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The Dog Who Wouldn't Be [Paperback]

Farley Mowat
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 14.99
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Book Description

Aug. 4 2009
Farely Mowat's best-loved book tells the splendidly entertaining story of his boyhood on the Canadian prairies. Mutt's pedigree was uncertain, but his madness was indisputable. He climbed tress and ladders, rode passenger in an open car wearing goggles and displaying hunting skills that bordered on sheer genius. He was a marvelous dog, worthy of an unusual boy growing up in a raw, untamed wilderness.

From the Paperback edition.

Frequently Bought Together

The Dog Who Wouldn't Be + Owls in the Family + Never Cry Wolf
Price For All Three: CDN$ 31.63

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  • Owls in the Family CDN$ 9.99
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Product Description

From the Publisher

Farely Mowat's best loved book tells the splendidly entertaining story of his boyhood on the Canadian prairies. Mutt's pedigree was uncertain, but his madness was indisputable. He climbed tress and ladders, rode passenger in an open car wearing goggles and displaying hunting skills that bordered on sheer genius. He was a marvelous dog, worthy of an unusual boy growing up a raw, untamed wilderness. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Farley Mowat was born in Belleville, Ontario, in 1921. He served in the Second World War from 1940 until 1945, and began writing for his living in 1949 after spending two years in the Arctic. Since 1949 he has lived in or visited almost every part of Canada and many other lands, including the distant regions of Siberia. He is the bestselling author of forty-seven books, which have been published in more than twenty languages in more than sixty countries.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good, but with serious reservations Feb. 12 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I must speak a dissenting voice to all the glowing reviews of this book. Mowat is, no doubt, an excellent naturalist, and many of the adventures described in the book are very entertaining. However, I am very disturbed that, although the author is ready to defend HIS pets with his shotgun against other animals, he pretty much gave his own animals not just free rein but also encouragement to kill the pets of others. Mutt the dog is deliberately set on a woman's cats, and the "secret cemetery" of neighborhood cats filled by his pet owl is described with almost pride.
Also disturbing to me is the author's attitude toward women. Any complaining woman is described as "spinsterish." The "Cat Lady" whose cats the author set his dog on to attack and kill was described as harboring "yearning hope" for a male intruder to come and presumably do things to her that I don't want to refer to in a review that children may read -- the implication is pretty strong, with a reference also to the Sabine women.
I may get flamed for this review, but I feel that these are very poor attitudes to be subtly or unsubtly conveying to children. I find it very unfortunate because I endorse the author's work as a naturalist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring it back into print! Oct. 20 2001
I was astonished to find "The Dog Who Wouldn't Be" is apparently out of print in 2001. I easily found a copy in the Springfield, Illinois city library, but it ought to be buyable in the marketplace for those who want to have it and keep it.
Have you ever wondered what your grandfather was like when he was a boy? The "yarns" and stories in this book may give you some clues. Don't believe for one second that all the adventures related in this book are strictly true. Mowat is a great storyteller and he, like Mark Twain, took his memories and made from them something great and wonderful.
This book declares war on all of the cats of the world, as one of my fellow reviewers has correctly noted. Cat lovers beware! You won't like this book. For everyone else who wants an idealized window on the lives of boys growing up in the 1930s and 40s, take a look. The boys you see in this volume are not boys any more. They are grandfathers. They won't be around forever. If you want to know and love them better while they are still here, read this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The lighter side of Farley Mowat May 30 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a light-hearted book by Farley Mowat, a writer with whom we normally associate more serious texts. Yet Mowat is just as fun-loving as the next person and it comes out in this collection of stories about his youth in Ontario and Manitoba. Mutt, the dog of the book's title, is a dog who very reasonably refuses to act like one. So he won't hunt ducks properly or do much else that is reckoned too dog-like, at least while anyone's watching. Mutt was Mowat's constant companion throughout many boyhood forays into the wild country around wherever he happened to be living. On the prairies in the 1920s and 30s, he says, it was easy to get out in the bush, because it started right where the town stopped. You just had to walk out. So began Farley Mowat's lifelong love of the natural world. Indeed, he made a pretty good naturalist by the age of ten and earned himself a minor living for a time, through the dubious activity of collecting birds' eggs. This is an easy book to get along with and one that would probably be enjoyed by children. Indeed, I assume it may well have been intended for Mowat's own children. I thoroughly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic dog story book July 17 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the funniest books that I have ever read. Mutt, the dog, comes to the family in a basket filled with ducks. The father in the story wants an expensive pure bred dog for hunting. However, mother circumvents this by plucking out the dog, paying one cent, and saving lots of money. There are plenty of misadventures in the story, from mutt retrieving a stuffed pheasent in the city (after father pointed his shotgun and said bang), to climbing a ladder into the eccentric womans house filled with 50 cats. There was the encounter with the skunk (in the basement of the house) and the time father accidentally used bluing to clean the dog. The part about the owls is funny and interesting as well. Needless to say, Mutt has many adventures, all of them hilarious I have read this book many times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An all-time favorite May 11 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this for the first time when I was in about 6th or 7th grade and loved it. It was my introduction to Farley Mowat and since then I have read many of his other works.
This book is one of the most entertaining books I have ever read. I loved it 30 years ago when I was a kid (maybe 11 or 12) and I enjoyed it again last year.
The story is about the life and times of Mutt, the dog that entered the Mowat family and grew up with Farley. Mutt is all dog and a little more. Frustrated with the local cat population and their dominance of the fencetop and rooftop world, he learns to walk fence tops. He develops hunting and retrieving techniques that are the talk of the country -- literally! Each chapter is a new story, a new adveneture into the life of Mutt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy dog in Canada Nov. 27 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When my daughter was small, her repeated request was 'read about the skunks, Daddy.' I don't think it was the topic (crazy dog, hyperactive kid, sleeping skunk, dirt basement, dead of winter and a garden hose) as much as even after having read it to her dozens of times I still broke up when I got to the line beginning 'A rich golden haze...' (I just cracked up writing this.)
This is a book for anyone who has ever loved a dog or a squirrel or a chipmonk or a garter snake or ever rode a two wheeler and pretended it was a horse or walked in a field or wished 'why didn't I ...'
No child should be forced to grow up without watching their parents snort coffee through their nose while trying to read 'The Dog Who Wouldn't Be.'
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars well worth reading
Very good book. I started to really understand the way it used to be in Canada. I hope to read more of his books.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love dogs....
If you love dogs, or even if you just have a sense of humour.... or maybe if you have misplaced your sense of humour... this is a wonderful read. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Phyllis Crowe
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for the book - Zero Stars for whoever is keeping it off the US...
I don't understand why I can't buy this book for my Kindle . . .

