A Dog’s Purpose is the story of one dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. It touches on the quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?
I can’t remember the last time I was so excited to see a movie. I wanted to see A Dog’s Purpose because the book the movie is based on made my list of top reads in 2015 and 2016. It was with much anticipation that I awaited my chance to see the book come to life on the big screen.
My sister and I saw A Dog’s Purpose opening weekend. Was I nervous that the movie would live up to my exceptions? YES! There are differences between the book and movie, (I’ll talk about that in a second) but the big factor for me was the emotion. My mom, dad and aunt also saw the movie opening weekend. My mom texted me just one word after seeing it … sad. She’s right, it was sad. But for me the book and movie are more than that! Yes, it pulls at the heartstrings, but it spoke to me about the love between humans and our pets. Emotion is packed into the movie, but the book positively overflowed with it (there might have been some ugly crying). The book held a depth that I didn’t quite feel from the movie. However, both the book and movie capture the love between a dog and its owner.
Now let’s talk about the differences between the book and movie. WARNING! I’m telling all. Both open with Toby (his name is not given in the movie) who is a stray. The book gives only a brief glimpse into this first life of the dog, but all of these details are left out of the movie. After Toby comes Bailey. Bailey is Ethan’s dog and the biggest portion of the book and movie are focused here. There are slight changes in Bailey’s story between the book and movie, but nothing that bothered me because they weren’t huge changes. The third life of the dog is Ellie. Ellie is a German Shepherd trained as a search and rescue dog. Now the BIG changes between the book and movie begin. Jakob in the book becomes Carlos and the death of the dog is different. I really liked the connection that Ellie, Jakob and Maya share in the book and missed that in the movie. Maya is still a character, but the movie adds a different dog (Tino) for her. Finally comes Buddy. This is the final life of the dog in both the book and movie. This part of the story was also close to that told in the book until the ending. The movie ending is completely different from the book. While the book’s ending was SO SAD (I ugly cried) I wanted that ending in the movie. I thought it brought things around full circle more than the way the movie ended.
Whether you’re a dog lover or not (I’m a cat person) this story grabs you! I have read and listened to the book and no matter how you decide to enjoy the book, it’s excellent! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! Are you going to read the book? Watch the movie? Both? No matter which way you go, you WILL need tissues! But seriously, READ THE BOOK! And if it grabs you like it did me and you didn’t get enough, check out its sequel, A Dog’s Journey.
I feel like I’ve been all over the place with this review so I’ll wrap it up with this. The book is excellent and the movie is great. If I had to pick just one to take with me to a deserted island, it would be the book. The book was better. There I said it! Grab your copy, cuddle up with your fur baby and enjoy. But know that when the DVD is available, I will be buying it.
Because I love this book so much, I want to share a copy with one of our lucky readers. ENTER HERE for a chance to win a used paperback of A Dog’s Purpose. Ends February 13, 2017 at 12AM EST.
AND THE WINNER IS … Crystal M.
Rating: Book – 5 stars, Movie – 4 stars
Title: A Dog’s Purpose
Author: W. Bruce Cameron
Release Date: Book – July 2010, Movie – January 2017