Excerpt

Marley Scrapbook


The heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life. 

John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They 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. Life would never be the same.

Marley quickly grew into a barreling, 97-pound streamroller of a Labrador Retriever, a dog like no other.  He crashed through screen doors, gouged into drywall, flung drool on guests, stole women’s undergarments, and ate nearly everything he could get his mouth around, including couches and fine jewelry. Obedience school did no good —Marley was expelled. Neither did the tranquilizers the veterinarian prescribed for him with the admonishment, “Don’t hesitate to use these.”

And yet, his heart was pure. Just as Marley joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. He shared the couple’s joy at first pregnancy, and their heartbreak over miscarriage. He was there when babies finally arrived and when the screams of a 17-year-old stabbing victim pierced the night. Marley shut down a public beach and managed to land a role in a feature-length movie, always winning hearts as he made a mess of things. Through it all, he remained steadfast, a model of devotion, even when his family was at wit’s end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.

Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.

Praise for Marley & Me

"...a very funny Valentine ... full of tail-thumping enthusiasm."
—   Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"What Grogan beautifully conveys in this book is the way a dog works himself into the texture of our lives, to the point that - for better or for worse - we can no longer imagine the day dawning without him. ... I defy any reader - friend or foe of dogs - to remain dry-eyed as Grogan tells how he and his family watched an aging Marley falter and realized that this irreplaceable friend would soon be taking his exit." —The Christian Science Monitor

"A funny, touching tribute to [a] 97-pound Lab who was as loyal and loving as he was disobedient." —People

"Grogan's book reminds me of Yorkshire veterinarian James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small in the way that it gets at the heart of the animal-human bond, with humor and with pathos, in a deeply personal manner. Like Herriot, Grogan is a born storyteller." —The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Dog lovers will devour this hilarious, heartwarming story of a family and a family pet." —San Antonio Express-News

"A lively romp of a book... [Marley] showed others how to love fiercely and give freely, even as he barreled through life sniffing crotches and spewing drool. By digging deeper, you see that Marley's tale is really the story of a family in the making, with all the happiness and hurts that go with it." —The South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"Grogan tells a simple story of one family's life, a mostly typical family. But he does it so beautifully and the reader is drawn in by his voice until you become a part of his tale, shaking your head at Marley, laughing at his next indiscretion, delighting in his high points and worrying when things aren't going well. You'll understand the gift that Marley was to this family... Grogan has crafted a loving but unsentimental memory of his dog and what he meant to him, his wife and his children. And that's his gift to us." —The Birmingham News

"Marley & Me is an unvarnished look at the joys and tribulations of sharing your life with a dog. Grogan's account of his young family's first alfresco dining experience with Marley in tow had me laughing so hard I was afraid I'd wake the neighbors."—Asheville Citizen-Times

"As the owner of a 90-pound Bouvier who as a puppy routinely had me screaming on all fours in front of our entire obedience class, I laughed out loud reading John Grogan's hilarious description of his attempts to train his Lab Marley. As they say, No pain, no gain. Grogan's gain —and the reader's too —is Marley, a Hall of Fame dog if there ever was one."    --  John Burnham Schwartz, author of Reservation Road and Claire Marvel

"Expect to laugh, cry and shake your head as you read this book … Marley is a great and memorable dog, and in the hands of a writer as observant, unsentimental and piercing as Grogan, this is a human-canine journey dog lovers will want to take."    -- Jon Katz, bestselling author of A Dog Year and Dogs of Bedlam Farm

"Labrador retrievers are generally considered even-tempered, calm and reliable--and then there's Marley, the subject of this delightful tribute to one Lab who doesn't fit the mold. ... Grogan's chronicle of the...overly energetic but endearing dog is delivered with great humor. Dog lovers will love this account of Grogan's much loved canine." —Publisher's Weekly

"Grogan … offers a humorous and loving tribute to Marley (after Bob Marley), his late 100-pound yellow Labrador … Readers will delight in this tribute; recommended." —Library Journal

First Look Reviews

"A truly marvelous book for any animal lover! The reader cannot help but fall in love with Marley and his family. Wonderfully written; it will make you laugh out loud and cry real tears. I will be recommending this book to many friends and patrons of the library. If you loved Jon Katz's wonderful books about his border collies, John Grogan's book has to be on your "must-read list." I cannot wait for it to be published!"
— Margaret Quick

"This book is one that I will never let go —it made me laugh out loud several times every night (much to the chagrin of my sleeping husband) and also brought heart wrenching sobs. It is fully human, and a spectacular read... BUY IT. LOVE IT. But keep tissues nearby, for laughter and tears."
—Kathryn Van Rooyen

"This has to be the best book I've read in years... [it] will stay in my heart, and already, people at work are on a waiting list to get their hands on it. If you have to read one book this year, this is it. Marley, I love you."
— Bonita Stuhlmiller

"Just reading the description made me tear up. This soul-searching, but simultaneously hilarious, memoir really makes you wonder what the human race would do without man's best friend."
—Nomi Maeyama

"As a Lab owner, I couldn't wait to read Marley & Me; as a dog lover, I couldn't bear for it to end. I haven't laughed out loud so much since reading The Diary of Bridget Jones. And like the readers of John Grogan's column, my tears at Marley's demise were endless. Grogan has a wonderful voice; his mutual love story will resonate in my heart throughout the life of my own "bad dog."
— Elizabeth Engl

"I loved this book and Marley! I laughed and cried my way through it in one day. An eloquent and loving portrayal of a sometimes less than lovable dog, Marley & Me is not to be missed! Thank you, John Grogan, for a wonderful book."
— Bettye Aboud

"This book had me literally laughing out loud at many of Marley's foibles, yet also had me sobbing with grief at the end of his life. It made me realize how much I love and care for my pets and made me cherish them all the more. Marley & Me is a book I highly recommend to others, and would make the perfect gift to pet lovers everywhere."
—Melissa Parcel

"Touchingly beautiful story about one of the world's worst behaved dogs. Marley reminded me very much of our beloved Rio, who was one of the world's best dogs ... This book is a must-read for all dog owners who have ever loved and lost a treasured friend."
— Sandra Herbert

"I couldn't put it down!! What a wonderful, heart-warming read. It made me love my dog over and over again."
—Aimee Dunlow

"I immediately fell in love with the Grogan family... I felt like I was reading a lively magazine article. Each word was infused with emotion ...."
—Tiffany Tresidder

"Marley & Me is a must read for anyone who has ever loved a dog... At the beginning I was laughing and shaking my head at Marley's antics, and at the end, I was sobbing as Marley's life drew to a close. John Grogan truly captures the joys and sorrows of canine companionship."
—Patricia Sanders

"Marley & Me is truly a wonderful tribute to human's best friend. I definitely would recommend it to anyone who has EVER loved a pet ... this one will definitely have you buying some extra doggie treats or kitty nip tonight."
—Shelley Krush

"From the very beginning, I was hooked on this book... In spite of his faults, Marley was a very special dog that touched the lives of everyone who knew or met him. I couldn't put this book down, and I enjoyed it very much from beginning to end. I look forward to reading more of John Grogan's books in the future."
— Diane Kilmer

"Marley & Me is just a really good book that stretches beyond the story of a dog. I am going to recommend it to all my friends —but they have to get their own copy!"
— Diane Snyder

"This is a... heartfelt book about middle class life, and how it relates to the life of a dog. It has humor, tragedy, a sense of wonder, and the ability to make me laugh out loud."
—Kenneth Fricklas







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