Marley & Me Illustrated Edition: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog

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Overview

John Grogan touched the hearts of a nation with his #1 New York Times bestseller Marley & Me, the unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life. Lavishly illustrated with never-before-published photographs, this very special edition includes a personal message from John Grogan as well as his original Philadelphia Inquirer column that inspired the book. The heartwarming book that has made millions laugh and cry is now a wonderful ...
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Overview

John Grogan touched the hearts of a nation with his #1 New York Times bestseller Marley & Me, the unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life. Lavishly illustrated with never-before-published photographs, this very special edition includes a personal message from John Grogan as well as his original Philadelphia Inquirer column that inspired the book. The heartwarming book that has made millions laugh and cry is now a wonderful keepsake for those who love Marley, and for those who have yet to meet him.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
What more can we say of Marley? John Grogan's sweetly dysfunctional Labrador retriever might have truly been "the world's worst dog," as touted in the subtitle, but the star of Marley & Me was incontestably the most beloved pooch on the planet. This gift edition elevates this pet book classic to a new level. Its new features include a large size; a cloth case with a photo of guess who; a reading ribbon that resembles a dog leash; printed endpapers with a special "Gift to" box; numerous additional photos; copies of his adoption papers; and more.
Richard Roeper
“If you know someone who claims there’s not a book in the world that can make him cry, give him this one. It won’t even matter if he’s not a dog lover. He’ll cry anyway. Trust me.”
MSNBC.com
“[Marley & Me] rises above some others of its topic thanks to Grogan’s healthy dose of self-deprecating humor.”
Daily Mail (London)
“Marley, meanwhile, is teaching America something about values—something that perhaps only a really bad dog with a really true heart can teach.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“[Marley & Me] took my breath away. I laughed. I cried. . . . What a gift…immortalizing a dog who will always hold a very special place in the hearts of each family member.”
Janet Maslin
“A very funny valentine...Marley & Me tenderly follows its subject from sunrise to sunset...with hilarity and affection.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641869563
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Edition description: Gift Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Grogan

John Grogan is the author of the #1 international bestseller Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog, the bestselling middle-grade memoir Marley: A Dog Like No Other, and three #1 best-selling picture books: Bad Dog, Marley!, A Very Marley Christmas, and Marley Goes to School. John lives with his wife and their three children in the Pennsylvania countryside.

John Grogan ha sido un premiado reportero gráfico y columnista por más de veinticinco años. Vive en Pensilvania con su esposa Jenny y sus tres hijos.

Biography

Classifying a writer as an "overnight success years in the making" is something of a cliché, but in John Grogan's case, that designation is undeniably accurate. In fact, his claim that it took him twenty-five years to get to the point where his debut novel hit #10 on the coveted New York Times Bestseller List in its first week and amazingly was already in its twelfth printing after a mere seven weeks on the shelves, doesn't even provide the complete picture. If one takes into account the fact that Grogan has been a devoted and disciplined writer since he began keeping a journal as a young boy, his tale reads more like an overnight success story a lifetime in the making.

Perhaps most impressive of all is the book that became a whirlwind sensation as soon as it was released. Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog is a simple, lovingly rendered memoir about a man and his dog -- not exactly the stuff of lurid controversy. However, it is a testament to the universal power of a personal, witty, honest remembrance that Marley & Me has become such a smash success. It's not just any book that manages to get a "thumbs up" from Janet Maslin, famed literary critic of the New York Times. "Mr. Grogan knew the workings of Marley's mind," she observed in her career-making write up. "He makes that abundantly clear in Marley & Me, a very funny valentine to all those four-legged ‘big, dopey, playful galumphs that seemed to love life with a passion not often seen in this world.'"

Throughout the memoir, Marley manages to get into all manners of mischief -- from smashing and trashing the Grogan home in a variety of ways, to ruining friendly get togethers with his excessive drooling, to embarking on canine panty raids. Throughout it all, the 97-pound Labrador retriever is never anything less than lovable, and Grogan and his wife Jenny display nearly saint-like patience for Marley's rowdy tendencies -- well, they do at least most of the time.

Although humor plays a tremendous role in Grogan's immensely entertaining shaggy dog story (sorry about that, folks), he also uses Marley's misadventures as a means for relating his own story, which isn't always a delightful romp. The reader is carried through tough times in the Grogan household, such as the miscarriage of their first child. However, Marley's presence makes such moments of heartache a bit more bearable for both the young couple and the reader.

Grogan credits his ability to vividly recount such key moments in his life to his decades of devoted journal keeping. "I've been a faithful journal keeper since grade school," Grogan confided, "and many of my published pieces got their start as rough journal entries... Many readers have asked how I remembered detailed moments and dialogue in Marley & Me. I didn't. Many of those scenes came directly out of lengthy journal entries I had written within hours of the event, and that's what I credit for giving those scenes their immediacy."

