The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog

ByW. Bruce Cameron

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
leila mikaeily
I have been a fan of Mr. Cameron's for years, so I can say, with all honesty, this is his best work ever. It tells the story of several different Neanderthal tribes, and how the first dog came to be. It is enchanting, enthralling. I can't stop thinking about it, and that is rare. If you love dogs, and history, and imagination, then this is a must read for you. Mr. Cameron is a gem among writers.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
alison cantrell
Terribly disappointing story! Very little was about wolves and the first 10 chapters were just filled with sex scenes.... only wolf described in detailed is just stuck in a cave with a broke leg nursing pups!!!! Not a fan at all and I would never recommend this to a dog lover.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I love books about dogs and early history of man. This book was entertaining on both fronts. The wolf parts felt realistic and the paleo history was rich and supportive. I sure hope there is a sequel or two or three..........
It's Just A Dog :: A Love Again Novel (Love Again Series Book 1) - The Ticket :: The Story of Arthur Truluv: A Novel :: A Piece of the World: A Novel :: Emory's Gift: A Novel
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
dereck coleman
I think this author had a great idea for this book. I wish he could have developed the idea more .unfortunately he spent to much time talking about the love life of cave men instead. I wouldn't recommend it.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sanjay c
Might have worked as a very short story. One for children. Very little of the book was spent on the relationship of wolf to man and instead ran in convoluted circles about various and assorted caveman tribes with every individual, particularly those who nothing to do with the plot (as vague as it was) being named.

Sophomoric writing that should have never gotten past a critique group of any worth.

Sadly disappointing. I really wanted to love this book.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I can't follow this book. He did so great with the others, I though this one would be great too. I tried so hard to read it. I finally made it half way through & then gave up. It kept jumping around & I could NOT keep up.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nancy enge
This story was a surprise....and a VERY interesting one at that ! I thought it was about the beginning of man's partnership with dogs,
back when the wolf was the ancestor ... like many other wild animals that became "friend to man" thru the contacts made in
both's struggle to survive .... I began thinking I had stumbled upon an author whose story was not what I anticipated and was
drawn into a fascinating tale of what could have been the contact between man and wolf that led to our world where mankind has
benefited from this partnership such that maybe half the television ads we see contain a dog....also we recall that in politics it was a belief
that if a president had a dog, he was perceived as a good person ... not always true I think, but close. How can a dog love a
human who is not a good person? We know that there are bad people who mistreat them and yet a dog can be
we who truly love dogs say they teach us about "total unconditional love"
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
gallagher308comcast net
Terrible! I bought this based on the reviews BUT it really was terrible. I kept wondering if I was reading the same book as the 5 star reviewers. The only good part is the interaction between the man and the wolves which is a small fraction of the story. I skipped most of the chapters.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
husam abdullatif
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I love the "clan of the cave bear" series, and what could be better than clan of the cave bear, with wolves? However, I couldn't get over the way the wolves were portrayed. As anyone who has studied lupine and canine behavior knows, dogs did not evolve from wolves, but both came from the same proto-canid. And the wolf behavior in the book appears to be taken from the original, flawed studies of wolves in the late 40s and farther on where they appear to be constantly battling for dominance. Those studies were flawed because they were studies where a bunch of wolves were captured from different packs and put together in a contained setting. That lead to dominance wars and "alpha" type behavior. Modern studies of wild natural wolf packs, starting only about 16 years ago, have shown that a pack is in fact made up of two parents (a mated pair - the "leaders") and their offspring. Eventually some offspring wander off to start their own packs as they age, some staying with the parent's pack. Natural wolves dont fight for dominance in packs, any more than you'd fight your parents for dominance of the house. A wolf will just leave to start their own pack when they feel ready. I would hope that any author who wants to write about wolf behavior would study enough to know this. In fact, the creator of the term "alpha", L. David Mech, doesn't even use it anymore and has retracted most of his previous wolf behavior studies.

But the image of the "alpha pair" fighting to maintain their dominance over the rest of the pack is so ingrained in our minds that its hard to get rid of.
And books like this dont help
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mukesh devadiga
I found this ambitious novel to be well written but ultimately disappointing. I believe its main flaw--a fatal one, for me--was its apparently unconcerned use of anachronism. Several descriptions and even the character names themselves revealed that the author (did I say he does write very well?) had not bothered to do some very basic homework and was not, in fact, deeply embedded in the faraway time and place he sought to bring to life.

Of note: "telegraphic" is a strange way to describe something in a point-of-view novel set thousands of years before the telegraph was invented. The character name "Urs" (short for "Ursus Collosus") made me cringe. What on earth is a character doing with a Classical Latin name thousands of years before Latin or anything like it even existed? He may as well have been named "Henry Smith!" And furthermore, why is "collosus" not even spelled right? These may seem petty concerns, and in a highly cinematic story they might be easily overlooked. "The Dog Master," however, aspires to be more than just cinematic; it seeks to invoke a time and place far removed from the here and now, and to do so thoroughly, deeply, and originally. These aspirations make its numerous anachronisms very distracting and ultimately stand in the way of suspension of disbelief.

I so wish the author had availed himself of one of the many excellent books on Indo-European culture and language (The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World, 2006, comes to mind), rather than making sophomoric guesses that ultimately deaden the story's bright ring. I hope the author's next book moves within his area of talent--which is his ability to narrate an exciting story--and leaves the prehistoric epic to others far more qualified.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
paul pichugin
not like his other dog novels like a dogs purpose and journey but set in the ice age era more about the interaction between tribes , men an women then about the beginning of human/dog relationship. a horrible read, may throw it out! he should stick to the subject and style of his other books
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
taymaz azimi
Interesting, but easy to put down. For my taste, there were way too many characters and wolves The story lines for each of them seem to jump all over the place. Just when it would start to get interesting everything would turn to another clan and a different set of problems.

