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The Incredible Journey (1961)
di Sheila Burnford
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I figure, like a lot of 90s kids, I saw the movie Homeward Bound somewhere in the vicinity of a million times. I hadn't realized it was based off of a book (or a remake of another movie, for that matter), and I wish I'd read the book as a child. At this point the movie is a little too ingrained, and I don't know how unbiased I can be. Where are the Don Ameche, Sally Field, and Michael J. Fox voiceovers?
I don't think I can truly consider this book on its own without looking at the differences from the movie. It's unfair, but here goes. There's certainly very little light-heartedness here. The plot gets pretty dark and somewhat gruesome at times. Probably more of an honest look at survival, I imagine. (Though I didn't think it was particularly fair that the trio can kill animals for food, as can the humans, but a lynx is "evil" if it tries to.)
I also had a hard time developing an attachment for the three main animals at first. There's no real rapport built before they take off on their journey, so their adventures start without being invested in their safety. I actually had some disdain for Bodger at first (here he's the old Bull Terrier), though that did vanish entirely by the end of the book. And I'm still fairly indifferent toward Luath (the young Labrador).
However, the cat (in this, a male Siamese named Tao) made up for every qualm I had. He was SUCH a badass and WAY better than the movie version. I have no idea how the prissy Sassy was spawned from Tao, but, for me, Tao stole the show. What a pleasant surprise.
Independent Reading Level: Grade 4
Awards Given: Aurianne Award (1963)
What an incredible story! I first learned about this book years ago when I received the movie 'Homeward Bound' as a very young child, and later watched the original movie. I am only now getting around to reading the book that started it all, but I knew long before that it would quickly become a favorite! I wasn't wrong, it's just as good as I remember the movies being, and will be a story I look forward to sharing! An ageless tale about a trio of pets, and the longing they have to return home, to their owners, and to the people they love.
I’m revisiting some older loves, including childhood favourites, and remember devouring this book as a child. I freely admit I went through a phase of reading almost nothing but animal adventures, including this understandable classic. Although the references to using dogs as gun dogs were something I had to set aside then as much as now, the overall story of three animals overcoming adversity to reach home is one that touches many animal lovers, and remains unforgettable.
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Bantam Pathfinder Edition (FP106)
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Vlucht naar de hel; Een man in de branding; De verjaarssuprise; De ongelooflijke reis di Reader's Digest
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A Siamese cat, an old bull terrier, and a young Labrador retriever travel together 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to find their family.
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Sistema Decimale Melvil (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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