The story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life. Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.--From publisher description.
From the opening chapter, John Grogan had me in fits of silent hysterical laughter, describing behaviour that I recognise from my own personal experience of labradors, not to mention Marley's own incredible adventures (including jumping out of the window of a moving car, and taking a restaurant table for a walk). Of course, I knew what was coming - family and friends who have read the book warn of the sad but inevitable conclusion - but I really wasn't prepared for how close I had grown to Marley throughout 250 pages of mayhem, and had to save the last few pages until I was alone. To say I cried is an understatement. Yet it is worth braving the tears, because the real belly laughs come as John Grogan recounts some of the horror stories he received in response to his farewell column for Marley - I was still half blind, sniffing and dabbing at my eyes with tissues, but now I couldn't breathe, either!
An emotional read, particularly for dog owners, but really for anybody who has an ounce of sentimentality in them. Thanks to John Grogan - and Marley - for sharing.
The story of the problems Mr. Grogan and his family had with Marley were all to real. Every pet owner has moments of distress where they feel that they could give up their pet, but love always wins. I think that the antics of Marley were greatly detailed.
I became attached to Marley and felt the frustration, love, and compassion that Mr. Grogan felt for his dog. I would recommend this book to any pet owner, or animal lover.
What actually leaps out of the story is a wonderful portrayal of family life with this huge personality in its midst, a heartwarming tale of one dog from bouncy puppy to geriatric old dog. There is enough humanity to keep the book grounded, enough Marley to fill the whole with boundless energy. It made me laugh out loud, it made me cry so much I had to do some serious mascara damage repair, it made me think, it made me smile... I'm definitely a cat person, but Marley's personality won me over from the word go, with his fierce loyalty and sheer enthusiasm for life.
"Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things - a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty."
Beautifully written, full of hilarious anecdotes, and well worth a read!
A touching, engaging, and satisfying read. This started my love affair with dog books and novels.
What I liked best about "Marley and Me" is that it's the story of an ordinary family and their love for each other and their dog. The book isn't just about Marley; it describes the Grogan's struggle to have a baby and Jenny's post-partum depression when she does conceive as well as other life changes such as new jobs and moves to different cities. But the book is mostly about Marley and he certainly is a handful. Readers may wince at some of his antics and the destruction he causes, especially with his intense fear of thunderstorms, which ironically was rationalized when he was actually caught outside in one. At times Marley seems almost human, especially when he comforts Jenny after her miscarriage. Grogan's attempts to train Marley are very humorous, such as when Marley fails obedience school and when he literally drags a table he is tied to across a restaurant. Other times his attempts seem almost cruel, like the way he gets Marley to stop jumping on people. While reading the book I sometimes wondered why the Grogans kept Marley, the list of items they left with a dog sitter to take care of Marley was incredibly long and scary. John Grogan is a newspaper columnist and a gifted writer who makes Marley come to life on each page - you can picture him during his various antics. Speaking of pictures, the book is full of pictures of Marley, John and Jenny, and their children. The pictures of Marley look like they were selected with care and often match the chapter heading. And yes, the ending is a bit sad, but uplifting all the same.
Anyone who has owned a pet, especially a dog, should enjoy "Marley and Me".
Yes, Marley and Me is such a book. John Grogan writes it with wittiness and slight cartoonish exaggeration it sends you to chuckle if not downright roaring laughter. He also writes it from such a depth of emotion that you sometimes need some tissues around to wipe the tears of your cheeks. Marley and Me is a biographical book telling the story of a huge Labrador retriever named Marley, and his family, which started with a pair of young couple John and Jenny, and as the years go by added with three children.
Marley was not a perfect dog. On the contrary, he is, in Grogran’s words, a chewer of couches, slasher of screens and slinger of drool. Marley was not the smartest of dogs, he’s always hungry and loved to steal food. He crashed into things and was prone to mischief. He was once kicked out of obedience class. He was also neurotic and had a big phobia to storm, which would turn him into a home destroying machine.
However, John and Jenny are not perfect either. I say half of Marley’s problems are due to them, who, Grogan himself admits, are hapless, weak-willed masters. I’m sure Tamar Geller and Cesar Millan (both dog trainers with best seller dog training books) winced reading how they treat Marley. Too much love, not enough discipline. Which is why this book is so endearing. We see our dogs in Marley and we see ourselves in John and Jenny. We are not the only hapless, weak-willed masters in the world, and Marley and our dogs are in the same Bad Dog Club, belonging to which is now a source of pride. Yes they’re not perfect dogs, but they’re so full of love and so faithful, they’re there in our happiest and lowest moments, what more could you ask?