I wanted to like this book because I have so enjoyed all of Mr. Cameron's other books. However, this time it was a "miss" for me.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lonnie ezell
The literary equivalent of apple juice. Sweet, goes down easily, doesn't actually do you any good.Kind of cute. To quote another review, yes, reads like a romance novel with wolves. It was a cute, engaging story, with prehistoric characters having remarkably modern viewpoints and complex vocabularies. I especially like that the same individual invented cave painting, singing, and haircuts.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
nathan boyack
I was really looking forward to this novel since I so enjoyed the author's previous stories, but I was really disappointed in this book. There was an innocence and kindness to the previous stories that was totally lost here. The story line was good but it jumped back and forth between timeframes and was a bit hard to follow. It also seemed strange that such primitive beings spoke perfect English. I'm no prude but did not care for the detailed descriptions of sex between many of the characters - the feelings and motivations could have easily been understood without the detail - it detracted from the story completely. Hoping for a better book from this author next time.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
zachary shinabargar
I'm not sure what the motivation might have been when Mr Cameron was crafting his story line, but I can tell you one thing. It was not dogs!
I'm a fan of his earlier work and sadly, this can't hold a Milk Bone to A Dog's Purpose.
Too much detailed sex! Too little "dog mastering!" It's SUCH a departure from his previous writing style, I'm really feeling betrayed here, and I just hate that I feel that way, but I do.
Oh and yes, the dialog, while certainly helpful in explaining motivation of these cave people, is just as believable as cell phones in a book about the old west.
I just don't get it. It does skip around, and honestly that's not a problem if you really love the story, but unfortunately I did not.
The importance given to the sex scenes really cannot be stressed enough here. It permeates this story and nearly drips from the pages like, like, well you know.
I'm sure that cave people needed to poop and pee and pick their butts and noses as well, but hey, is all of the sex detail of such importance the story really would not hold up without it?
The author is capable of a greater story than this, but he chose the tawdry boob shot to sell more pancakes I guess. Like I said, I just don't get it.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I have always been a big fan of Bruce Cameron's books, especially A Dog's Purpose. It was by far the best---one of my favorite books of all time, and I am a fairly constant reader. I was very disappointed by this book. It didn't pull me in during the first few pages, but a lot of books are like that. I've learned if I just hang in there, the book will eventually get better and better. Not this book. I did give it a fair chance. I forced myself to again hang in there, so I read quite a bit of it until I just decided that it wasn't worth it. I purchase a book usually to entertain me. Why was a forcing myself to read something that didn't do that. It was work just to force myself to continue. The story was like it was written for kids, not adults, but it wasn't sold that way. I saw were a lot of people gave this book 5 stars, but I just can't do it. It would be dishonest.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laura cavallier
I could hardly wait for this book to be released. I loved A Dog's Purpose, and have read all of W. Bruce Cameron's books. My taste in reading is somewhat eclectic. My curiosity was peaked from the first chapter. I was thrust into the story which drove me into a reading frenzy. I gulped this book down. I took chunks of it, and devoured them, yearning for more. My eyes could not keep up with my brain and hearts demands, and I was forced to put the book down to get some rest. I was realizing that this book was reminiscent of two of my favorite books, A Dog's Purpose, and Clan Of The Cave Bears. I was hooked. Refreshed, I again, dove in and when finished I licked my fingers clean. It was succulent. The characters evolve, and hold you fast to them. The round about way the story weaves between them, you gasp when the hidden becomes obvious. With the rise of the plot, the tissues came out, just as a great book demands of you. This might be W. Bruce Cameron’s finest work. If you loved A Dog’s Purpose, you will feel as if you are cheating on it, when your new love is now The Dog Master.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jenny reeverts
Interesting story. I was most interested in chapters with Dog the wolf and his evokution. Disappointed not to be able to let my kids read it. Both my kids adore A Dog's purpose and sequel. Where A Dogs Purpose was so innocent in content, this book has several sexual descriptions of humans mating.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
alison giese
I normally don't write book reviews, but rely upon them in making book purchases. Consider this a warning if you're thinking of buying this book. OK, where do I start?
This book borders on the ridiculous. Paleolithic teen angst mixed with misinformation about canid behaviors. Wild suppositions about the human characters' vocabulary and thought processes. Completely unbelievable. I kept wondering if there was any research done before writing this story because there's no real evidence of it.
There's no plot thread and the timeline jumps around a bit too much.
This book makes "Clan of the Cave Bear" look like a cultural anthropology text book. The author should stick to his sappy dog books.
Why did I give it 2 stars instead of 1 you might ask. Because it's not the worst book I've read, but it comes pretty close. Save your money and time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
W. Bruce Cameron has done it again! Move over Moby Dick and Call of the Wild, there's a new classic in town. I understand many of you will think this is quite the stretch, but I'm very serious in saying this book is destined to be among the classics. W. Bruce Cameron (quickly becoming a favorite author, in fact I think he's already there) has written a brilliant novel in "The Dog Master." It is hard for me to begin to even describe the experience of reading this book; I just want the whole world to read it! It is the fantastic story of the first dog, the relationship to man, and how the whole love story started over 30,000 years ago. The "Wolfen" are a "creed" who follow the wolf, worship the wolf, study the wolf, and follow the wolf so the pack will lead them to food. The "Kindred" are a creed who live by "the hunt" and struggle to survive; the men and women of this creed are so well written you love some and really, really hate some others. The "Cohorts" are the mean guys; the 2 creeds don't want to "mess with these dudes" but, you know they will have to eventually. The story moves back and forth between different years (summers as the Kindred call them) and the lives of the 2 different creeds throughout these years. Wonderful, rich characters exist in both; you find yourself totally caring about them and running back to the book to see what happens next, it is a page turner. I say picture little pieces of Clan of the Cave Bear, Watership Down, Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, Follow the River, The Red Tent, The Yearling, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Dances with Wolves (just to name a few) and you have "The Dog Master" ~ a masterpiece. I urge each person reading this to get a copy of this book because I can't put into words or describe the journey; it's unforgettable. W. Bruce Cameron, until we meet again in the chapters of your next book, I bid you "Good Summer" and "All is Good"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah h
Although I didn't enjoy this author's past two books nearly as much as A Dog's Purpose and A Dog's Journey -- which I consider to be two of my all-time favorite books -- Cameron's The Dog Master has me, once again , considering him to be one of my favorite authors. While I found A Dog's Purpose And A Dog's Journey to be more-emotionally charged books, The Dog Master, for me, is much more expansive in its scope; and it in many ways reminded me of Jean Auel's The Clanf Of The Cave Bear.

Without summarizing it's plot, I'll just quote from the the store Description provided above to, hopefully, give you enough of a sense of what The Dog Master is about to enable you to decide if it is a book you might want to read -- that is, "it is an evocative glimpse of prehistory, an emotional coming of age saga, a thrilling tale of survival against all odds, and the exciting, imaginative story of the first dog."

The Dog Master is a book I'd highly recommend...and not just to dog lovers. Actually, while wolves (one of which becomes the first dog) are central to the book's tale, the primary focus of The Dog Master is on a few clans of nomadic people. And Cameron does an excellent job in dimensionalizing the large cast of characters that live within these clans so that the reader comes to develop strong feelings and opinions about them. Of particular interest to me is the character, Mal, who is responsible for a wolf becoming the first dog, and, of course, the wolf itself that becomes "Dog." I think you will find that several of these characters will stay in your mind a good while after you finish the book.

