814 of 871 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2005
I just finished Marley and Me last night. I picked it up last weekend at Barnes & Noble as I was walking near the magazines. The adorable photo on the cover caught my eye....they had a display of the book out in the open. Being an avid animal and dog lover, I couldn't pass it up.
Needless to say, I devoured the book in two days. I loved it. To me it was so refreshing to see such commitment in another dog owner. I have always believed that when you adopt a pet it should be part of the family, and it is a lifelong commitment. You don't give up and get rid of them, just because of hard times or problems.
I applaud Mr. Grogan, and his family, for being the kind of people who love and care for their dog friends and for writing such a heartfelt tribute to his pal, Marley. Pets ask for so little and return so much.
I have had many dogs and I always get a kick out of the commercial on TV for a new ziplock dogfood bag for a certain chow...they use the expression "Dogs Rule". How perfect. There is nothing quite like having a dog, whether they have impeccable manners or not.
I laughed and I cried and I understood everything that Mr. Grogan had to say. I also live in Florida so I felt a special connection to the Grogans when they were speaking of the culture here and the thunderstorms--and how dogs hate them.
All in all, Mr. Grogan's writing is clear and interesting and down to earth. I couldn't put the book down. It is a joy.
I even went so far and to visit the website he has listed in the book. There was an email address to write to him, which I did, and I was absolutely amazed when Mr. Grogan wrote back to me three hours later to thank me for my nice comments.
Do yourself a favor and read the book.....you'll close it in the end and your heart will feel like it is too large to fit inside your chest.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2007
I bought this book really not knowing anything about it, but loved the title. I can honestly say this is one of the best books I have ever read, anyone who is a dog lover I am confident will agree. I laughed, I was touched, and I cried, oh boy did I cry!! I just related to this true story in a way I have never related to a book before, and I felt as though I had become part of the Grogan family in some small way. It is an easy read, but very entertaining, and most enjoyable.
62 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2005
I eagerly devoured this book and chuckled along the way but toward the end, found myself really disliking the author for the way he handled Marley's last days. He sets the reader up to believe that Marley is his buddy, his pet, his loyal companion and yet when the old dog's health is failing, he manages to head to Disney for a week AND even when he gets a call on his way home that Marley is near death, decides to leave the poor dog at the kennel another day. When Marley's hips get bad, Grogan's not there carrying him up the stairs but instead, calling to him from the top "come on boy!" as the dog makes a pitiful attempt to go up to be with his owners. There are several mentions toward the end of Marley being sent to a kennel and Grogan "waiting for the call." I don't know about you, but even I (a person who is by no means an out & out dog LOVER), wouldn't sell out my dog this way. I just thought he and his wife seemed kind of cold about it all in the end. I got a feeling this Grogan is an ego-maniac, not unlike other columnists I've read, like Mitch Albom. It all seemed a little self serving, like Grogan was taking notes on his life with the dog just to get fodder for this book...he knew if he wrote it, he could suck in all the dog lovers out there and make a tidy profit. I read my copy on a library loan. But anyway, cute book but sketchy author w/questionable motives.
39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2008
The only reason I read this book at all was because it was recommended to me by someone at the dog run as being a nice book about a dog. Below is my review.
As the proud owner of a large breed puppy who is not even 6 months old, I found this book offensive. The Grogans seem to have allowed every single bad habit and behavior to persist and then complained about it when Marley became a 90 lb adult Lab. They seem to have basically ignored Marley --- when I brought my puppy home, my whole family made a huge fuss about him and hung out with him and we had him sleeping in our bedroom (in a crate, of course).
Grogan just dumps this 8-week-old puppy in his garage and goes about his business as though Marley did not exist... some welcome home that is!
The obedience school instructor either was the worst instructor on the planet, or none of that really happened: a real instructor should first of all know how to control all sorts of dogs, should be ready for all kinds of craziness, and should attempt to communicate with the dog they are trying to train. But if this really did happen, couldn't they have just found another trainer who knew his/her business?
He made no effort to restrain Marley or confine him to a room, if crates were not the fashion then, and then complains to high heaven that the dog is all over the place.
The commentary Grogan spouted while he was taking Marley in to be fixed was perfectly disgusting. Also, the methods used to get Marley to quit jumping up on people, for instance, were also pretty offputting. Actually, "brutal" is a better word.
