Marley and Me - John Grogan

Author:John Grogan
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre:Non Fiction(Autobiographical novel)
ISBN: 0-06-081708-9

Synopsis(As given at the back of the book) :

John and Jenny were deeply in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world.  Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow fur ball of a puppy.
Life would never be the same.

Marley quickly grew into an uncontrollable ninety seven pound steamroller of a Labrador retriever. Expelled from obedience school,even the tranquilizers prescribed by the vet couldn't stop him.

Yet through the chaos and the hilarity he won the hearts and remained a steadfast model of devotion to his family, even when they were at their wits end. Unconditional love they would learn, comes in many forms.


The book starts by introducing the author and his view about dogs. He grew up with a total saint like dog who was an angel in disguise. Never did he cause any trouble. He supported the author through his childhood and each special memory of the author involves his 'Saint Shaun'. This led him to set the standard for all dogs he knew and to come.
 Now here she was, somehow making the cosmic leap of logic from dead flora in a pot to living fauna in the pet classified. Kill a plant, buy a puppy. Well, of course it made perfect sense.

Jenny (the wife) had just managed to kill another plant(she didn't exactly have a green thumb). This was when she launched into total panic mode of if she couldn't even keep a plant alive, how was she ever going to keep a baby alive? That was when the idea of getting a dog sprung up. A dog is kind of a buffer between a plant and child. Although he requires more care than a plant, he isn't as helpless as a baby. That's how they landed up with Marley.

Marley is a wiggly,playful yellow bundle of joy. He filled the gap in their lives and really brought out the mother in Jenny.She went from heartless plant killer to nurturing dog mom.He has a hyper activity disorder and is a big 97 pound ball of licks of joy.

The way Marley has been shown in the book is what touched me the most. His knowledge to the way people felt and his corresponding actions show us how dogs have that beautiful way of comforting us.
Jenny goes through a miscarriage and when she comes home from he hospital, instead of jumping and greeting her and John in his regular way he puts his head down on Jenny's lap and licks her tears away as if tot tell her that everything would soon be alright. When the kids come along, fragile as they are at that stage. Marley literally tip toes around being careful not to hurt them at all.

John frequently says in the book "Dogs are great.  Bad dogs if we can even call them that, are perhaps the greatest of them all." Marley is extremely  naughty and you are sure to be rolling around laughing throughout the book with all his hysterical antics. John Grogan has penned down the thoughts of any dog owner perfectly showing the frustrations as well as joys of the relationship with a dog.

Sadly,dogs do not live as long as humans as much as we would want them to. The book has a pretty sad and heart wrenching end as Marley progresses into old  age, develops diseases and eventually has to be put down by his beloved family.As I closed the covers of this book,a veil of tears blurred the print.

This is one book I just did not want to put down. It took me from giggles to tears in just a matter of seconds.Its a lovely novel that celebrates the little things in life that make the best memories.
It brings out the story of a simple man and the complex relationship of love,hate,joy,frustration and pride that he shares with his dog. Whether you like dogs or not, You will be drawn into the book soon shaking your head at Marley  laughing at his latest indiscretion and worrying when things don't go too well.I would definitely recommend this book.

Favorite Quotes/Excerpts : 

“I had never thought of Marley as any kind of model, but sitting there sipping my beer, I was aware that maybe he held the secret for a good life. Never slow down, never look back, live each day w/ adolescent verve and spunk and curiosity and playfulness.” 

"A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. 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 a 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.” 

“A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes. Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see.”

It's just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn't it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.

Rating : 4.8/5 (That's how much i love it!)

Price : 791 on


  1. THIS!!

    This is one of the absolute stunning books!! I cried like a inconsolable baby when I finished it and then again in the movie theater along with hundreds of other people.

    I loved, loved, loved this book. Being a dog owner myself, I know how it feels. Owning a dog and them watching him/her pass away leaves a scar that is never to be healed. But before that happens, the immense fun and joy with the dog becomes an unforgettable part of your life.

    Whenever I return home, my dog jumps and licks me and gives me a perfect facial. And they do it every single time. Their love for you never wanes, never fades, never comes into question. They will love you irrevocable throughout their life. You realize that you've friends and family, colleagues you work with, friends you go out with. But for your dog, you're his entire world.

    I grieved for days when my first dog died. I shudder to think of losing this one. She's my Marley in my life. She's my best friend.

    Thank you for this wonderful, wonderful review. I bow down to you.

  2. I know right!
    This is a book that's so
    close to me! When i first read it I didn't have a dog
    so I was able to take it. But when I reread it now,I just couldn't get to the end.
    Dogs are just wonderful.

    Thank you for the appreciation,It means a lot :)

  3. I know the person who would love this book.
    I always wish i can keep a pet ut some how I m too scared. comlex reasons..
    my best friend has 2 dogs n i so love to hear about them.

    Will soon buy this and read !

  4. this is a rare review. nice choice of book. :) i liked ur review and FL's comment; and just like nimue, a string of names come to mind of people who would love to read this. you just gave me the perfect idea for a birthday gift! :)

  5. Haha Glad you guys liked it :D
    I would be over the moon if
    someone gifted this to me so
    I think it would make a really nice gift ;)

  6. I've had numerous and all kinds of pets for years ranging from dogs, cats, fishes, birds, squirrels to a lot more... I haven't known more compassionate creatures than pet dogs...the happiness they exudes is infections and you just can't help loving them back. That is one lovely review !! I have to read this one NOW!!!

  7. I know right.
    They make you feel
    special in a way no human will
    ever be able to make you feel.
    I think if you have ever owned a pet especially a dog,you will
    be able to relate to this book so much! My dog,a very naughty
    cocker spaniel is SO
    similar to Marley is weird.
    That's partly why I enjoyed
    the book so much :)

  8. This is a fabulously covered review piece, it goes deep into the theme and explores all arenas.
    Brilliantly done
    My heartiest congratulations to you.

    Strong strong expectations you have build. Wishing silently now that your next book review features a book, that I had already read :) so that I can comprehend more on the viewpoints and intricacies

    God bless

    Warm Regards

  9. Thank you for the appreciation,
    It really means a lot.


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