Unlike many books I read, my attention level while reading The Dog Master never waned, remaining in high gear from beginning to end. As such, I never wanted it to end - but the good thing is that it seems highly likely that Cameron has a sequel planned. If that is the case, I will be one of the first to get a copy; and I think you'll feel the same way if you decide to read The Dog Master.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
wendy b
I originally chose this book because of my love for dogs and thought it would be interesting to hear someone’s take on the evolution of these amazing creatures we share our lives with. I was also curious about how someone would write a “novel of the first dog” because it seemed to be a rather challenging topic to approach. After a few chapters I found myself amazed at the job W. Bruce Cameron did with telling a story like this. Not only did he do an incredible job in proposing a theory about how a wolf became the first dog, but he also wove a story full of characters that I got emotionally attached to and whose lives I felt I was a part of.

The Dog Master starts off with a modern day professor who is interested in discovering how the first dog came to be and it transitions into a story that takes place 30,000 years ago. The story can be viewed as either the professor’s theory or as what the actual historical account is, which the professor nor any other human will ever know about. There are several tribes introduced, each of which has different lifestyles, views, beliefs, etc. and some even harbor hostility towards one another. The story goes between different narrations, one of which is of a man who discovers an injured mother wolf and pups and how his bond with them grows and how he helps to usher the first dog into existence. Throughout the book the narrations of different characters become intertwined with one another and form one cohesive story which takes us through the evolution of a wolf to the first dog.

In the beginning I was a little overwhelmed with all the characters that were being introduced and I was concerned it would become hard to keep track of everyone. That was not the case. Cameron did a brilliant job of making each character memorable and I was easily able to transition from one character’s narration to another. He was also able to portray the point of view of the wolves perfectly and made their thoughts believable and showed them as being intelligent and sharing similarities with humans such as reasoning, instinct, and emotion. He forms bonds between humans and animals through similar experiences and shows that we really are not much different from one another. Cameron starts by showing us the evolution of the first dog but what becomes noticeable throughout the book is how he is also showing us an evolution in humans. As wolves grow to become the first dogs, people also grow to become more accepting of other humans and animals and we see that not only did humans teach animals but that animals also taught humans. Cameron quotes Dr. Temple Grandin by using his famous line “animals make us human.”

This is a book that once you finish it you wish you were still reading it. It pulled me in from the beginning and by the end I was frantically reading with tears welling up in my eyes because of my urge to know what was going to happen and what the outcome would be for the characters, both human and animal, that I had grown to love. I also want to give credit to Cameron for his Afterword in the book where he brings us back to reality and makes us stop to think about the drastic evolution of wolf to dog and the magnitude of it all. He also cleared up any little instances in the book that I was curious about, such as why the language of the tribes was so understandable and similar to modern English (which I won’t give the answer to, you will just have to read to find out!) Cameron puts the overall idea of the book perfectly when he states “The Dog Master is a work of fiction based on an indisputable fact: dogs are our companions, their fates inexplicable bound to ours.” As I said in the beginning, I originally chose this book because of my love for dogs, but it ended up to be more than just the story of dogs. It is also a story of humans and humanity and the bond we share with an animal that has grown from being a companion to being a part of our families.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mark peyton
The very first dog, changes the course of human evolution. A Fateful Game Changer on steroids! This is Cameron's best book yet. He gives the reader a glimpse into the Wolf soul, dating back to 30,000 years ago. During the Upper Paleolithic era, humans struggled to survive in a brutal landscape of the last impending Ice Age . A prey vs. predator relationship evolves into a remarkable bond between one masterful man and the wolf he transforms into the first dog. Respect, mutual trust and friendship evolves: interspecies love, between "Mal" and "Dog". A gripping tale is woven against the backdrop of daily survival in a hostile world. When a domesticated wolf is named "Dog", the friendship is fatefully sealed. We are given unique insight, into understanding the Wolf's perspective. Does she follow her instincts or her Master's commands? Man and Dog protect each other. They are Best Friends! Dog looks forward to praise and food received for doing a good job. Excerpt from page 386: "Dog did as she was told. Her urge to obey him was stronger than any other instinct. It gave her purpose." Having read all of Cameron's books, it seems he has set the stage for a sequel to "The Dog Master" with the final words of this novel: "There were no dogs, and then there were dogs. What happened next?"
Arlene Millman
Author of "Boomerang - A Miracle Trilogy"
"Forever Love and More, Encore"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ashley dusenbery
When I bought "The Dog Master," I was initially disappointed at its length because I didn't think I'd be able to finish it in one day. At this point in my life it's difficult for anything to trap my attention for longer than 20 - 30 minutes, as I, much like my dogs, am constantly distracted by shiny objects and squirrels. However, I resolved to spend a lazy Sunday fighting off a cold, in bed with the book I just bought last night. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I began reading; more of "A Dog's Purpose," perhaps? But this book was something even better, and I didn't think that was possible. As a lover of history and dogs, this book was able to satisfy two of my deepest interests at the same time. It is simply riveting, from beginning to end, with enough time in between the heart-wrenching, tear inducing parts for me to dry my eyes enough to continue reading. I am simply fascinated with the masterful way (no pun intended.....ish) Mr. Cameron's imagination wove a story into a prehistoric timeline that was both compelling and believable. I appreciate the way he used recognizable domestic canine behavior traits when describing the behavior of the ancient wolves, and of how often those reminders made me reach over and pet my own Boxer-wolves as I turned the pages. I will most likely read this book again, not only to find out if there was anything I missed the first time around, but also to simply step back again in time with our ancestors and relive the first time a furry creature curled up next to us by the fire. Thank you, Mr. Cameron, for what is certain to become yet another must-read for dog lovers everywhere.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
elizabeth manning
This is a short story,(or barely a novelette) pumped up to 400+ pages. The dog master's story is interwoven with his backstory (the pumped up extra stuff). The backstory concerns the lives of primitives in their families and tribes (creeds in the book) who hunt, quarrel, and, in the author's word, fornicate, mostly the latter. I guess this latter is to show whence the dog master came. Once the dog master enters the story in the guise of a newborn to an appropriately miserably sad mother, who he is soon becomes clear. Ho hum.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
zach milan
The Dog Master A Novel of the First Dog, was sort of more amateur written version of a Dog's Purpose's opening dog character, but set in the time of cave men, where this time a pregnant female wolf has dragged her injured self into a cave to escape a prehistoric lion after it killed her mate. A caveman comes across her in the cave, he's there to kill her cubs but can't bring himself to do it while she's alive so gives her food every now and then. I think you can work out where that small part of the overall storyline goes. Most of the book however revolves around various individuals in an Indian style tribe (is that really accurate for cavemen era?), who are stuck in a game of internal conflict, who will be tribe leader? Who will be the lead hunter? As that's who gets the best women. A dying tribe leader announces to his son that he will be marrying his sister when the son naturally doesn't want to do that and wants to marry another. Of course other males also wanted to marry the sister. Then you throw in a mother of one of the characters who cares little about her son's happiness to marry (marriage back in caveman days by the way?), the female he wants, because she has done a deal with another woman so that woman won't challenge for her position on the circle of women of whatever it was, the deal is that her son will marry that other woman's daughter. Obviously he wants to marry someone else he finds much more attractive who is of lesser social status. Really it's pretty ridiculous stuff. If you've ever seen an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful, imagine that show happening amongst American Indians (they're supposed to be European cavemen but act like American Indians do in fiction novels based in pre European settlement of North America).

