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

A Book Review of Marley & Me

marley and me book cover

Perhaps one of the best-known modern tales about dogs, Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan is a heartwarming book about a lovable but incorrigible Labrador named Marley and the family that loves him. Grogan shares a very personal story about his life and how a certain dog came along and changed everything. Marley & Me tells a beautiful tale that most dog owners can truly relate to.

About the Book

Marley & Me is the autobiographical tale of John Grogan and his rambunctious Labrador Retriever, Marley. As a young pup, Marley is adopted by the recently married Grogans. It seems almost like a "test run" at parenthood. What they end up getting is far more than they could have imagined. Marley is thick-skulled, wild, and full of antics. Grogan tells the tales of Marley's mischievous handiwork with witty humor and realism. If you are the owner of a Lab (or many other dogs), you may find yourself flashing back to your dog's younger days of naughty behavior. The stories will make you cringe and laugh at the same time.

Grogan also shares Marley's sensitive side. Despite his sometimes boorish behavior, Marley connects with his family on an emotional level, feeling the pain of life-changing tragedies and celebrating the birth of children with gentle glee. Marley is a part of every aspect of Grogan's life, whether minor or major.

Though lovingly dubbed "the world's worst dog," Grogan realizes the value of his unruly pooch and shares his touching story with the world.

Impression of Marley & Me

If you are an animal professional or seasoned dog owner, there are moments in Marley & Me when you may have some criticism for Marley's inexperienced owners.

Marley lacks discipline, flunks out of obedience school and wreaks havoc on the household. However, Grogan's honesty is impressive. In hindsight, he admits the things he could have done differently. This is the true experience of so many new dog owners who are naive about dog ownership and its responsibilities. It is a constant learning experience, and Grogan paints this picture quite realistically.

Perhaps the most poignant aspect of Marley & Me is Grogan's ability to describe the beauty of the canine-human bond with such candor. As dog lovers, we have intense bonds with our canine companions. We connect with them on such a deeper level than most non-pet owners can comprehend. Grogan captures this beautifully, putting into words what so many of us have felt for our own dogs. While reading this book, you may be moved to tears. Sometimes it may be out of sadness or empathy, but other times it will be simply because you are laughing so hard.

Marley & Me is overall an enjoyable read. The story is heartwarming, entertaining, honest, and informative. This book is recommended for just about any adult or young adult, but it is especially appropriate for dog lovers and those considering becoming dog owners.

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