Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

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

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

4.7 869
by John Grogan

See All Formats & Editions

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

Now with photos and new material


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

Now with photos and new material

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Marley: 100 pounds of unbridled canine exuberance and unrelenting mischief. Marley: proud owner of a tail that could, with metronome-like regularity, clear coffee tables and topple unsuspecting toddlers. Marley: noble member of a breed famous for its ability to guide the blind, who's declared "untrainable" and bounced out of obedience class. A perfect dog? Maybe not. But when they plucked him from a litter 13 years ago, John Grogan and his new wife gamely set out on an adventure that would change their lives forever.

As a puppy, this whirling dervish with huge golden paws and an enormous head jumps, chews, careens, and goes nuclear at the first rumble of thunder. With his uncontainable energy, Marley isn't exactly the calm, attentive, obedient Lab the Grogans had hoped for. As the years pass and the family grows, Marley teaches his owners hard lessons in patience. His neurotic behavior, though mellowed over time, becomes a lasting and finally acceptable characteristic, and his loyalty and love enrich the Grogans' own notions of friendship and responsibility.

Joyfully infectious, Marley & Me is a loving valentine to one dog and his unquenchable spirit. John Grogan has captured their journey together, and in this delightfully moving story, has set the bar high for dog owners everywhere. (Holiday 2005 Selection)
Janet Maslin
Mr. Grogan knew the workings of Marley's mind. He makes that abundantly clear in Marley and 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." It's a book with intense but narrow appeal, strictly limited to anyone who has ever had, known or wanted a dog.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
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, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and his wife, Jenny, were newly married and living in West Palm Beach when they decided that owning a dog would give them a foretaste of the parenthood they anticipated. Marley was a sweet, affectionate puppy who grew into a lovably naughty, hyperactive dog. With a light touch, the author details how Marley was kicked out of obedience school after humiliating his instructor (whom Grogan calls Miss Dominatrix) and swallowed an 18-karat solid gold necklace (Grogan describes his gross but hilarious "recovery operation"). With the arrival of children in the family, Marley became so incorrigible that Jenny, stressed out by a new baby, ordered her husband to get rid of him; she eventually recovered her equilibrium and relented. Grogan's chronicle of the adventures parents and children (eventually three) enjoyed with the overly energetic but endearing dog is delivered with great humor. Dog lovers will love this account of Grogan's much loved canine. Agent, Laurie Abkemeier. (On sale Oct. 25) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Okay, maybe he chewed things and ran into screen doors, but Marley also taught Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Grogan the meaning of love. Morrow's big hit at BEA. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Maudlin, embarrassing ode to a pooch. The author and his wife still qualified as newlyweds-they'd been married just over a year-when they decided to adopt a dog. Jenny, who had recently killed a houseplant (a "lovely large dieffenbachia with emerald-and-cream variegated leaves"), thought she needed to brush up on her maternal skills before she tried to have a baby. Hence Marley, a lovable Labrador retriever. John adores the reggae tempo of Marley's tail-wagging and enjoys playing tug-of-war with him. Within a few weeks, the Grogans felt confident about their caretaking ability and tossed their birth control in the trash. Jenny got pregnant, but miscarried; she embraced not only John but also Marley in her grief. And on it went: Marley got kicked out of obedience class. He developed a fear of thunder, which the Grogans discussed seriously with a vet. When the Grogans went on a trip, they left a six-page memo about Marley's care with the colleague who agreed to dog-sit. (Blessedly, the author only reproduces three-and-a-half of those pages here.) Marley appeared in a movie, The Last Home Run. Jenny got pregnant again-maybe it was because Marley sometimes lolled around in bed with the Grogans during their basal-temperature-ovulation-calendar-we-must-have-sex-right-this-second drill-sessions-and ultimately carried two pregnancies to term. But it feels as if Grogan has mistaken Marley for his first baby. He's like those people who prattle on about every single blessed thing their kids do-except in this case, it's a dog. Marley died at age 13, and the book ends with the Grogans thinking of adopting another puppy. Please, no sequels! Only the most alarmingly devoted dog lovers should bother withthis one.
“[Marley & Me] rises above some others of its topic thanks to Grogan’s healthy dose of self-deprecating humor.”
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.”
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.”
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.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
771 KB

Read an Excerpt

Marley & Me

Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
By John Grogan

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 John Grogan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060817089

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.


