Fictional stories for adults with animals as main characters

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." Anatole France said it correctly. Our furry friends aren't just in our homes and hearts, they are in our stories of life and living.
Watership Down
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Watership Down

by Richard Adams

About the book:  A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for over forty years, Richard Adams’ spellbinding classic Watership Down is one of the best-loved novels of all time. Set in the beautiful English countryside of the Berkshire Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage, and survival follows a band of very special rabbits fleeing the destruction of their home by a developer. Led by a stout-hearted pair of brothers, they leave the safety of Sandleford Warren in search of a safe haven and a mysterious promised land, skirting danger at every turn. A book that resonates as vividly today as it did nearly half a century ago, this keepsake Oneworld Classic edition showcases more than twenty sumptuous, evocative paintings from Aldo Galli, an illustrator chosen by Richard Adams himself.

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The Call of the Wild
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The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

About the book:  The Call of the Wild is a novel by Jack London. The story is set in the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush—a period when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The novel's central character is a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog living at a ranch in the Santa Clara valley of California as the story opens. Stolen from his home and sold into the brutal existence of an Alaskan sled dog, he reverts to atavistic traits. Buck is forced to adjust to, and survive, cruel treatments and fight to dominate other dogs in a harsh climate. Eventually he sheds the veneer of civilization, relying on primordial instincts and lessons he learns, to emerge as a leader in the wild.

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White Fang
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White Fang

by Jack London

About the book:  Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. Visit us online at www.1stWorldLibrary.ORG - - Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean towards each other, black and ominous, in the fading light. A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without move-ment, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness - a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommuni-cable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.

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Black Beauty
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Black Beauty

by Anna Sewell

About the book:  Anna Sewell's much-loved and moving classic, told from a horse's point of view as Beauty undergoes a variety of experiences from his various owners - from loving and kind to brutal and cruel. Eventually Beauty lives out the rest of his days with a kind owner. Beautiful edition of a much-loved classic.

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Animal Farm
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Animal Farm

by George Orwell

About the book:  Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." This 1945 satire addresses the socialist/communist philosophy of Stalin in the Soviet Union.

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Quest for the Faradawn
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Quest for the Faradawn

by Richard Ford

About the book:  Deep in the ancient forest that the creatures called the Wild Wood amid the scented bracken and towering beeches, there were whispers of a legend whose ending was lost in the mists of time. It told of a heroic journey and a saviour destined to possess the secret power of the Faradawn. And so it came to pass, in the time of man's great war, that a human child brought the legend to life. Sensing, without knowing why, that it must begin a special, magical guest, he journeyed through the magical kingdoms of the world, his path filled with awesome marvels and strange terrors, his story a celebration of love, courage, and all that is brightest and best in life.

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The Art of Racing in the Rain
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The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Garth Stein

About the book:  Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man. A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.

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Jonathan Livingston Seagull
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Jonathan Livingston Seagull

by Richard Bach

About the book:  Now, for the first time ever, a new complete edition ebook original of a timeless classic that includes the never-before-published Part Four and Last Words by Richard Bach. This is the story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules…people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves…people who know there’s more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than they ever dreamed. A pioneering work that wed graphics with words, Jonathan Livingston Seagull now enjoys a whole new life.

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Firmin
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Firmin

by Sam Savage

About the book:  In the basement of a Boston bookstore, Firmin is born in a shredded copy Finnegans Wake, nurtured on a diet of Zane Grey, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and Jane Eyre (which tastes a lot like lettuce). While his twelve siblings gnaw these books obliviously, for Firmin the words, thoughts, deeds, and hopes—all the literature he consumes—soon consume him. Emboldened by reading, intoxicated by curiosity, foraging for food, Firmin ventures out of his bookstore sanctuary, carrying with him all the yearnings and failings of humanity itself. It’s a lot to ask of a rat—especially when his home is on the verge of annihilation. A novel that is by turns hilarious, tragic, and hopeful, Firmin is a masterpiece of literary imagination. For here, a tender soul, a vagabond and philosopher, struggles with mortality and meaning—in a tale for anyone who has ever feasted on a book…and then had to turn the final page. NOTE: This edition does not include illustrations.