There are some chapters as mentioned revolving around the wolf's point of view. Both through the eyes of the wolf in the cave, as well as through the eyes of her cubs, as well as through the eyes of a young female wolf who has been driven away from the pack, who has two males who have joined her. These wolves spend a lot of their pages being hungry. If you were expecting A Dog's Purpose from a wolf's point of view novel, you're going to be pretty disappointed.

If you haven't already done so definitely get yourself a copy of A Dog's Purpose.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicholas cox
As an author, I can appreciate the joy, angst, self-doubt and exhaustive effort poured into the written word to publication process. I admit that I'll give every book I review at least 3 stars or I'll not review the book. However, for a book to rate the 5 star level of excellence, the author must "wow" me.
W. Bruce Cameron did.
His characters lived in Ice Age Eurasia 30,000 years ago during an historical timeline and circumstance conjectured but not proven by paleontologists. His story asks the timeless "what if" question that links human survival to the domestication of wolf to dog. His mastery of storytelling compels the reader to an acceptable answer and a reasonable, believable conclusion and leaves the reader pondering yet another significant evolutionary question.
I selected this book, remembering how much I enjoyed Cameron's "A Dog's Purpose." I read the inside cover synopsis and put it back on the shelf. Twice. Tales of tribes struggling to survive with spears and clubs are not my cup of tea. My anticipation of another good read by this author, and curiosity about how the descendants of my rescued huskies evolved from hunting humans to sleeping peacefully by my side, proved stronger than my reasons not to read "The Dog Master."

I'm so glad I accepted the author's invitation to explore this world he created and once again marvel at the mystery that is Dog.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I made it to page 381 and finally gave up. Very little about the first dog and what there is gives me no feeling the author has any special knowledge on the subject. Mostly it is a never ending soap opera among two "cave people" tribes, their marriages, infidelities, loves and rejections. Who cares? I get no feeling the author really knows anything more about the subject than most of us. One star is probably too high of rating.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anna karras
In some ways this is what I was hoping Dorothy Hearst's Wolves books were going to be. Not that her books weren't good. I liked them all and definitely enjoyed the first one.

But here I found the relationship between wolf/dog (it is kind of a transitioning I guess) much more compelling and interesting to read. It was richly emotional for this dog lover and yet never felt too contrived or manipulative. This is a dog lover's book without being the cloying puppy at a Budweiser Farm commercial. Some of the adventure aspects are a bit predictable. But the narrative flows so smoothly and even the predictable elements of the book end up fitting just right. Cameron weaves his story in a way that still surprises even as it delivers as promised. Heck it is so well written even cat lovers might find it enjoyable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maggie abeyta
I loved this book. Cameron has written an intricate and detailed story about the first man to domesticate a wolf. Of course it is fiction, but the story feels authenticate enough to convince the reader that those precise circumstances could have presented themselves. Differing factions, wandering tribes, a boy born with a defect and considered cursed, a wolf lineage grown accustomed to the proximity of a tribe that feeds rather than hunts them; yes I bought it all. The story is compelling, the characters completely interesting, and everything woven together beautifully. I couldn't put it down and now am sorry that I finished it. I will be recommending this book to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
very interesting theory explaining the mystery of dogs and how they became our friends and helpers... very enjoyable writing style as well... in the beginning i had some difficulty getting over the fact that people from 30,000 years ago were talking using the modern language, but i just accepted it as the modern author was telling his story for modern readers... and then he explained it himself in the afterword, as he believes that people of that time were able to connect to each other using their own means and address complicated concepts using whatever communication vehicles they had then... you know the feeling that you have when a good book ends? well, it certainly helps to know that there will be a continuation of this fascinating story... the story doesn't end, it just takes a pause... anxiously waiting for the sequel(s)!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
oh you
I picked this book up after reading and LOVING A Dog's Purpose and A Dog's Journey.

The tone of The Dog Master book was far different than Purpose of Journey, which I expected. I found I had a little bit of a difficult time getting into it as historical fiction is not my favorite, but it was definitely an interesting read.

As much as it was fiction, it felt very believable, and it was very interesting to me to be able to understand how dogs may have been domesticated. I found myself really enjoying the parts written about the first dog, and remembering when I was earning the loyalty and trust of my own dog.

I also struggled a little bit with keeping all of the characters straight, and keeping the different tribes straight, but the more I read the more it all made sense to me. Overall the characters were likable and relatable as much as historical tribes can be, and the villains were just as awful as you want a villain to be.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
As a dog lover, I've read "A Dog's Journey" and "A Dog's Purpose". This book was different. The central characters were people, with a wolf playing a supporting role. Mr. Cameron's admittedly speculative ideas about human life in prehistoric times managed to keep my interest throughout the book. In the end, we learn, that people 30,000 years ago weren't that much different than people now. As I read the book, I couldn't help but think that the book had the makings of a good movie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Stayed up all night finishing this - haven't done that with a book for a long time. Cameron taps into his inner primitive here, making us realize how fragile and vulnerable we humans are, and yet how brave and resourceful we can be and often are. I often wonder how it must have been for the earliest humans, and while nobody can really know what our early predecessors felt, believed, experienced; the fears and anxieties that we still suffer today date back, I believe, to the ancient fear of being cast out of our tribe, or pack; and the fear of being hunted by large predators and fellow humans from other tribes. Read this book for a thrilling glimpse into what might have helped shape us, and our relationship with dogs.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This novel reminded me of Clan of the Cave Bear from the 1980's. Prehistory novels are ambitious and creative! This story included how man linked himself to dogs or vice versa. The novel was beautifully written and still it was tricky keeping up with the characters. The story revealed itself slowly. It was interesting. I wish there had been more dog and less of the life that was led by the players. However, this was a good book and one I would recommend to dog lovers. This novel was given to me as a gift. I hope you read it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rakesh nath
I discovered this by accident. The title caught my eye. My self-assigned nickname is Dogmom, afterall.

Like most dogs, The Dog Master sheds. This novel sheds a brilliant, painful light
on a dark chapter of human history.

