Aug 23, 2007

Marley and Me

Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
by John Grogan

Columnist John Grogan and his new wife knew little about labrador retrievers when they acquired their first dog, Marley. Their entry into the world of dog ownership is full of challenges: flea control, obedience classes, dilemmas over neutering, and what do you do with a dog who eats everything: any kind of food item, sofa cushions, plastic toys, gold necklaces, etc. Marley crashes through screen doors, jumps out of car windows and wreaks havoc at the dog beach. His terror of thunder causes him to tear through drywall and rip up floors. In short, he is an incorrigible dog.

With a big heart. He throws himself into everything with all the enthusiasm he can muster, crashing "joyously through life with a gusto most often associated with natural disasters (p 279)" He is lovable, brave and silly. He comforts his family, protects them one moment and embarrasses them the next. I don't really think Marley is the "world's worst dog": he does things all dogs do, and is constantly forgiven his wild behavior, because of his endless benevolence and innocent doggy nature. When old age finally slows him down, there is no end of love extended to Marley.

Marley and Me is just as much about the ups and downs of a new couple as it is about a dog. The funny and poignant moments of family life with two small boys and a dog bring this book its laughter and tears. Marley will steal your heart with his hilarious antics, unflagging loyalty and selfless nature. A must read for animal lovers, especially dog owners. Grogan's fluid writing style, humorous asides and knack for turning a phrase make it a pleasure to read. I laughed out loud many times, and enjoyed this book immensely.

Rating: 4/5 ........ Published 2005, 291 pgs

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3 comments:

Framed said...

I enjoyed this book even though I am not a dog lover. It was funny and made me glad I didn't have to contend with Marley. Even so, I cried at the end. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

khat said...

Marley made me think of my dog Jake, a big black lab who was the love of my life for ten years. He was not destructive, but had the anxiety over storms or hunters near our mtn home, that Marley experienced. In fact, I don't think I read the last few pages about his death. Sadly, our canine companions just don't live long enough. Good book for dog lovers - you laugh, you cry and remember lazy days together.

Jeane said...

When I was growing up we had a large dog, Paige. She was terrified of thunder and would always try to squeeze under the desk if someone was sitting there, to hide. I have a cat now who gets nervous at thunderstorms and hides under blankets!