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A Dog's Tale Paperback – October 25, 2013

3.6 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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About the Author

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835. He gained national attention as a humorist in 1865 with the publication of "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," but was acknowledged as a great writer by the literary establishment with The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn (1885). In 1880, Twain began promoting and financing the ill-fated Paige typesetter, an invention designed to make the printing process fully automatic. At the height of his naively optimistic involvement in the technological "wonder" that nearly drove him to bankruptcy, he published his satire, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889). Plagued by personal tragedy and financial failure, Mark Twain spent the last years of his life in gloom and exasperation, writing fables about "the damned human race."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463722427
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463722425
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,971,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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By Lee on May 30, 2013
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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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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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People say it's so sad, and I am the biggest dog lover ever, but really? It's typical sarcastic Mark Twain, satirizing stupid human beings. I liked that, although it wasn't the best Mark Twain has ever written. I didn't shed a tear, and I sob just looking at pictures of my baby pup. It is what it is - Mark Twain doing Mark Twain. Short read, I certainly wouldn't pay $10 for a hard copy, it's probably but a few pages. I read it on my kindle.
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I wasn't expecting much from such a short length book. It proves what I've believed for a number of years now--it's us humans that can be the "animals" and savages!

It tugged at my heart strings... Hand to Mark Twain to write the truth of life in a story-telling form and make me wonder even more about human nature.
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And sadly too common, in the end, that some people are incapable of treating 'lesser beasts' with even a fraction of the love, loyalty and trust those poor animals freely give to us. Even after abuse returning, still loving, loyal and sadly still trusting us to do right by them.
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