Marley & Me has undeniably struck a massive chord with dog lovers and critics alike. The accolades this modest memoir has received are truly impressive; Booklist deemed it "A warm, friendly -memoir-with-dog" and Publishers Weekly concurred that "Dog lovers will love this account of Grogan's much loved canine." And let us not forget about that crucial blessing from the New York Times. Not bad for a first-effort that is essentially the story of a "boy" and his dog.

"It took me 25 years to find my way here, but the last few months have been like a rollercoaster ride," says Grogan. "I'm holding on for dear life and watching, with equal parts exhilaration and terror, where it will take me."

Good To Know

A few fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Grogan:

"Before moving to Pennsylvania in 1999, I played bass in a newsroom rock band in South Florida for several years. The band was comprised of reporters and writers from my paper, the Sun-Sentinel, and the Miami Herald. Fortunately for me, everyone else was considerably better than I was, which allowed us to get paying gigs in clubs and bars. On many nights we sounded pretty bad, but occasionally, when all the pistons were firing in unison, when the gods of rhythm and harmony were smiling down, we actually rocked. It was enough to make me believe in magic. Those moments remain some of the best and most fun of my life."

"Along with my technology-suspicious friend, Dave, I'm a Luddite in Training. Even though I'm totally dependent on modern electronic gizmos, from my laptop to my iPod to my cell phone, I love to embrace old technology or no technology at all. I collect old rusty hand tools and sharpen and polish them, then use them to build things out of walnut and cherry that I harvest from fallen trees in the woods. I keep chickens in the backyard for their fresh eggs and would have a goat instead of a lawnmower if I thought I could get away with it. I garden without synthetic inputs and take great joy in turning old potato peelings and coffee grinds into compost. I'm the crazy man in the neighborhood who favors a scythe (you know, like the grim reaper carries) over a gasoline-powered weed whacker. Besides being an efficient cutting tool, the scythe is great for scaring away nettlesome youngsters on Devil's Night."

"I'm pathologically incapable of making decisions. Just ask my wife how long it took me to propose -- on second thought, best not to bring it up. You don't want to be with me while I'm trying to order at a Chinese restaurant. Sometimes, a guy just can't choose between the cashew chicken and the sweet and sour."

"In my first week in my first newspaper job out of college, I was a green-as-could-be 21-year-old, I was sent out to write about a murder victim whose body was found several days after it had been dumped in the woods. It was a hot June and the smell was horrendous. Flies were buzzing everywhere. I grew up in a quiet little suburban town on a lake outside Detroit; I'd never seen anything more horrific than a flattened chipmunk, and now here in front of me was this poor, decomposing man. I stood around with the cops, waiting for the coroner to show up and trying to look nonchalant. A veteran state trooper looked down at my brand-new suede shoes I had bought for the new job, and said, ‘You can kiss those goodbye. They'll never lose this smell.' And he was right. I don't know how or when or where, but with all of you as my witnesses, I vow that scene will someday end up in a book."

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    1. Hometown:
      Emmaus, Pennsylvania
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 20, 1957
    2. Place of Birth:
      Detroit, Michigan
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Journalism and English, Central Michigan University, 1979; M.A. in Journalism, The Ohio State University, 1986
    2. Website:

First Chapter

Marley & Me Illustrated Edition
Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog

Chapter One

And Puppy Makes Three

We were young. We were in love. We were rollicking in those sublime early days of marriage when life seems about as good as life can get. We could not leave well enough alone. And so on a January evening in 1991, my wife of fifteen months and I ate a quick dinner together and headed off to answer a classified ad in the Palm Beach Post.

Why we were doing this, I wasn't quite sure. A few weeks earlier I had awoken just after dawn to find the bed beside me empty. I got up and found Jenny sitting in her bathrobe at the glass table on the screened porch of our little bungalow, bent over the newspaper with a pen in her hand.

There was nothing unusual about the scene. Not only was the Palm Beach Post our local paper, it was also the source of half of our household income. We were a two-newspaper-career couple. Jenny worked as a feature writer in the Post's "Accent" section; I was a news reporter at the competing paper in the area, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, based an hour south in Fort Lauderdale. We began every morning poring over the newspapers, seeing how our stories were played and how they stacked up to the competition. We circled, underlined, and clipped with abandon.

But on this morning, Jenny's nose was not in the news pages but in the classified section. When I stepped closer, I saw she was feverishly circling beneath the heading "Pets—Dogs."

"Uh," I said in that new-husband, still-treading-gently voice. "Is there something I should know'"

She did not answer.

