Thursday, May 18, 2006

Marley & Me, by John Grogan

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

I’ve pretty much always had a dog; Frosty was a puppy when I was born and lived until I was in high school, Holiday was a collie my mother had when I was in college, Marble was my wife and my first dog together, and now Midnight lives with us. I get very attached to my pets, and so when I came across this book I was curious. I’ll admit I don’t normally read books that can be described as “heartwarming” but my attachment to dogs made me pick it up.

Grogan is a newspaper columnist, and it shows in his style. Like most columns, this was very uneven: parts of this were excellent, parts weren’t. Some anecdotes were funny (such as Marley crapping at the dog beach to the horror of the other owners) and some were disturbing (Marley getting crammed into a kennel much too small for him and being put in the belly of an airplane). The best written section was when Grogan described Marley’s death—the raw emotion he felt was both obvious and cathartic—and was strong enough to make you forget the low points. All-in-all, an enjoyable book, especially with some judicious skimming.

First Sentence:
We were young.

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