A Dog's Tale (1904)
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2010
I read this on my kindle to my husband while he was driving and couldn't finish it out loud because I couldn't stop crying.

It is a sad story about the dark side of human nature and the light side of a dog's nature. You fall in love with the main character instantly and feel its pain and confusion. It makes you want to hug every dog you see on the street and tell them its going to be ok.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
I began this story right after finishing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and was expecting a lighthearted tale featuring a dog. That is not what this story is and I wish I hadn't read it right before going to bed.

What this dog goes through is heartbreaking and you should know that before you read it. Mark Twain does a great job of presenting this anti-vivisection tale and even more depressing when you realize that it has been 102 years since his death and we are still using dogs for research.

Don't not read it, but do be aware of what you are in for when you begin this story story.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2012
Part of a good author's job is to make the reader think. Having read the other reviews of "A Dog's Tale" (and of "A Horse's Tale" as well) I think some of the reviews may be missing the point.

I agree wholeheartedly that in all, it is an upsetting story. I also agree that it is probably not suitable for young children. Speaking as someone who shares his life with three dogs, one reading was certainly enough for me. However, there are deeper things at work here, and they should be looked into.

Consider that "A Dog's Tale" was written very early in the twentieth century.. This was a time when treatment of animals did not measure up to the same standards we as a society hold today. In fact, animal cruelty was societally acceptable. Levels of animal abuse that will have you in court in today's world were utterly unremarkable then. The dog was yours; you could do anything you wanted to do to it, good or bad.

What "A Dog's Tale" does very well is put the reader in the dog's life to experience firsthand the astounding cruelty being dished out by the dog's "scientifically detached" owner. The man demonstrates no sympathy or caring at all for his own dog, but through the story, Twain certainly elicits it from the reader! And I propose that this was the point; to make the reader think about the way they treated animals then. Twain was someone who saw much pain in his own life, and it's my personal belief that he probably disliked people that casually inflicted pain. Such people would be a ripe target for an iconoclast such as him.

All in all, a superbly crafted story, even if it is disturbing. Being disturbing, I think, was very likely the whole point. Don't get completely wrapped up in the emotion, look deeper. Five stars for making us think.

Added on 1 /30 /2012
I found this in a book of Twain's quotes the other day; I think it leaves little doubt as to where he stood in regards to cruelty to animals:

"I believe I am not interested to know whether Vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further."
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2010
A Dog's Tale is a beautifully written short story that abandons the satirical humor of Clemens halfway through. Anyone that can appreciate a well written tear jerker will love this emotional afternoon read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2014
It's hard to believe this was written so long ago. Written from the dogs point of view it shows an empathy for animals well before the SPCA - Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ever existed. I humbly recommend it to all animal lovers .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2012
This heartbreaking story of Mark Twain should be read with caution; definitely not for the very young.
Still, it is important – very important! – to read it, for anybody with a feeling heart and thinking mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2012
This book started out cute and funny. But right around the middle it stars going down hill and at the end it gets unbearably sad and heartbreaking. I read this book twice to see if I was wrong about how sad it was but I think it was even harder to bare the second time. I would only reccomend this book to people who hate animals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2013
I love Twain but this is one of his darker tales that illustrates, unintentionally, one of his Bloomfield quips about human beings compared to man's best friend: "If you feed a starving dog, it will not bite you. This is the chief difference between a man and a dog." This is truly a "man bites dog" story. Dog-lovers avoid this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2014
Let me start out by saying I regret reading this and will regret it fort the rest of my life. Ass a long time animal welfare/animal rights activist I could not stop crying.

It may have an important message but to me, too painful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2014
I was really enjoying this story until the end. Very depressing if you're an animal lover. I wouldn't recommend it.
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