Dogsbody, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (5 ratings)


A powerful being fights for his life within the body of a humble, earthbound puppy. Sirius, immortal Lord of the Dog Star and infamous for his quick temper, cannot believe it when he is falsely accused of murder and banished to Earth.

There he is reborn into the body of a puppy and learns that he has the life-span of that creature to recover the missing murder weapon.

If he fails, he will die. He is adopted by Kathleen, who has no idea that her beloved Leo' is anything more than an abandonded stray.

She is a loving owner, but an unwanted guest in a family who mostly resent her presence. Sirius soon learns that he has enemies amongst the humans as well as amongst the unearthly beings who sentenced him.

How on earth can he clear his name without his special powers?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic
  • ISBN: 9780006755227

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Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.

Review by

I read this book at first when I was nine years old and ten years later, I still really enjoyed it - it's my first ever favourite book as a child and it still hold my heart.

Review by

Sirius, the denizen of the Dog Star, is wrongly convicted of murdering another denizen and as a punishment is sent to Earth where he is 'reborn' as a puppy and given the life-span of that dog to clear his name.On Earth he's adopted by a young girl called Kathleen. DWJ does a fantastic job of showing us the world from a puppy's point of view and there were some laugh out loud moments as well as lots of cute ones (the personifications of the different dogs were hilariously accurate). But the book also deals with some more serious issues just as well, Kathleen is Irish and living with her aunt and uncle in England during The Troubles. Her aunt resents her and in exchange for being allowed to keep Sirius the puppy, Kathleen has to do all the housework which makes her tired for school and and easy target for some Irish jibes from her schoolmates. A great children's/YA book and I enjoyed it much more than the more well known Howl's Moving Castle. In typical DWJ fashion, the ending was.. unexpected. And made me cry.I'm torn between 4.5 and 5 stars but thinking about it again has made me bump it up to 5 stars. Highly recommended but why is this book not more well known?

Review by
Dogsbody was an adequate, but not an enthralling read. A mistreated stepchild takes in a stray dog that is actually a disgraced extraterrestrial bigwig with a mission. (It’s not tongue in cheek.)
Review by

I had heard about Dogsbody through recommendations from several people, but having not really been a huge science fiction or fantasy fan until the past few years (it was primarily suggested to me because I DID like animal fantasy) I put it off for ages. I was browsing at the library a couple of weeks ago and saw it on the shelf, and the recommendations came back to me and I decided to give it a shot. It's not a particularly long or difficult to read book, but that should not tempt you to confuse it for an "easy" book -- because it is, in many ways (structurally and emotionally) very complicated.Dogsbody follows the star Sirius (personified, obviously) after he is put through trial and condemned by the other celestial bodies for a crime he insists he did not commit. His punishment is exile to the planet Earth in the body of a dog, during which he will have the dog's natural lifespan to seek out and recover an item implicated in his crime and now lost in order to regain his position as the Dog Star. He is taken in as a puppy and cared for by a young girl who is struggling to persevere through some difficult life circumstances of her own. Sirius, at first, does not remember who he is, and throughout the course of the novel begins regaining his memories as he grows older and connects with other luminaries (the Sun, the Earth). As his loyalty to the girl grows, his quest begins not only to recover the lost item, but to protect his new friend's wellbeing from a variety of adversaries. He meets many charming characters and the story is wonderfully complex and fascinating. As you're reading you can't help but wonder at the mind of a person that was able to imagine such a beautifully rich and unusual world and someone manage to capture its intricacies within a relatively short book.Dogsbody is definitely one of my favorite scifi/fantasy reads of the year and is really probably one of the best I've ever read, especially within the YA genre. It was published in the mid-1970s and Diana Wynne Jones has since become more notable for other books she has written, but Dogsbody is a lesser-known gem that deserves attention and praise. I'll definitely be buying a copy for my permanent collection.

Review by

Quite enjoyable though a little young for my taste especially compared to Wynne-Jones' other YA novels. Interesting premise but ultimately overshadowed by the adventures of a celestial being stuck in a dog's form.

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