Last but not least, Grogan seems to take up a lot of the book talking about his married life (I'm being delicate). Why do we have to wade through this? The dog was a little rambunctious, and he also was mismanaged and unchecked, we got that, but the point of the book was the owners...?
Basically, the bottom line is, if you want to read this book, read it in the bookstore, or just get it out of your local library. Just don't buy it. It's pretty scammy.
Or, better yet, just take your dog for a walk... a nice long one.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2009
I saw this book many times at the bookstore. The book cover was so cute it just called out to me every single time. Finally I saw that the movie was coming out and at the same time I was in the process of buying a dog myself so why not read the book right?
It is actually very hard to make me hate a book but this book accomplished the impossible.
I was expecting the book to be mostly about Marley (since it is his picture on the cover and since it is HIS name first), but it isn't. It is more about the author than about the dog. Whats more is that on many occasions when the author would begin a sub-story that finally seemed to be expanding the description of Marley he would not finish it. It was as if they cut paragraphs out of the book and didn't bother to check its flow.
The book just kept loosing me on every chapter. I wanted to read about Marley not about what the hell was happening in Boca Raton in whatever year.
This book is just not well written. It does not have flow. It does not center on Marley enough. It lacks depth. I didn't even bother to finish the book because I couldn't stand all the mistakes, all the shortened stories.
I love dogs, in fact I am very much in love with my puppy. I understand how hard it is to take care of dog while working a 9-midnight job but I could never imagine leaving my dog in a garage in florida all day long 5 days a week. I lived in Miami and I can not understand how Marley did not die in that garage.
On the lighter side, this book did encourage me to research as much as humanly possible on the breed of my dog and to demand to meet both of his parents, so I did learn something...
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2008
I was so disappointed with the content of this book. Sadly, it is well written, and that may encourage people to mimic Grogan's deplorable behavior. He clearly did not understand how to loving training a dog (for the dog's safety as well as the rest of the family). I felt very sorry for Marley having to live in a home with people so lame they didn't comprehend that an open window on a car is an invitation for a dog to jump, that you need to dog-proof a home the same way you baby-proof a home and to not ASSUME a dog understands what is OK and not OK to chew, eat, etc. I have three labs - they are each unique, vibrant, weird and wonderful. And, while they can be very rock-headed, I love them enough to keep them safe in my home, in the car, on the sidewalk, etc... it takes learning how to do that PER dog... shame on Grogan for not being a better dog parent and shame on him for promoting such crummy behavior.
I threw both copies I had of this book in the trash... only appropriate place for them.
87 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2008
I was told several times that this was a good book but having suffered the loss of a childhood dog/best friend, I could not bring myself to read it. (Why bring up sad memories, right?) But after 2 years I caved and bought it as the movie is releasing soon, I decided I would prefer to read the book first.
I read the book in a day, laughing through the first half and thinking Mr. Grogan was a witty person. Marley's antic's had me doubled over in laughter, all the wile remembering all the silly things my beloved Freckles had done.
I did not agree with a lot of his training tactics or the garage lifestyle Marley suffered but no one is perfect and he seemed genuine when he referred to his fondness for the dog. Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that despite their silly or even destructive patterns dogs are just that, dogs. You can not scold them for doing something they did because no one was paying attention to them. Similar to children (you would not scold a child for a mistake if you were not watching them) dogs need supervision and if you cant give it then, why own a dog? But they were a young couple and I kept waiting for the chapter when he said he saw the error in his ways and stopped locking him up and choking him and actually took the time to train him properly, but that never happened.
I read in another review of this book that "it seemed the book was mostly about Mr. Grogan" and the further I got into the book the more I agreed with the statement. He kept rambling on about his life aspirations and Boca Rotan and I thought every time, I thought this was about Marley? He seemed to be wandering further and further from the subject as the book went on.
By the time he got in the last few chapters and Marley had reached old age, I was in tears. Dogs get old you don't just dump them at the glue factory over a few gray hairs, but with each sentence he described in great detail the suffering Marley was enduring and he seemed to be completely oblivious that Marley was ready to go! With NO treatment for his arthritis he just continued to worsen further. Grogan said several times that he could not compare a dog to a human, yet made many references to Marley teaching him as though he were a human and so on. With that said, I kept thinking obviously we don't "put down" our human elderly loved ones if they break a hip but they are suffering we help in some way don't we?