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His Majesty's Dragon
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His Majesty's Dragon

by Naomi Novik

About the book:  When the HMS Reliant captures a French ship and its priceless cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, Captain Will Laurence is swept into an unexpected kinship with an extraordinary creature and joins the elite Aerial Corps as a master of the dragon Temaraire, in which role he must match wits with the powerful dragon-borne forces of Napoleon Bonaparte. Original.

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Three Bags Full
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Three Bags Full

by Leonie Swann

About the book:  A witty philosophical murder mystery with a charming twist: the crack detectives are sheep determined to discover who killed their beloved shepherd. On a hillside near the cozy Irish village of Glennkill, a flock of sheep gathers around their shepherd, George, whose body lies pinned to the ground with a spade. George has cared devotedly for the flock, even reading them books every night. Led by Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in Glennkill (and possibly the world), they set out to find George’s killer. The A-team of investigators includes Othello, the “bad-boy” black ram; Mopple the Whale, a Merino who eats a lot and remembers everything; and Zora, a pensive black-faced ewe with a weakness for abysses. Joined by other members of the richly talented flock, they engage in nightlong discussions about the crime, wild metaphysical speculations, and embark on reconnaissance missions into the village, where they encounter some likely suspects. Along the way, the sheep confront their own all-too-human struggles with guilt, misdeeds, and unrequited love. Funny, fresh, and endearing, it introduces a wonderful new breed of detectives to Canadian readers. From the Hardcover edition.

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Dog on it
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Dog on it

by Spencer Quinn

About the book:  I could smell him - or rather the booze on his breath - before he even opened the door, but my sense of smell is pretty good, probably better than yours. So begins this fabulous, funny new detective novel featuring Bernie, a slightly down-at-heel PI; and his off sider, Chet, a dog - and the captivating narrator of the story. Chet may have flunked out of police school (I'd been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn't remember exactly, although blood was involved), but he's just as much a detective as Bernie - superior, sometimes, in his insight into human foibles. In Dog On It, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who's definitely gotten herself mixed up with some very unsavoury characters.

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Timbuktu
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Timbuktu

by Rudolph R Windsor

About the book:  Meet Mr Bones, the canine hero of Paul Auster's remarkable novel. Bones is the sidekick of Willy G. Christmas, a brilliant but troubled poet-saint from Brooklyn. Together they sally forth across America to Baltimore, Maryland, on one last great adventure, searching for Willy's old teacher, Bea Swanson. Years have passed since Willy last saw his beloved mentor, who used to know him as William Gurevitch, son of Polish war refugees. But is Mrs Swanson still alive? And if not, what will prevent Willy from vanishing into that other world known as Timbuktu? 'In this brilliant novel, Auster writes with economy, precision and the quirky pathos of noir, addressing the pernicious ubiquity of American consumerism, the nature of love and the core riddles of ontology. Above all, though, this is the affecting tale of a special dog's place in the universe of humans and in the fleeting life of a special man.' Publishers Weekly

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Sight Hound: A Novel
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Sight Hound: A Novel

by Pam Houston

About the book:  In his endeavor to teach his human, Rae, about the power of love over fear, wolfhound Dante simultaneously impacts the lives of Rae's housekeeper, her therapist, two veterinarians, anxiety-ridden actor Howard, fellow dog Rose, and Stanley the cat. By the author of Cowboys Are My Weakness. Reader's Guide included. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.

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The Black Stallion
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The Black Stallion

by Walter Farley

About the book:  First published in 1941, Walter Farley's best-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old. This book has been selected as a Common Core State Standards Text Exemplar (Grades 4-5, Stories) in Appendix B. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

by David Wroblewski

About the book:  A contemporary retelling of Hamlet of stark and striking brilliance set on a farm in remote northern Wisconsin.

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Horse Heaven
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Horse Heaven

by Jane Smiley

About the book:  A novel set in the world of thoroughbred racing follows a group of owners, trainers, jockeys, gamblers, and "track brats" on a two-year journey through the racing cycle.

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I Am a Cat
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I Am a Cat

by Soseki Natsume

About the book:  The shortcomings and pretensions of individuals in Japanese society during the Meiji era are viewed through feline eyes

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The Silent Sky
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The Silent Sky

by Allan W. Eckert

About the book:  This nature novel, by following the hatching and lifetime experiences of the last know wild passenger pigeon, chronicles the life, natural history, and ultimate extinction of this species which was once the most abundant bird species in North America. The last wild bird was killed in 1900; the last captive bird died in 1914.

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