Drebbles's Reviews > Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog

Marley and Me by John Grogan
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Dec 22, 09

bookshelves: 2007
Read in November, 2007

After a little more than a year of marriage, John and Jenny Grogan decided to get a dog as a pet. They had no children and thought having a dog would be a good way to practice their parenting skills. They decided to buy a somewhat goofy Labrador puppy they named Marley. Marley, while full of exuberance and love, turns out to be quite a handful with his fear of thunderstorms, love of jumping up on people, tearing the house apart, and habit of chasing any object that moves. "Marley and Me" is a loving tribute to Marley as it chronicles his thirteen years with the Grogan family.

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".
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