Book review: the Dog Who Wouldn’t Be

The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be by Farley Mowat


So this is an old book, but it’s a gooder.

Farley Mowat writes about his childhood family dog, Mutt. Mutt is not a typical dog. He wears goggles to stick his head out the window; he learns how to walk on the tops of fences and climb ladders to catch cats; and conventionally fails at hunting, which was the whole point of a dog during Mowat’s time, but figures it out in his own way. Despite his antics and failures, Mutt is beloved (or at least believes he is) by everyone who knows him.

Now, I don’t really laugh out loud when I’m reading. Not that I’m grumpy or anything; I find a lot of things funny, they just don’t normally make me laugh. But this book, let me tell you, made me cry of laughter. It’s one of the funniest books I have ever read. There’s one story, near the beginning of the family’s time with Mutt, where Mutt and Mrs. Mowat get into an argument in the middle of town because Mutt is not allowed in the store. It’s honestly one of the funniest things I have ever read. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.

Mowat has such a fantastic way of telling his stories. You really feel like you’re there witnessing Mutt’s actions with the rest of them. And the interactions between Mowat, his parents, and Mutt are fantastic. They each have their own way of dealing with Mutt and they love him in their own ways.

Of course, dogs don’t live forever, so yes the dog does die in this book. However, I think Mowat was just as distressed as the rest of us and honestly skips over this part as quickly as he can. “Mutt died and I love him. The End” is basically how it goes.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an easy read. My brother brings it when he goes backpacking, and it’s the perfect book for that sort of thing. I find a lot of older books difficult to understand, mainly because writers of that time insisted on using pretentious language that no one nowadays uses. But this book is super easy. I think it would be great for anyone of all ages.

As always, let me know if you’ve read and what your thoughts are! Please give it go if you haven’t read it before. It really is worth it if you need a good laugh.


Ally xx

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