If you love dogs, read this book. If you are not intetested in dogs but are a human being, read it. Give yourself the provovative gift of imagining, "What if the human-dog bond really happemed as Mr. Cameron proposes?"
This is a novel, not science, but the research is sound. Like all good novelists, Mr. Cameron makes the reader think and feel. Laugh and cry. and celebrate our
connection to our furry helpmates.

Novels like this make me worry. What if I had never read it? What if I had never glimpsed the world man inhabited 30,000 years ago? What if I had missed this powerful story? My appreciation and empathy for both man and dog would be diminished.

Don't miss it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
milo douglas
This book is truly amazing, but before I get into my review you must know 2 things about me. I LOVE dogs and I don't really enjoy reading books, I would much rather watch the movie. My family and I have 5 dogs. We started out with one dog but couldn't have just one. I began reading dog magazines, trying to learn everything I could about dogs. Unfortunately they didn't give me enough information on how to care for my dogs. Not necessarily care for them, but I wanted to do more than just HAVE dogs. Since my only knowledge came from magazines I didn't get very far. I began looking at books, moreso on specific breeds and dog training. One day while at the library I came across a book called A Dogs Purpose, I checked it out not really knowing what it was about, but the title itself said everything. Of course I just HAD to know what a dogs purpose is! It wasn't at all what I expected. It was outstanding and heartwarming! So, long story short, I only read books by W. Bruce Cameron. He is the only author who has been able to keep my attention. Cameron has a creative mind that is truly remarkable. I was so excited when I heard a new book of his was coming out! While reading it I told everyone what a great novel The Dog Master is. Now that I am finished with it, I would like the world to know how I feel. This book is more than a 5 star book! I would give this book 10 stars if the store would let me!!! I found it unbelievably hard to put down. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time! I found myself weeping for the characters, cheering for them, and sometimes wishing for their demise. The writing of this book is so exceptional that I could literally picture what was happening. I was taken back in time thousands of years ago. I could see it frame by frame in my mind. The humans and the animals, just trying to survive. I felt what the characters were feeling, and saw what they were seeing. My heart swelled as two unlikely species came together and eventually became a family. I hope someday that this novel becomes a movie! My husband suggested to me, maybe it will be a mini series. Either way, I am ever hopeful to see this on the big screen. I am also hoping that Mr. Cameron will write a sequel to this novel as I am dying to know what happens next. Currently, I am in the process of reading it again, I loved it that much! My suggestion is, don't pass this novel up. Read it! Then read it again, because you will love it just as much, if not more the second time around.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Oh my goodness, friends! This book... I loved A Dog's Purpose, but I adore The Dog Master! Granted, my genre is canine literature (wink), but Cameron weaves the most wonderful tales with dogs as their centerpiece but not as the total sum of the story. I will concede to one prudish opinion that I could have done without all the sexy scenes in this book, but that is just me. To be honest, it is what made this book so convincing. I am so missing some of the characters now that I am finished. I sure hope that I get to find out more about Silex, Mal, Calli, and Lyra... not to mention Dog. It definitely felt as though is was left open to a sequel... one I would gladly read. I don't think you'll be disappointed that you read this one!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Bruce Cameron is one of my very favorite authors. He has exceeded expectations with Dog Master. This is a page turner and he has written a beautiful story about how the "first dog" (i.e. wolf) might have become domesticated which was the turning point for the evolution of modern Homo Sapiens. Fascinating novel. He writes so beautiful and has crafted a wonderful story of how it may have all started. You won't be disappointed in this book! I have read most of his books and they are all keepers. Can't wait for his next book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david diuco
If you are looking for a sure thing, THIS IS IT! What you have been searching for, A GREAT BOOK, an EPIC book! A book that as you are reading it you can visualize another time, another place and you are drawn into that world. This Book plays in your head like a movie as you read, you can SEE an ancient time and people. Who wouldn't want to see a huge beautiful WOLF, or a WOOLY MAMMOTH? I'm thinking NATGEO style movie! How many times have we all read a book and finished it just because we felt like we should even though it wasn't even that good? The only reason you don't want to finish this (or any of Cameron's books) is that you don't want it to end. You want a sequel, you want to see it on the BIG SCREEN. It's about time movies were made from great books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The Dog Master is a very good read for those of us who are historic fiction lovers. I would have given it a 5 star rating but it is a bit hard to follow in the beginning. Stay with it and you will be glad you did. If you like this novel try the one about the first people to ride horses by David Mallegol. It is a three book series called the Bronze Horsemen; Adventures of the Bronze Horsemen and Hunt for the Wolf Clan.. see reviews on the store at 4.7 stars
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I really did not want this book to end. Very similar to Jean Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear series, which I also loved. The story of Mal and Dog held my interest from beginning to end. A plausible explanation of the evolutionary process of the relationship of humans and animals; from predator and prey to friend and companion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jiwa rasa
I really enjoyed A Dog's Purpose and wanted to read all of Cameron's books. This one was very different from the light-hearted Dog's Purpose. I really enjoyed the attempt to present a viable story for how the first "dog" was domesticated. I felt a connection with the main characters and liked the way Cameron developed them (including the wolves). I would not recommend this book for teens due to the sexual scenes in the book (sex and rape). While it took a few chapters for me to get pulled in - I found myself reading at stop lights and disappointed when the light changed from red to green, because that meant I had to put the book down. I also declined to play tennis one morning because I wanted to finish reading the book! I am looking forward to reading more of Cameron's books.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sakshi gopal
An interesting imagining of how the relationship between humans and canines may have begun. The humans' stories are interesting in their own right - reminiscent of The Clan of the Cave Bear- with different tribes at different stages of cultural development. Not great literature but an interesting premise in an enjoyable story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ryan quillian
I'm a huge dog lover and have read "A Dog's Purpose" and "The Dog's of Christmas" so I knew this was going to be great. I had just started discovering Bruce Cameron's books when a friend gave this to me as a birthday present. As soon as I started, it was finished in 2 days. The story is amazing and really gets you thinking about our history and relationship with dogs. After reading some of his novels, I look at my dogs with a whole different perspective and love them even more for it. I didn't even know that was possible :D
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chad nelson
I loved this book! Now I hate that the story has ended (for now?) and Dog, Mal, Silex, Callie, and more are not a part of my daily routine anymore. Yes. I can read it again. Yes. I probably will. It just doesn't make the story continue any further along no matter how many times I read it and THAT is what I am already missing. This book is about much more than "just" dogs. I do not think of them as "just" but some people do and feel that a book about them is only for/can be enjoyed by "dog people". Do not let that misconception fool you. This book is for anyone interested in human history, archaeology, nature, relationships between people, relationships with animals, and cultural roles. Extremely well written and painstakingly researched, it truly is a must read for fans of this author or anyone looking for an entertaining, educational, page turner. Highly recommend!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zack brown
As a worker in a humane society, this book was recommended to me several times. Now I'm glad I took that advice! It reminded me somewhat of the Clan of the Cave Bear series, which I enjoyed, and every time I put it down, I found I was anxious to get back to it. To me, it seemed a plausible explanation as to how wolves evolved into the companion animals we know today, with the beginning and ending set in modern times and the majority of the story taking place in the far past.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is absolutely the best book ever. I actually was sad when I finished it yesterday. I always was interested in history, But being an animal lover, this made this book exceptional to me. The only other book that even came close was Rin Tin Tin. I hope the author will have a Dog Master sequel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
arthur mitchell
I just finished The Dog Master. It took me the longest of any book I ever read, except maybe when I was 5 and had to read all my words out loud, pointing at them with my little index finger. Why did the DM take me so long to read? Because I LOVED IT SO MUCH I would only allow myself 3 - 4 pages a night before I went to sleep so it would last as long as possible. I LOVEDLOVEDLOVEDLOVED this book. And of course, I cried, as I do for most of your books W. Bruce Cameron . But in a good way. Now I love my "little wolf" (my 18 month old mini Goldendoodle) all the more for thinking of his ancestors. You've topped your self with this one Mr. Cameron! You took your readers to an entire other time and place .I NEVER expected to enjoy being in prehistoric times that didn't include Fred, Barney, Bam-Bam and Peebles and I DID more than those guys. Thank you Bruce for a most amazing read. (PS: I've read everyone of W. Bruce Cameron's other books and loved them all. If you've never read anything by him, don't hesitate - order all the books NOW!)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
avril somerville
Okay, I could go on and on about this book. I could talk about the incredible, moving stories within the book. I could also talk about the suspense. Or the beautiful way this story is told. Or the connections you build with the characters. Or about the tears (happy) that flowed.