Throughout the book, John Grogan thoroughly describes key events in the 13 years he spent with Marley, his own life with Jenny, and their struggles with Marley and their children. It forces the reader to recall their own dog and compare their struggles to the Grogans’. My dog, a Black Labrador Retriever, died in 2008 as he approached his 10th or 11th year in life. He loved to chew and escape the house, a natural Houdini. After reading Marley and Me, I could no longer see him as a bad dog. He just had misbehaved. Marley, however, was a completely different story. he would eat jewelry, demolish a toy in seconds, and make decisions that led to a terrible outcome. Marley certainly was a handful!
As the story progresses, it becomes more sad and depressing because the Grogan’s are facing what all dog owners must face:old age. Marley begins to have arthritic hips, worn-down teeth, and becomes deaf. It is very emotional and detailed. The way John Grogan wrote it made me want to cry. I did, eventually. He told almost every detail that mattered from Marley’s adoption into the Grogan family to the moment he died, as well as the following weeks after his death. The author wrote about Marley fondly, painting images of Marley beautifully with descriptions of everything during the event. What I think John Grogan did best while writing this book was he not once said “I remember” or “recall” or anything that made the reader feel like it was in past-tense. He wrote like it was taking place at that very moment, a story, not a memory. I absolutely loved this style; it got me more involved and into the memoir.
There are many things that I wished had occurred in addition to the events, yet it is hard to criticize when what you are writing about is a memoir. You cannot control what is to happen or what the world looked like when it happened. You can control, however, HOW you describe it and WHAT you decide to set the tone to. In my opinion, these things are key to a memoir. You can write all you want about the event with a bored expression and with very little description and the memoir will come out boring to read. John Grogan successfully steered clear of these dangers, creating a book that is very elegantly written and an amazing and interesting read.
Marley and Me is an extremely hilarious, heart-touching book. Although it has very depressing parts at times, you truly feel the emotion coming from the author, John Grogan, as he recalls his beloved, crazy dog’s past.You haven’t lived until you have read the unforgettable memoir of Marley, a dog like no other.
This book focuses on the lighter side of Marley and even the darker issues that are dealt with.I laughed quite a bit especially when they took lovable Marley to the street cafe for a family afternoon out and the chaos that ensued. I held my breath as the family came close to giving him up, and teared up when Marley came to the end of his life.
My only negative was that I was a little perplexed over their dismay over how Marley behaved, every Labrador I have ever know has been a little nuts or more accurately a huge powerful dog with the mental capacity of a puppy. This book is "light & fluffy" and does not deal with the more serious issues raised in depth which is understandable the book is not about that it is about Marley.
People who have owned dogs will get the most out of this and will completely empathize with most of Marley's antics in fact you will probably find yourself thinking "I know a dog who did that". A really good read which I do recommend.
The book chronicles Marley's life, from puppyhood to creaky old age. While telling Marley's tale, Grogan also follows along with the story of his early marriage and growing family. Marley and Me is a good diversion - well-written, light, humorous - with a few life-lessons thrown in for good measure.
Passed it on to my mother to read.
We never made it past the entrance into the cages. Located on a table in the hall we caught the eye of one black hairy fuzz ball. The tail wiggling so pronounced we watched as the wire cage worked its way to the edge of the table. What an eager greeting and we hadn’t even been introduced yet. Keeper!
A more experienced dog owner might have continued past the black flurry of motion for a calmer more bumbling pup. A wiser person would recognize this behavior might not be the “peaceable kingdom” we foresaw. If we had known this energy ball would eventually redecorate our whole home with one feathery tail, being three parts Labrador and one part Springer, well…
Marley and Me by James Grogain is an outstanding book for dog lovers. People tend to place their beloved dogs in the category of sainthood once they pass. Grogain is no exception with his memories of childhood Saint Shaun, the dog who could do no wrong. Then he obtains Marley, the Labrador whose, “default setting was stuck on eternal incorrigibility.”
Marley maintains the same tail gyrating infliction that our puppy produced. In Marley’s case it is called the Marley Mambo and he is particularly active when trying to engulf a “not on the menu” item. Author Grogain goes into hilarious detail on the loss of a new 18K necklace from point of digestion to elimination.
Marley and Me is a surprise bestseller, number two on the New York Times list, and steady. Who knew the “world’s worst dog” would be held in such high esteem? This is not the idealized dogs of Willie Morris’ My Dog Skip or Jack London, but a down and dirty, roll in the stench, mistake-laden mess.
This book makes a perfect read-aloud for children and/or elderly parents. The book presents a great opportunity for dog owners all over America to reflect on “man’s best friend.” We all really had a dog more like Marley than Lassie, sometimes it is just hard to admit.
Editing aside, it's a book for dog lovers, or those debating whether to get one. You'll laugh and cry. Blah Blah.