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Beautiful Joe by Marshall Saunders
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Beautiful Joe (1893)

by Marshall Saunders

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» See also 36 mentions

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Joe was a mixed-breed dog owned by an abusive man who brutally chopped off his ears and tail. The dog was rescued by passerby who heard his screams, and taken into a home full of kind people obsessed with animals. The book is not really a story of Joe's life, but a collection of tales about other animals as they are related by various human characters in the book. Joe listens to a lot of conversations, and reports on them. The stories all press morals about being kind to animals (including wildlife), about training them properly and shunning abusive methods. Lots of short tales about dogs, horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and other livestock. It is pretty sentimental overall, and the book tells its age- women are not yet able to vote in this story, anyone who doesn't attend church is considered "awfully wicked", Pasteur is alive and well in France... On the whole, the city is shunned as an evil, dirty place and the countryside and farm life extolled throughout. It is clear from the introduction to this book that it was written in response to the overwhelming popularity of Black Beauty, in the hopes of raising awareness to the suffering of other animal species and extending goodwill to all.

more at the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Nov 30, 2014 |
Beautiful Joe is the story about an abused dog who finally finds love and a home. It is very emotional and hard in places for a dog lover to read, but it teaches an important lesson in kindness towards animals. It is told from the dog's point of view, which makes a real impression. ( )
  aleader | Apr 11, 2014 |
I had previously read this book as a child, and was looking forward to reading it again.

Boy was I disappointed.

"Beautiful Joe" has a good premise (abused and mutilated dog finds kind home), but the human characters are too preachy, and the entire book is too preachy, all about how we should be kind to dumb animals. While I agree we should be kind to animals, that's the entire premise of the book, to the detriment of what could have been a very good story. The situations are contrived and feel "fake".

If you've read "Black Beauty", it's similar in some ways, but I have reread "Black Beauty" and not felt it was so preachy that I wanted to put it down. I did with "Beautiful Joe".

I have no plans to read this book again, and probably will give it to the local thrift store. ( )
  fuzzi | Feb 11, 2012 |
I read this book when I was in sixth grade, and it made more of an impression on me than most other books. I know the casual attitude I had to animal suffering was utterly changed by reading this book, and on the farm we saw a lot of animal suffering. To the extent I could after reading this book I tried to avoid such suffering by animals, especially by our dog and our cats. ( )
  Schmerguls | Aug 24, 2011 |
If you ever felt hard towards an animal or pet, this book will change and soften your heart.

I love the "stories within stories" writing style. I appreciate the practical and non-judgmental approach to the issues of animal rights and humane hunting, slaughter, and livestock farming that the story presented.

This is an excellent book. ( )
  yogiclarebear | Aug 31, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Although it was a good enlightenment on the cruelty of animals it was too exhortative. The story line was clean and well written but many paragraphs could have been excluded and the story would've still had the same effect; take care of your animals and they will return the favor in love and adoration. And those who treat their animals with cruelty and selfishness should be punished.
added by SilentVoice | editSilent Voice (May 16, 2010)
 
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"To George Thorndike Angell President of the American Humane Education Society The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Parent American Band of Mercy 19 Milk St., Boston This Book is Respectfully Dedicated by the Author"
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My name is Beautiful Joe, and I am a brown dog of medium size.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307122255, Hardcover)

This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:37 -0400)

A dog describes being mistreated by a cruel master but then later being taken in by a kind family.

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