If you’re a dog lover like me, you wonder why every animal story has to end with a tragic death. You read carefully through your eyelashes with a guarded heart because you know it’s going to be gut-wrenching. Well, this book is different, but not in the way you might think.
In this story the dog dies several times, and each time is reincarnated into a different dog, yet with his own inner self intact. In this manner, he learns and grows as an individual in each life, accumulating wisdom that eventually brings him to his ultimate noble purpose. In this way, he never really dies. Nifty premise!
The problem with a dog narrating the novel, is that I’ve always felt that dogs would be much less interesting if they could talk! Part of the charm of a relationship with a dog is guessing what he’s thinking, so in a sense the narration feels like too much information!
Although bordering on sentimental, I think the author did a pretty good job of it (52 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list), but in my opinion not as good as The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. There is a companion novel which follows on seamlessly from this book called A Dog’s Journey. The best news yet is that the movie just came out and my guess from this trailer is that it’s going to be better than the book–my advice–skip to the movie! 🙂