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Marley & Me (2005)

by John Grogan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Marley (1)

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11,129367580 (4.02)285
The story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life. Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.--From publisher description.

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» See also 285 mentions

English (354)  Portuguese (Portugal) (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (367)
Showing 1-5 of 354 (next | show all)
  Jaime_Vieira | Aug 22, 2023 |
I was given this as a Hanukkah present years ago because my family knows that I read and presumably this was on the new releases or popular books table in Borders or Barnes and Nobles. Now at the time I read it my grandmother had just passed away and I'm terrible at dealing with grief so honestly I think whatever I loved about this book was mainly through the lens of that grief (don't ask me how I translated Marley to my grandmother; they were in no way similar, but the climax was heart-wrenching enough that this apparently allowed me to process that). Few books have ever made me cry, and I think it was that grief that got this one to make me cry. My family also had a labrador retriever when I was born - she passed away shortly after we moved, long before I read this book - and we have very fond memories of her. Unlike Marley, she was, as my father says, one of the best dogs. She was well-trained, friendly, loving, and survived two babies growing into their pre-teens (and older, for my sister) and even essentially adopted our cat, whom she used to groom when my parents were still married and the animals lived together.

I loved it back then. I recommended it to my mother, who also enjoyed it. We actually ended up seeing the film in theaters. As life would have it, that same day one of our cats passed away quite suddenly from a genetic illness that you can't do anything about. Despite that I bought the film for my mother for some holiday present and I own the soundtrack because it's a pleasant soundtrack - the ending tracks still bring me to tears. I cried during both theater viewings of the film - I also saw this with my father - and both of my parents were, if not in tears, emotionally struck by it, I guess.

But the last and only time I read this was in middle school. My tastes have changed - I've been through high school, college, and now I'm in grad school. The book was sitting on my shelf all these years and I figured it was time I reread it to see if I still liked it. It started off okay, I guess. Grogan's wife had issues but I figured "this book is meant to be funny and its characters are zany! Obviously this will improve" and then well... no. Besides the idiocy behind how they picked a dog and picked a "breeder" (we've had one bad run-in with breeding programs and learned our lesson but it certainly wasn't even fractionally as bad as Grogan's case) and the stupidity of how they raise Marley, Grogan's sexist voice came through and I decided nope. I am done with this. So it gets two stars for allowing me to process my grief for both my grandmother and Goldie and childhood nostalgia because once upon a time I loved this book. Other than that well... Read other things.

I wouldn't recommend the film, either. It's not that great of a film. The soundtrack is still great. But the film... eh. Wilson is less irritating than he is in most films because his acting style just WORKS for the story they're trying to tell but no. Not a great story. Too much is changed and cut out and doesn't make sense and feels random (due to cuts - you'd only understand what's going on if you've read the book or have an understanding of Hollywood film archetypes). ( )
  AnonR | Aug 5, 2023 |
The writing is just a bit too flat, and this guy's life is just a bit too white bread for me. The book was recommended by a colleague, and I love dogs, so I gave it a go, but I didn't much care what happened to any of the characters; Marley is one of those annoying out-of-control dogs that I don't find charming at all; the writer and his wife are very focused on having a family.

Maybe all that would be fine if the writing was a bit classier and had a bit more edge to it. "You don't give birth to your first child every day." Really? Is that what you've got for me? Sorry, I'm not buying it. I gave up after page 70ish. ( )
  robfwalter | Jul 31, 2023 |
  freixas | Mar 31, 2023 |
a sad yet well written story about a man and his beloved dog, really good read and also a good movie ( )
  Enchanten | Mar 12, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 354 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grogan, JohnAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cesa Bianchi, Maria LuisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heller, JohnnyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Motta, Thereza Christina Rocque daTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pereira, Pedro SerrasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Selkälä, UllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serapicos, ElviraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verbeek, AnnemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zigldrum, GabrieleÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memory of my father, Richard Frank Grogan, whose gentle spirit infuses every page of this book
First words
In the summer of 1967, when I was ten years old, my father caved in to my persistent pleas and took me to get my own dog.
...the expression on his face gave him away. It almost screamed out, Good God, man! For the sake of future generations, we must contain this genetic mistake at all costs!
I had quickly reverted to my premarriage (read: slovenly) lifestyle. By the power vested in me as the only adult in the house, I suspended the Married Couple Domesticity Act and proclaimed the once banished Bachelor Rules to be the law of the land. While Jenny was in the hospital, shirts would be worn twice, even three times, barring obvious mustard stains, between washes; milk could be drunk directly from the carton, and toilet seats would remain in the upright position unless being sat on.
As with so many of his misdeeds, this one was not malicious or pre-meditated. It wasn’t as though he had disobeyed a command or set out to intentionally humiliate me. He simply had to go and he went. True, at the wrong place and the wrong time and in front of all the wrong people. I knew he was a victim of his own diminished mental capacity. … The dog was defective. How could I hold that against him?
Marley was a funny, bigger-than-life pain in the ass who never quite got the hang of the whole chain-of-command thing. Honestly, he might well have been the world’s worst-behaved dog. Yet he intuitively grasped from the start what it meant to be man’s best friend.
Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things – a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in the shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

The story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life. Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.--From publisher description.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
John and Jenny were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy - and their life would never be the same. Marley quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound steamroller of a Labrador Retriever who crashed through screen doors, drooled on guests, stole women's undergarments, devoured couches and fine jewelry, and was expelled from obedience school. Yet Marley's heart was pure, and he remained a steadfast model of love and devotion for a growing family through pregnancy, birth, heartbreak, and joy, right to the inevitable goodbye.
Haiku summary
Witty tribute to
Marley, beloved pet and
worst dog in the world.

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