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Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Memoir

By Grace O’Reilly

Originally written and published in 2005, Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog was written by the author John Grogan.  It was published by Harper Collins in the US and by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK.  Since the original book was written, the book has been made into three separate books, entitled, Marley and Me: A Dog Like No Other; Bad Dog, Marley which is a picture book for children learning to read; and A Very Marley Christmas.  It has also been made into a film starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston in 2005, and was received well.  John Grogan is a journalist and wrote this book as a tribute for and about his yellow Labrador who he adored and loved, and of his mischief and adventures over a thirteen-year period.

Within this autobiographical book there are photographs of the real Marley and he is also featured on the books original cover, since some covers have been updated with the film’s photograph, but in my own opinion, if you have the choice, if you are going to read about the real Marley, have the real Marley on your cover.  This happy and loved dog looks cheekily at the camera.  Marley was a running whirlwind of chaos and affection rolled into one.  To those who aren’t dog people they don’t get the bonds and attachment that humans have with their canine family member, not to mention the place in both the family home and within their human’s heart.  They don’t realise how when they pass away, that the grief is just as unbearable as if they had been indeed a human being.  The older I am getting the more that I can see that no person can ever be as loyal as a dog who is in his or her forever home.

The book is written in a conversational style and in first person narrative.  John said that when Marley passed away and he wrote his eulogy to his special boy in his column, that the eulogy for Marley received more responses than any other column that he had ever written professionally in his career to date, at that time.  I think what makes the original book so authentic is that Grogan is completely honest with his approach in his writings, making the book more relatable to not only readers but those who don’t read a lot but are huge dog lovers.

The blurb at the back of the book reads,

“The heart warming and unforgettable story of a family and the wonderfully neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life.”

Definitely not a book to be read without tissues and plenty of chocolate or ice-cream.  There will be tears of both laughter and grief, but it is a book not to be missed.

(c) Grace O’Reilly

Order your copy online here.

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