Or, I could just tell you to buy the book. So, that is what I will do.


Hopefully that (^^^^^^^^) will convince you. No? I'll try again.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The genre of books, prehistoric fiction, is one of my favorites and I have read quite a few different authors, Jean Auel, William Sarabande, Sue Harrison and the Gears to name a few. I thought this book was awesome. Loved the story, the characters and especially the wolves. Mr. Cameron's other 2 books, A Dog's Purpose and a Dog's Journey are 2 of my all time favorites. I have just found the third.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ganta rakesh
A Knowledge of Jean Auel's "Clan of the cave bears" series hovered in the background of my mind when I first started to read "The dog master" but I soon realised that "the dog master" was a book with its own integrity .. Bruce not only did an amazing amount of research for this book but made it his own with the compassion in each chapter that I have come to know after reading all of Bruces books, you may not need the tissues as handy as it with "A dogs Purpose" but I challenge anyone not to have a tear or two along the way.....(Well done Tucker for giving Dad the power to write another beautiful book)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
It was OK, the beginning was so so, dragged in the middle, but the last 20% was good. It's the same author as "a dog's purpose" about a reincarnating dog. Haven't read that one though and probably won't as a dog dying all the time might be a bit depressing.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
melissa doyle
I haven't even finished it yet but I have to comment because I see where its going - nowhere. Loved A Dog's Purpose (even saw the movie) but this is nothing like it, so I'm disappointed. Even with the title "The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog", this book has hardly anything to do with the first dogs (the whole reason I bought it). Should be called "A Caveman Soap Opera". At the end I'm hoping he ties in more about wolves and human connection leading to the dogs we have today, but I'm not expecting much. He sprinkles a page here and there among the hundreds but I still feel deceived by the title.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
salman bahammam
A meticulously researched and utterly fascinating look into the long standing and passionate friendship and love that flows from one end of the leash to the other. Truly a classic! You will not forget this book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
molly grube
I loved this book. Unlike A Dog's Purpose and A Dog's Journey, both of which are wonderful books, this one is told primarily from the viewpoint of the people rather than the wolf who became the first dog. I found the story compelling and thought provoking. I recommend it highly.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I really wanted to like this book, but I had to make myself finish it. It just didn't ring true to me. I also found it jarring that the
author goes back and forth between two sets of people who have virtually nothing that sets them apart. I was halfway through the book before I realized that there were two groups and the only reason the author had for doing this was to create the ending he wanted, which was obvious at the end of the book.He also gives his characters a vocabulary containing words that many people today don't use routinely, so I felt seriously doubtful that anyone 60,000 years ago would use them, ie. 'pronunciation'. Really? People living in caves and wearing animal skins would routinely use the word 'pronunciation'. Its not an uncommon word, just not a word that most Americans use in everyday conversation. And what I disliked the most was that the relationship between the man and the wolf didn't occur until the end of the book, so I had to read almost 350 pages to get to the part that caused me to pick the book up in the first place.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
There was only one thing I did not like about this book. The way the story line jumped back and forth constantly between diff clans, characters and the constant overlapping of time. Otherwise, was an excellent story and would have liked to have had more of it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a must-read! It's been a long time since I've read a book that I *simply can't put down*! The characters were so real, and I cared deeply about them, both human and canine. I hated to finish it--Mr. Cameron, you simply have to be writing a sequel. You are, aren't you? Aren't you? Loved this book!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sonam mishra
This was a surprise , my first book by Cameron , I thought the the three ot four story lines were all well developed and interesting. No spoilers here , but if you like survival stories and love dogs , read this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Well written and provides a thoughtful insight into what life may have been like during those ancient times. Sometimes veering a little bit too muchinto a Paleo lithic Peyton place it is nonetheless a solid read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alok das
I have been a big Bruce Cameron fan from the first time I read A Dog's Purpose and A Dog's Journey, I feel both were artfully written. After you read books you consider have high artistic value you have high expectations for what comes next, usually and most often you are left down. In this case we have another great read with a completely new story line, incredible creative mind. This book takes you back in time and you can imagine being there as the story plays out. Will read again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Good book, could not put it down. It gave me a better understanding of wolves and I am all the more passionate in defending them to wolf hunting and trapping that is going on here in Minnesota. I love W. Bruce Cameron's books. I think my favorite is still A Dog's Purpose and I just learned it will be made into a movie and cannot wait! I also recently re-watched the move A Dog Year from Netflix based on that book. I am addicted to dog books and movies and look forward to more in the future from this author!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sara perle
This is a "never put it down until the end" book! As usual, W. Bruce Cameron captivates us with this great story. LOVE thinking of how our beloved companions started this Journey with us. A MUST READ!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
joanna marie
Age Recommended: 14 and up

The story begins in present time where Dr, James K Morby, a mortician and a professor, learns that his hypothesis about the first dog has been proven true. He meets with the people who made it all happen and everything is perfect until an intern raises a question about who the man is that was buried with the dog.