"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.


Excerpted from Marley & Me by John Grogan Copyright © 2005 by John Grogan.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

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.”

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Marley & Me 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 869 reviews.
HisSuperGirl More than 1 year ago
Anyone that is an animal lover will love this book. Through out John Grogans life, marriage, children, jobs, marley, the crazy dog, was there. Its one of the most touching books I think anyone could read. Its at the top of my list.
Lady_K_92 More than 1 year ago
I actually started this one still thinking it was more about the dog and at first I was disappointed. But then I started to see beyond Marley's hijinks and realized that this was more about a family and what they went through to become the family they did. Through it all Marley and his antics are a constant and binding element. Whatever they went through, where ever they were, there was Marley - usually destroying something. The ending is what you expect and I had to get down on the floor and hug my lab after I finished the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with Marley through John Grogan's words. This book is so much fun to read. I love all of the stories he shares about Marley's destructive habits. I also enjoyed the look into his personal life with his wife. The edition that I have is one with some pictures of Marley and his family. I enjoyed the pictures as much as I enjoyed the book. As sad as the book is, I still enjoyed every minute of it.
daydream_09 More than 1 year ago
I have to say this the most amazing , heart breaking and wonderful book ! If you have a dog this book will truely make you appreciate your life & your best friend ,ive cried and laugh through out his book its an amazing book !!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Marley & Me is John Grogan¿s touching memoir in which he recounts the stories of his exuberant dog, Marley, and how he changed the life of him and his wife, Jenny. The story starts out in Boca Raton, Florida, home to newly wed couple John and Jenny. After their first fight as a married couple, they agree to name their seemingly harmless new puppy Marley, after the singer Bob Marley, whom they loved. Grogan¿s novel is the uplifting tale of how one dog completely changed the lives of him and his wife. This story can truly be summarized by the quote on the cover of the novel, ¿life and love with the world¿s worst dog.¿ Obedient is not a word one would use to describe Marley. Marley quickly grew into a big strong Labrador alpha male, and was not easy to deal with. He could never quite understand what his owners wanted from him. He also he failed out of obedience school. One of the themes of the novel was that humans could learn something from dogs. Although Marley was not well behaved, he was always forgiven because he had a good heart and really loved his family. While I read the book, I grew very attached to Marley, and I felt like he was my dog too. I laughed at the comical things he did, wanted to throw him out of the house for misbehaving, and couldn¿t help but think how cute he was whenever he expressed how much he loved his owners. I agree with the theme, because sometimes dogs can express their feelings better than people can, and they really mean well. Marley understood his owners, too, as he comforted them in times of need and protected them when he felt they were in trouble. I liked this book because as a dog owner, it really captured how life-changing getting a dog can be and how a dog is really a part of the family. As I stated before, I really felt like I got to know Marley, and I felt very attached to him. I would recommend this book to anyone around 13 and older. I gave it 4 stars because I liked it a lot, and I found it enjoyable to read. As the book asks, ¿Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a larger than life bad-boy dog?¿ I would have to agree. I think all humans can learn from the unconditional love and the ability to live life to the fullest from dogs like Marley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is great for the young reader also
SANITY_READ More than 1 year ago
I have not cried over a book since I can remember. I am a huge animal lover and appreciated how much change one dog can bring into a families life. This book ran me through all my emotions. Everything from joy, to sadness, and honeslty had me laughing so hard at some points. Take a moment and read this book, you won't regret it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading the reviews for this book, I understand why my mother thought I would enjoy it as my boyfriend and I have three rescued dogs with a vast array of issues. Having read the book - I am perplexed at the lack of commentary by other dog lovers on the treatment of this 'beloved' dog. I would love to hear from other readers who were as disturbed as I was from the archaic treatment of this family pet. 1. They buy the dog from a back yard breeder as ¿practice¿ for a baby while millions of dogs are euthanized every year because there are not enough homes for them. He later describes Marley as ¿his problem¿ that he has to deal with and isn¿t it great that he decides not to dump ¿his problem¿ on someone else. 2. Marley is given a ¿home¿ in the garage ¿ enough said. 3. One of the most disturbing aspects of the book was the ¿training¿ that Marley was given. Listening to the author happily describe numerous times the choking sound as he yanked the metal choke collar again and again made me sick to my stomach. Never mind the fact that a dogs instinct is to pull against something that is choking them in an attempt to get away from the discomfort, the slightest sense of humanity would tell you that the sounds he was making were out of not being able to breathe!!! 