"Jen-Jen'"

"It's the plant," she finally said, her voice carrying a slight edge of desperation.

"The plant'" I asked.

"That dumb plant," she said. "The one we killed."

The one we killed' I wasn't about to press the point, but for the record it was the plant that I bought and she killed. I had surprised her with it one night, a lovely large dieffenbachia with emerald-and-cream variegated leaves. "What's the occasion'" she'd asked. But there was none. I'd given it to her for no reason other than to say, "Damn, isn't married life great'"

She had adored both the gesture and the plant and thanked me by throwing her arms around my neck and kissing me on the lips. Then she promptly went on to kill my gift to her with an assassin's coldhearted efficiency. Not that she was trying to; if anything, she nurtured the poor thing to death. Jenny didn't exactly have a green thumb. Working on the assumption that all living things require water, but apparently forgetting that they also need air, she began flooding the dieffenbachia on a daily basis.

"Be careful not to overwater it," I had warned.

"Okay," she had replied, and then dumped on another gallon.

The sicker the plant got, the more she doused it, until finally it just kind of melted into an oozing heap. I looked at its limp skeleton in the pot by the window and thought, Man, someone who believes in omens could have a field day with this one.

Now here she was, somehow making the cosmic leap of logic from dead flora in a pot to living fauna in the pet classifieds. Kill a plant, buy a puppy. Well, of course it made perfect sense.

I looked more closely at the newspaper in front of her and saw that one ad in particular seemed to have caught her fancy. She had drawn three fat red stars beside it. It read: "Lab puppies, yellow. AKC purebred. All shots. Parents on premises."

"So," I said, "can you run this plant-pet thing by me one more time'"

"You know," she said, looking up. "I tried so hard and look what happened. I can't even keep a stupid houseplant alive. I mean, how hard is that' All you need to do is water the damn thing."

Then she got to the real issue: "If I can't even keep a plantalive, how am I ever going to keep a baby alive'" She looked like she might start crying.

The Baby Thing, as I called it, had become a constant in Jenny's life and was getting bigger by the day. When we had first met, at a small newspaper in western Michigan, she was just a few months out of college, and serious adulthood still seemed a far distant concept. For both of us, it was our first professional job out of school. We ate a lot of pizza, drank a lot of beer, and gave exactly zero thought to the possibility of someday being anything other than young, single, unfettered consumers of pizza and beer.

But years passed. We had barely begun dating when various job opportunities—and a one-year postgraduate program for me—pulled us in different directions across the eastern United States. At first we were one hour's drive apart. Then we were three hours apart. Then eight, then twenty-four. By the time we both landed together in South Florida and tied the knot, she was nearly thirty. Her friends were having babies. Her body was sending her strange messages. That once seemingly eternal window of procreative opportunity was slowly lowering.

I leaned over her from behind, wrapped my arms around her shoulders, and kissed the top of her head. "It's okay," I said. But I had to admit, she raised a good question. Neither of us had ever really nurtured a thing in our lives. Sure, we'd had pets growing up, but they didn't really count. We always knew our parents would keep them alive and well. We both knew we wanted to one day have children, but was either of us really up for the job' Children were so . . . so . . . scary. They were helpless and fragile and looked like they would break easily if dropped.

Marley & Me Illustrated Edition
Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
. Copyright © by John Grogan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book.

    Excellent book. People who own dogs can relate because most of us have all been there.

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  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Worst Dog?! I think not. Perhaps worst dog owner

    Why do people like this book? It did not portray "the world's worst dog", but a very incompetent dog owner. Grogan never learned to say no, or how to handle his dog. <BR/>He let Marley stand between the car seats with his nose on the rearview mirror from day 1 and thought this was OK? He let Marley stand on his lap with head out the window, kept lowering the window and was then surprised when Marley jumped out?<BR/>I wonder how the Grogan children have turned out.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    AWESOME

    This book was amazing. Everyone should be forced to read it. I am a harsh critic, and I loved every second of this book. Read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2008

    It will touch your heart!

    I picked this book up and once i started reading it I was sucked into it even more! I love this book! Being a dog lover myself I knew I had to read it. It was such a heartwarming story about the relationship of a dog and the family. It will make you laugh out loud and cry. I am a dog lover myself and I can totally relate to the realationship that is shown in the book. I myself have a very strong bond with my dog and I could totally relate:) This is a must read!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2008

    Must Read For Dog Lovers

    This is a must-read book for all dog lovers, and would make a great gift, even for those who aren't big readers. The book is charming, touching, and downright hilarious at times. It is worth every penny!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2007

    Best book!

    I must say this is the best book I have read in quite a while. The writing style of John Grogan is pleasant to read. He is not overly 'wordy' but descriptive, fun, inviting, and simply put 'feels like home'. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it.

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