Marley had to endure this suffering for months and months and they did nothing! Except go on vacation and various trips. All the while they would leave him alone to suffer his aging body with out the only people he knew and loved. With no understanding of why.
Mr. Grogan himself said that the kennel was not enjoyable to Marley and yet he just left him. I kept saying over and over WHY would you leave AGAIN?
Another travesty in this book was that Mr. Grogan tried disregarding that the mere stress of being in the kennel caused Marley's stomach to turn. He excused away that it had been completely his fault. He said that a doctor told him that there was no connection. Yet when a doctor told him the flea chemicals had not caused the miscarriage he and his wife suffered they chose to believe that this could have been wrong. Why not now? I yelled at the book, whatever you have to tell yourself so you can sleep at night!
I cried for Marley's suffering while reading this book, not for his death. At least he could finally rest in peace after a horrible last year. He just kept doing what was natural to a dog, following his beloved masters around and they did nothing to help him so that he could not go up the stairs and then FALL down them, or push their vacation a few months and be with him for his final days.
I really wrote this review for my own sanity because after hearing such wonderful reviews about this book I was devastated and I cant believe I wasted my time and money so I could read of such torture!
Originally I had not want to read it because I knew ultimately that Marley would pass away in the end. But after reading it I truly don't have enough words to describe the pain I felt for Marley while he was alive. I thought very angry thoughts about Mr. Grogan at first, but now I just hope that they don't have to endure the suffering that Marley did in his end time. I will cross my fingers for you, Mr. Grogan that Karma does not come back to you!
I definitely wont be watching the movie either!
55 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2006
since a less than one star review is not allowed, this book gets the single star for the cute cover picture of the dog. that's the only redeeming quality this paltry, overrated book has. this book is touted as being ideal for dog lovers which is nonsense since no love of dogs is displayed anywhere in the book. the biography is really about a family of boring mediocrities who just happen to own a dog. the dog crops up in the story once in a while when it does something grogan or his wife are displeased with and one gets the impression that marley is nothing but a frustrating burden to them. after reading half of this book i was convinced grogan was incapable of having a loving relationship with marley or any other dog and felt angry at being taken in by all the brain dead, extravagant, gushing reviews here. check this one out at the library if you must read it and save yourself the expense.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2008
I was forced to listen to the audio book version of this. If you find Grogan annoying throughout the book, wait till you have to listen to his voice (yes, he reads it).
Basically, the guy writes an autobiography. And his dog Marley was evidently a part of it. I might try the same when I get a dog because there is nothing special about this story so hopefully my ordinary life can sell a bunch of books too. It's not like this dog saves the world or anything. It's also not like he's that big of a terror either. The heinous acts of Marley are for a large part quite cliche and you could probably see them all by watching an afternoon of TV (the bedroom scene comes to mind...how often have we seen that?).
The author complains about how awful this dog is, but it seems like he's probably the bigger problem. The dog was not trained or disciplined but constantly spoiled from the sounds of it. They 'gave up' on obedience school.
Overall, skip this one. I'm not an expert on sentimental dog books but I bet there's a better one out there.
51 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2008
I am really saddened to see that the author is profiting over what amounts to me as neglect of poor Marley; and even more saddened that such a large segment of our society seems to think that this kind of treatment is ok. I have 2 Golden Retrievers, including one who is quite similar in personality to Marley based on my reading of the book, and I would never, never, never fathom locking them up in my garage, or leaving them alone for as long as Marley was left alone while they worked. It is our duty as pet owners to know what we are getting into when we get a dog, and Labs (Marley) and Goldens (my dogs) are the least likely kind of dog to adapt well to being left alone all day (and I don't know any other type of dog that would deal well with that); a brief walk and throwing some balls doesn't make up for it. And I am still sickened by his wife beating up Marley; there are no words for that. Poor Marley--it is terrible that the author even subtitled this "World's Worst Dog:" What the heck did he expect given the crappy job he did raising and taking care of him? My Golden who was similar in personality to Marley would be acting the exact same way. You don't have to be Cesar Milan to figure that one out, its just basic common sense, which far too many dog owners don't seem to have. Its sickening--this type of animal neglect is as bad in some ways as blatant animal abuse. Mr Grogan, you are fooling yourself if you think Marley was a part of your family...if you are indeed a decent human being (which I think you are), you wouldn't treat a family member like you treated Marley.