My favorite book as a child and the only way I can read it is on paper. Makes no sense at all!
Published 13 months ago by Mike Farris
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
A funny, quick moving story, a wonderful recreation of ones own upbringing, especially if you had a dog as a child
Published 18 months ago by Harley
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and whimsical
I have to admit, we are only halfway through the book so far, but it is so good I thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a premature 5 stars. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2012 by MamaG
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dog who Wouldn't Be
This story is as funny as I remember it. I thoroughly enjoy reading Farley Mowat. I would recommend this book to anyone who knows a bit about Canada, the Prairies and the... Read more
Published on March 9 2012 by Aline
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
I can't believe how fast I received my book, 2 days!! Thanks for the amazing service. I will be sure to come back to you next time!
Published on Aug. 5 2011 by Lindsay
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for dog lovers!
When I read this book, I laughed so hard that my belly hurt! I heartily recommend it for anyone who needs a break from the serious realities of life...
Published on Jan. 16 2002 by C. Gochicoa
5.0 out of 5 stars Beg, borrow or steal, but read this book.
Chock full of incredibly poignant stories of a young mutt growing up on the Canadian praires, with his human Farley in tow. Read more
Published on March 11 2001 by Cork C. Kyle
4.0 out of 5 stars the dog who wouldn't be
i am reading this book with my dad and having a fun time.mutt,comes to this family for only a penny but brings a millon laughs. Read more
Published on March 10 2001
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