the movie. I loved the book so much and had no idea there was a second one! Off to find it now!

  10. These sound like good books! I’ll probably end up seeing that movie with my daughter. And we’ll cry and cry.

  11. I saw the trailer for this on facebook (one of my dog loving friends put it up) and thought it looked like a lovely premise to make a movie about. Nothing like a feel good Christmas movie – and I bet the book’s lovely too.

  12. Dorothy Dolan McGinley on December 5, 2016 at 8:09 pm said:

    These books are the absolute best!! I am so looking forward to the movie!! Thank you for spreading the word!

  13. nice review, i will have to look into this!

  14. Books and movie sound wonderful. Great review!

  15. Ahhhhh……….love this trailer and this blog. Can’t wait to see it. I have so many friends who are dog lovers………the books would be great gifts.

  16. I’ve heard about this movie! I think it would be a bit of a tear jerker for me. So many fond memories with my little pups growing up

  17. Me and my older grandkids loved these books and we cannot wait for this movie. We already have big plans to make a day out of seeing it!

  18. Milica on December 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm said:

    Ooh I need to see this movie!!

  19. I have bad luck with dog movies. They seem so sad when I watch them. I didn’t know people wrote adult stories on dogs.

    • hbludman on December 6, 2016 at 9:17 am said:

      You should give this movie a try, Mihaela. It’s not all sad. There are plenty of laughs.

  20. Elizabeth O. on December 6, 2016 at 2:38 am said:

    The books are really lovely, I would love to dedicate some time to read those before watching the movie! The trailer is amazing and it’s definitely perfect for any dog lover!

  21. DogVills on December 6, 2016 at 5:23 am said:

    Some of my friends owning dogs. I must share these to them and read those books.

  22. I still can’t watch Marley and Me, I know I’d cry too much. These do sound like lovely books though. I just don’t do well when animals die

    • hbludman on December 8, 2016 at 9:37 am said:

      I think that is why these books are NOT devastatingly sad, Ellie, since the dogs are reincarnated.

  23. Thanks for writing this post. I am such a dog lover. I have seen the trailer to this movie twice and teared up both times. I am sure the books are delightful and moving as well. I can relate to your love for books and dogs. 🙂

  24. I just grabbed a dogs purpose as a christmas gift – looks like i may need to read it after the recipient is done! haha

  25. CourtneyLynne on December 6, 2016 at 7:41 pm said:

    Omg this looks like one cute book!! Perfect for doggie lovers!!!

  26. This looks like something my daughter might like to read. Maybe a gift idea. Thanks!

  27. Angela Key Milnes on December 7, 2016 at 4:34 am said:

    Such a good post, my friends was have a dog, I will share this with them

  28. As a dog lover and book lover this is a must see for me 🙂 and since the books are always better than the movie I will start there first.
    XO, MJ

  29. This looks like a delightful read and movie. I can’t wait to delve in and relive the memories of growing up with Skippy.

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