Animal Love · Book Review · Nonfiction

Marley and Me by John Grogan


Genre: Non-Fiction
Number of Pages: 289
Publication Date: October 18, 2005
Rating: 5-star-review out of 5
Themes: Loyalty, Man’s/Woman’s Best Friend, Love

downloadYoung newlyweds, John and Jenny, decide that their family needs something – a new addition. A sort of trial for when children come into the picture. Both have fond and endearing memories of childhood pets, so adopting a puppy seemed like a logical step.

When visiting a breeder, they find a litter of adorable Labrador retrievers and find one extra feisty little guy. The two are extremely excited and cannot wait to take their new addition home. But, when the little guy comes home, what they experience is like no other. Marley eats things he shouldn’t, crashes into almost everything, obedience school doesn’t work, and a fear of thunderstorms causes so much damage that it’s a wonder that the Grogan family don’t become poor.

However, through all the stress, there is one thing that Marley never falters with – his love and loyalty to his family. He is there through all the ups and downs of this young couple and, really, they could not have asked for a better dog.


There is not a thing about this book that I do not like. The author’s writing style, for one, is very inviting. He writes as if you and him are close friends and he is sharing part of his life with you. This is what I love about non-fiction text – when I get to know the author, through not just the experiences he/she shares, but the way the words are strung together.

The stories about Marley are precious and very memorable. Though not always pleasant, there is always one thing the author and his wife shares – their unconditional love for their rascally dog.

One of the aspects of this book that stands out for me is the actual laugh-out-loud moments. There are few books that have ever made me literally burst out laughing, but this certainly did! One of the moments that came up was when the Grogan family went out to dinner and tied Marley’s leash on the leg of their table. Him being a ninety-seven pound dog who really likes anyone and everyone saw something and ran after it…you can imagine the scene that caused in this outdoor restaurant as Marley runs off with a table dragging behind him. 🙂

With the moments of happiness, there are definitely sad ones here too. Marley’s fear of thunderstorms alone makes my heart ache. Our (calmer) dog is fearful of several things. Though she doesn’t tear anything about, you can still see the fear in her brown, expressive eyes. So, my heart went out to Marley each time his fear took over. There are definitely more sad moments here, but I’ll refrain from mentioning them, except the fact that I did cry.

Overall, the author wrote a wonderful book of an amazing (and a bit unstable) dog that captures how much love they shared for one another.

Absolutely! To anyone who understands the special bond a person has with his/her pet.

Marley and Me – the Movie

This book was also turned into a movie that my husband and I recently watched.

Marley and Me

Starring: Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston
Movie Length: 1hr 55min
My Rating: 8/10 stars

With every book-to-movie adaptions, I always question why certain things needed to be changed and/or taken out while others were left in. It was no different here. While I won’t go into too many specifics, I do wonder why this happens since most times the changed scenes are better in the book.

Anyway, the dogs that were used for Marley all did a wonderful job in capturing the craziness that I envisioned the lovable dog to have. I do feel they probably could have added a couple of more scenes to capture more of what the family went through, but I think the audience can still appreciate what insanity this one dog caused.

Aside from this, there was only one segment of the movie that I found myself rolling my eyes and didn’t really see why it was placed – it was just a string of words that Owen Wilson’s character rambled on and on to tell the audience what was happening in their lives as time passed. Honestly, some music and scene snippets would have sufficed.

However, the emotional piece here did hit me harder than the book. It might have been because of how well the actors did or even when Marley was featured. It could have been because my husband and I were watching it together and it felt more real this way. Or, it could have been seeing how the oldest son became choked up at the end. Whatever it may that caused me to get more emotional, the major thought of our little lab came to mind.

Here is our little lab, Zoey!

She will be turning five this year, so still fairly young, but thoughts of the future are always there.

A good adaption of the book and one that I’m glad I had the chance to see.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s