The story now melts into the past where it starts to center around some tribes in the ancient world…

Silex is a man of the Wolf people, also known as the Wolfen. His father is the leader, but when he passes away, the responsibility will be on Silex’s shoulders. However, there are many who would want his place. His father decides to solve this problem by declaring Silex the leader and telling him that he must marry. The only problem? Silex must marry his sister. And he loves another.

Callie and Urs are lovers and they have promised each to the other. However, when the leader of their tribe, the Kindred, decides that Urs should marry, he is not able to choose his wife. Urs is made the master of the hunt and he ends up marrying the most beautiful woman of the tribe, Callie’s best friend.

7 years later

A man saves a wolf and her cubs from a lion and risks his own life to save them all. The wolf soon learns to trust this man but none of them know what the future has in store from them.

How these three stories eventually connect will astound you.

For the full review, and mroe young adult book reviews, visit [...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
burrow press
I have read almost all of W. Bruce Cameron's books and I finished The Dog Master last night. BRILLIANT!! What a fantastic story!! I loved the beautiful bond between Mal and Dog! Thank you for writing such a wonderful book! :-)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ronzella rattler
I could not put this book down. Though heart wrenching at time, life was not easy in this time period!
I was not expecting to love this but even after I finished it I find myself thinking about it. That does not happen often or ever. Highly recommended!
I think I'd read this one again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mindi vento
The Dog Master, as in all of Mr. Cameron's books the reader is drawn in from the first page. It's as if he himself is the animals/people he writes about. It's writing from the heart and soul. There are twists and turns in The Dog Master and leaves us wanting more. If The Dog Master is the first book you've read of Mr. Cameron's you'll find yourself wanting to read all of his other books too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Another incredible, wonderful absolute must read by W. Bruce Cameron! I could not put this book down! It had my attention from the first page to the last! If you have ever loved a dog then this book is a must read!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
tammy salyer
This is like reading FOUR HUNDRED pages of "Alice went on vacation with Bob ten years ago, Carla won't sit next to Alice's mother-in-law, Carla and Dave like to hunt reindeer but not together, Bob is Carla's step-grandson from another tribe, what is Dave's relationship to Alice?" If that's your idea of a good read, then go for it. I lost interest long before the dog showed up.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
danielle rae
The Dog Master I got the advance reader copy ( I think that's what is called) lol. Anyways I loved this book it took me awhile to read this one. I loved it and I do recommend it. All of his books are amazing
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lashaun jordan
Another fantastic book by the wonderful author W. Bruce Cameron. I could not put it down. I read it cover to cover in two days. Just like all of his previous books. Absolutely love this Author and can not wait for his next book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Had to read this one after reading "A Dog's Purpose". I am reminded of the writing of another favorite author- Jean Auel. Loved the fictional historical drama of early man and his adventure in taming the first pet wolf/dog!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book is OUTSTANDING !!!
I love all his books, but this is my favorite. I respect the research that had to have gone into it to base the time, the human existence and status of life, the wolf behaviors. The flow of his writing and story line is exceptional. Tremendous story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Amazing book by an amazing author! THE DOG MASTER is a page turner from start to finish. W. Bruce Cameron really zeros in on the heart and minds of our canine friends as he weaves the heartfelt tale of the first dog and how the wolves saved humanity. The story is a mystery, a love story on many levels, and is an intriguing take on life so many thousands of years ago. A must-read! I am keeping my fingers crossed that a movie is made of this terrific story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
drew c
How astonishingly wonderful this book is, and how it 'roped' me into it's mesmerizing tale. I love the names of the groups, and I myself feel Kindred to dogs. I understand how the Wolfen and Mal both feel at the look from wolves. The intensity they would feel staring into the eyes of such beings. I am the director of a shelter, and our neighboring animal control actually had a wolf hybrid dog (85% wolf) - and too look into this animal's eyes was amazing. We all enjoyed the ancient beauty and thankfully he was saved and sent to a Wolf Sanctuary in Ohio. I hold this book in high regards, and enjoy the different direction W. Bruce Cameron​ went with it. And cannot wait to read a sequel to this (as I know we will all be begging for one). The complexity with which he writes, combined with the emotional tugs, are just fantastic.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
seonaid lewis
I stayed up till the wee hours with this book, I couldn't put it down. It had everything: hot hunks, cool hairdos, loyal pets, scary bad guys, an evil witchy woman, descriptive scenery....a fantastic read!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I absolutely loved "A Dog's Purpose," and looked forward to reading "The Dog Master." But I was bored within the first 10 pages or so. I tried to read more, but I realized that this book just doesn't interest me. I found the pace very slow and painfully boring. I like Mr.Cameron's writing, but this one just didn't do it for me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nancy wilson
A very creative story about how early man could have tamed the first dog. The characters are mostly believable, and the challenges they face from their surroundings and each other are quite realistic.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Was one of my favorite reads of all time. I've read several of Cameron's books in the past and am reading another right now. After I finish the Dogs of Christmas (bought the ebook after reading a few chapters sent to me in my email as a teaser) I will move on to Ellie and the Repo books (also purchased as ebooks). I love this author!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeanna morgan
Dog lovers will treasure this inspired imagining of when wolves and humans first bonded. I'm including my review on The Huffington Post.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patricia marshall
I loved this book and am hoping for a sequel or, better yet, multiple sequels. Someone already coined this but it truly is a cross between Jean Auel's Earth's Children series and The Art of Racing with the Wind. A must read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chelcie heggs
Bruce Cameron does it again! If you love dogs read it! If you don't love dogs you will when your done! I have not been this thrilled with a book since " A Dogs Purpose" get it and enjoy it is well worth the time
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Great story. I loved the characters and even disliked a few. It was a fun and sweet concept as to how we came to have dogs as pets. I think I cried at least 3 times during this story. Thank you for imagination.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I really wanted to like this book because I reeaallly like dogs (and wolves!), but the story was so ridiculously unbelievable to the point of being quite disconcerting. For starters, I just could not get past the modern-day language and sentence structure being used by these prehistoric characters! I understand the need for using a creative license here, but it was completely off-putting for me for the duration of the entire book. Second, the wolf-human relationship was just so....annoying to me. Despite what the author says in his afterword, I just don't buy it. A wolf is not domesticated over night (or even over a period of a generation or two), it happens mostly by selective breeding over a number of generations. The portrayal of the wolf pup was laughable and almost insulting to the wild and primitive nature of these animals. The fact that the author consulted owners of "pet" wolves as part of his research is a shame in itself and I feel does a great disservice to the animals. Overall, a real disappointment.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
melissa jones
I purchased this book on Kindle based on all the great reviews however I am so disappointed. This book reads like a bad romance novel with wolves. The characters are not believable, the author has little understanding of the period of time he is writing about, and the story line is typical of a cheap romance novel. I'm about half way thru this book and I can't bring myself to pick it back up it's that bad. I kept reading hoping it would get better but it just got worse. Sorry. I expected so much more.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
With a title like THE DOG MASTER, one would expect W. Bruce Cameron’s latest novel, a tale of the first domesticated canine, to feature the bond between said animal and his lucky companion first and foremost. Instead, he delves deeply into the doings of two Paleolithic tribes, excavating fascinating human machinations amidst a deadly Ice Age.

