Review: Marley and Me by John Grogan

Source: Purchased
Publisher: William Morrow
Edition: Hardback, 291 pages
Genre: Nonfiction Memoir
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3/5

John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wriggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.Marley quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, and stole women’s undergarments. Obedience school did no good — Marley was expelled.And yet his heart was pure. Just as Marley joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. A dog like no other, Marley remained steadfast, a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit’s end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.

(Review): I ended up giving this a 3 out of 5. While I know people have raved about this book, giving it 5 stars and exclaiming brillance I found faults. The faults however do not lie in the story of Marley really, I can’t deny that by the end of the book i loved him, but rather with John and his wife. Call it simple dislike but I found them to be extremely stupid when it came down to things. They simply annoyed me, and if you are interested in why I’ll have a rant at the bottom because it may contain spoilers. But I digress, the book is written rather well as is expected from a journalist and at times you can see that shine through in the style. It flows nicely and the story progresses at a nice rate so you get a feel for everyone’s personalities. The story while not “original” as we all have our own lovable fur-children who have filled our lives with memories, it is heartfelt and singular. You can tell that the author put a lot of time and effort into portraying his friend as best as he could and it helps you to feel the emotions on the pages. You can also tell that he didn’t really embellish anything either, Marley was simply Marley and anyone who is a lover of animals and has a pet of their own can relate in some way. I loved Marley, and would have enjoyed having him as my pal. He’s super enjoyable to read about and you can easily see him bounding around and getting into trouble. The ending had me in tears though, not just for Marley but for those animals that I have known and had to said goodbye to. By the time I went to be, at 3 am, I had cried all the tears I could for one night but I didn’t regret reading it at all.

So overall yes, I really enjoyed it but being nonfiction the fact that I loathe the owners and one is the writer makes the rating take a hit. I do recommend it, but I don’t think I’d tell anyone to buy it unless they are a hardcore pet lover.

Okay so here is my rant *POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*

I really hate the owners, and even though I’m sure Marley loved them, I felt bad for him. First, they buy a dog (without doing research into the breed, without looking other places, without looking at BOTH parents) and then get upset when he isn’t the perfect well mannered ‘saint’. Of course they grow use to him but they don’t really get any wiser in the situation. Sure the research does come but it’s much later and by that point it’s moot, but they simply didn’t pay attention enough. If your dog is over active and is simply social out the wazoo with little control when excited one thing you probably don’t want to do is decide to take him to a dog friendly restaurant and try to eat calmly. It’s a no-duh moment. Towards the end while I was loving Marley more, there were times when I simply just didn’t like John and Jenny. I would think it an easy decision to stay home while my aging dog is clearly on his last few months, not take a vacation and stress him out by putting him alone in a kennel. I’d first and foremost blame them for the rushing of the dog’s death, sure that may not seem unfair but from my stand point it is. I hate the thought of my animals passing away and hate even more when I think about if they did it alone, which one has and I still regret not being there for him to this day. So I can’t see how anyone would take that sort of chance for a non-business or emergency vacation.

3 star

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