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Publisher's Summary

Red Dog is a West Australian, a lovable friendly red kelpie who found widespread fame as a result of his habit of travelling all over Western Australia, hitching rides over thousands of miles, settling in places for months at a time and adopting new families before heading off again to the next destination and another family – sometimes returning to say hello years later. While visiting Australia, Louis de Bernières heard the legend of Red Dog and decided to do some research on this extraordinary story. After travelling to Western Australia and meeting countless people who'd known and loved Red Dog, Louis decided to spread Red Dog's fame a little further. The result is an utterly charming tale of an amazing dog with places to go and people to see.

©2002 Louis de Bernieres (P)2010 Associate Producer, Nelson Woss. Audiobook recording produced by ABC Audio.

What listeners say about Red Dog

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Plotless, sexist and twee

This is not a novel. It is a premise, and not an interesting one. Nothing important happens. The events of this book are like the events of an episode of Mr Bean, except not funny.

The narrator is well-cast and reads with a nice rhythm. The music fits the themes of the story.

But that doesn't change how painfully saccharine this series of dog-centric pratfalls is, nor how badly the author writes. This book is laden with cliches of both characterisation and expression (the mean old caravan park caretaker has a 'moustache a bit like Hitler's' and yes, that's a direct quote).

I've been to the Pilbara, and despite the heat, the flies, the spinifex, the rocks, the snakes, and the overall awe-inspiring harshness of the place, it never made me feel as unwelcome in the world as this book's version of it did. The women are too dumb to live - one doesn't know what dog nipples are. The Aboriginals are mentioned maybe twice. Characters described as 'coming from everywhere' are in fact from Europe and New Zealand. That's understandable - Australia was like that in the 70s - but one shouldn't tell the reader how diverse one's fictional world is if it, in fact, is not. I hate how nostalgic this author is for good old days that never existed.

A few passages of landscape description rang true. But, like the rank dog farts the author lovingly details from beginning to end, this novel annoyed me at first and disgusted me throughout. If you're a young student studying this text, at least it's only 2 hours long. Everyone else should give it a miss.

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I love it

I love it it is very good but it’s a sad book too. Good book

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Red Dog

Ok story but the movie was more enjoyable. I still got a smile out of it.

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I love Red Dog

Amazing story full of real WA people and 1 super dog.
one big thanks to David Field for narrowing this story with such a good Aussi interpretation and another big thanks to Louis de Bernières for writing this story
very racomand book especially if you have visit north WA, you will totally understand why this dog loved so much his land and his people

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person from the Pilbara

I'm just happy to hear a story from the land I proudly call my home.
Red Dog will always be important to me as the legend of the Pilbara, The legend of my home.

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  • Mildred
  • 12-03-2012

Can we listen to Red Dog again?

Would you listen to Red Dog again? Why?

A long drive in the car has always been preceded by this question, have you packed Red Dog? We want to listen to it again. It has been a family favourite for a long time with us. We love Red Dog, and we love the people who love him. He is part of our permanent cast of characters in the nurturing world of imagination and narrative.

What about David Field’s performance did you like?

David Field hits the right note of laconic friendliness that is Red Dog.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This story will make you laugh and it will make you cry.

Any additional comments?

All of us who saw the movie, preferred this story as a listening pleasure.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 31-12-2010

Top Story

Living in the Pilbara and having seen the statue of Red Dog in Dampia its great to finally hear the story, a great way to pass a few hours highly recommended

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sally Filler
  • 29-05-2015

Great heart string tugger

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Great expansion on a true story/outback legend. Very good writing makes the story come alive and fills in the blanks with very believable details. Makes the story really come alive.

What did you like best about this story?

The way the author portrayed Red as an independent "thinker" "walk about" dog. I loved the human-dog interactions

Which character – as performed by David Field – was your favorite?

Well not really performed but of course Red

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Reds unfortunate and senseless demise....a real tear jerker

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  • Lookylukey
  • 04-08-2015

Enjoyable, especially if you like dogs

Nice story, I think everyone believes their dog is a bit like red dog; free at heart but knows where home is

1 person found this helpful

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  • R. Owen
  • 24-03-2016

OK for a freebie but glad I didn't buy it

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Although it was well narrated I felt that it was missing a bit of substance. I had to check if it was a children's book early on as nothing much seemed to happen in it.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The fact that the author had pieced together stories of this dog's life from word of mouth stories.

Which character – as performed by David Field – was your favourite?

The dog.

Could you see Red Dog being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

I understand that it has been. Maybe it is better than the book.

Any additional comments?

A bit of a disappointment for a book by this excellent author. I think I'll dig out Captain Correlli's Mandolin again for something a bit more engaging.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.