Cameron plays fast and loose with his timeline, flickering back between an anthropologist in the present, a time 19 years in the future --- when an unknown young man rescues a mother wolf and her pups from a lion --- and the past, in which two separate tribes struggle to survive. The Wolfen are the most compelling, since, as their name suggests, they have close ties to wolves. In fact, they survive by following lupine trails and honoring that animal. Glimpses into their life draw the reader in as tribe leader Silex forms a bond with one particular line of wolves.

The other tribe present calls itself the Kindred. Most of the human characters in the story hail from this group, but their intrigues aren’t as compelling as they might be. The youngest generation of the Kindred includes Calli, who desires to go behind Council Mother Albi’s back to wed her love, Ursu. Of course, spiteful Albi chooses to wed Calli to her own son, Palloc.

As Calli ages and gains wisdom, the reader finds her more relatable and sympathetic. This follows a pattern, as Cameron’s female characters in THE DOG MASTER could stand to be developed more thoroughly, except for an older Calli and Denix, Silex’s lover. Calli’s two sons, Dog and Mal, then take center stage. Dog is the golden child, but the schemings of the women’s council leads him down a dark road.

Born with a deformed leg, Mal faces a hard road in a hunter-gathering society, in which mobility and the ability to flee from predators is key. He’s far and away the most interesting character in the story, both courageous and one to be admired, but he only appears midway through the novel. Perhaps the author should have made the book only Mal’s story, as he is both the best-developed individual on the canvas and the titular “Dog Master.”

While THE DOG MASTER chooses to focus on the humans of the story rather than the canines referenced in the title, it still provides an intriguing glimpse into a perilous period in which the slightest change in climate could mean death for all.

Reviewed by Carly Silver
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I struggled to finish this book....It is a direct copy of Jane Auel's Earth Children series which is done so much better..the story plot was so similar I found myself comparing it to Ms. Auel's series. He should be ashamed of himself writing this.There was not much on the wolf-dog story...that is the only reason I continued to read it.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
binu kg
8 Simple Rules for making this a Readable Book

The author of the dog Master is also the author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter, the book on which the popular ABC television sitcom was based. The writing in this book still operates at a similar level so I am structuring my review in similar terms in an effort to show both Mr. Cameron and his avid readers where this book goes wrong and how it might be turned into something useful, because the topic is very important and deserves something beyond the potboiler treatment it is provided.
Rule #1: Don’t give your human tribes names that sound like (or are) the titles of mediocre to bad horror movies: Tribes in this book are named Wolfen and the Kindred. Another tribe is called the Cohort, apparently named after a Korean Rap Groups.
Rule #2: Have some sense of the way that real Academics function in the 21st Century. The first chapter about a contemporary university professor, describes some sort of bullying jerk who might have existed in the 1950’s, but in today’s world, his behavior would have him quickly removed from the classroom.
Rule #3: Try and understand what the lives and knowledge base of early humans would really have been like. On page 23 we are treated to the following: “”A flock of immense, hideously ugly birds, with deadly beaks and featherless faces, were pecking…He had never seen them before, but he supposed these were vultures. He watched their greedy plunder of the corpse for a moment, his lips twisted in repugnance.” This is not the way any early human would have thought. Instead it is the way a 21st century middle class American thinks. Vultures do not have deadly beaks, and their entire heads lack feathers. It is very unlikely that a member of a hunter gatherer group that probably engaged in some scavenging would never have seen vultures, and if he has never seen them why does he have a name for them? Finally, those who scavenge themselves do not twist their lips in repugnance at scavenging. More likely he would have driven them off and tried to salvage what he could because this is a fresh kill.
Rule #4 (related to Rule #3): Early humans did not have the morals, ethics, and thought processes of 21st century Southern Californians. Too many times in this book, characters react as if they were trying to decide what they wish would happen around their high school prom, rather than how to survive in a difficult, stressful environment.
Rule #5: The environment and its harsh climate were far more a danger than the predatory animals. These people were predators, they would not quake in their boots (or leather leggings) every time they encountered a predator.
Rule #6: Discovery Channel is not a good model for the ecology and behavior of predators and prey. Predation is a rare event and predators often fail. A corollary to this rule, predators almost never prey upon one another. No many how many shows about Predator Wars the Discovery Channel shows, this is a human metaphor with no relevance to actual predators, which are actually not all that aggressive in real life. If you want a more realistic view of this read almost anything by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, but start with Reindeer Moon.
Rule #7: Remove all of the teenage romance and high drama. There is no way a groups of hunter gatherers would accept a 16 year old as their leader, because this boy would have lacked the emotional and physical maturity to fulfill such a role. Also teenage girls may well have been pairing with men, but not with teenage boys. They would have wanted someone with experience, emotional maturity, and knowledge as their partners, and polygyny with a mature man would be preferable to pairing with an inexperienced male.
Rule #8: Learn something about wolves and their behavior. This book insists that they were aggressive, vicious killers. It is much more likely that wolves and humans hunted together for a long time before there was anything like a “dog”. Look at Pat Shipman’s The Invaders as a careful discussion of this theme.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This is one of the WORST books about the evolution of a dog/dogs ive ever read!
Really????? This is an awatd winniner? From the guy who wrote about rules to dating his daighter....gees this book sucks!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jennifer hord
This has to be the dumbest book ever written - and I am a dummy for picking it up. I am a true dog lover and am a sucker for any book or movie written about them - so when I saw this book coming out - I hurriedly pre-ordered it. I wanted to be the first person on the block to read it. What a joke!! I have read books by Mr Cameron before and though sappy - they are sweet. Of course this is all fiction and no one knows exactly how wolves became our best friends - but please, apply a bit of reality. IN MY OPINION - To have these humans who 15,000 years ago could barely manage speech - have these ridiculous conversations about love and marriage and infidelity is too much for me. I could not even bear to finish it. Beyond that - the writing is so bad. All this jumping back and forth in Year 1 , Year 4 - Year 19 - what the hell? Do yourself a favor and don't waste your money or your time.
Please RateThe Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog
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