4. I could go on and on as to the ways that this book was the antithesis for loving your pet but this part of the book brought tears to my eyes. Having previously described how Marley tried to keep Jenny company while she was on bed rest, this passage absolutely broke my heart and infuriated me at the same time. The author describes how his wife was suffering from post-partum depression and lauds her for never taking it out on the kids. Bravo. He then mentions how ¿regretfully¿ she did decide to take it out on Marley. The nastiness and coldness were enough to make my skin crawl but when I hear him describe his wife BEATING the dog with her fists that did it for me. She then goes on to tell him that he has to ¿get rid¿ of Marley. Great. Blindly buy a dog from a back yard breeder without any sort of research. ¿Train¿ the dog by choking it with a metal collar around his neck. Keep him in the garage. Finally, ignore the dog (he was only ¿practice¿ anyways) and then physically and emotionally abuse him once you have kids. I guess what bothers me more than anything is how so many people agree that this is a story about a family and their beloved pet. How can you applaud someone for not being cruel to their own children and then in the next breath describe them beating their submissive helpless animal that they brought into their home? Are we supposed to like these people? To sum it up - IF I WERE TO COME HOME TO FIND MY BOYFRIEND BEATING MY DOG ¿ THE DOG WOULD NOT BE THE ONE LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didnt really want to read it at first because i thought it would be cheesy.(i hate cheese) but my friends persuaded me to. So i did and-boy was i wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was sad and excited all at the same time. Now i feel cheesy!!!!!!!!(i hate cheese)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story was adorable, funny, and heart wrenching altogether. I couldn't put it down. Would recommend to all animal lovers!
Catie36 More than 1 year ago
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to raise a 97 pound lab? Well, if you have ever wondered you should just ask the Grogans. The Grogans were young and just starting their life together when they decided to get Marley, a yellow lab. As Marley grew into a sweet, affectionate, and disobedient puppy, John and Jenny decided to start a family. Attacking a drywall and eating his was through the wall is just one of the bad many things that Marley has done. Marley guides The Grogans through all the struggles and joys of having children. From the view of Marley, life is all about fun, crashing through screen doors, jumping up on house guests, and swinging slobber in every which way. There is only one thing that is not fun to Marley at all, and that is thunderstorms. No matter what Marley¿s owners did it just wasn¿t enough. Jenny, one of Marley¿s owners is a mother of three. At times she can be very impatient with Marley because he is so disobedient. Jenny¿s husband John is the patient trainer of Marley, who takes him to puppy classes. No matter what Marley did john knew that at one point Marley would get better, but Jenny on the other hand would get rid of Marley in two seconds if she could. These characters are all important to the book Marley and Me. Marley and Me by John Grogan is a great book for og lovers. In this book I could picture everything that was going on because the author, John Grogan did a really good job describing what happened with lots of details. There were also a few very unexpected and surprising events that took place making me more curious about what would happen next. This book is a must read for all pet lovers
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderfully touching. John Grogan is superb writer. He never wasted a word and did a wonderful job of illustrating Marley's crazy antics. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and I think everyone who has ever loved a pet should read it, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marley and me is an amazing book filled with many adventures. You find yourself laughing you head off at marley and learn to love him. You laugh, cry, sweat, and sigh as you read. You become a part of the family it seems. You giggle at goofy marley and wonder how many marleys are out there. John grogan narrated the book perfectly!!! * gives a round of applause
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG! Totally fell in love with this book. Made me feel everything the author made me feel. Especially during the sad parts. The movie was good too but the book of course so much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the greatest book I have ever read. I recomend it to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very well told story of a man, his family and his canine best friend Marley. Beautifully written and had me in tears holding my dogs near the end!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book. It almost made me cry but ir was really good.
MomBlue01 More than 1 year ago
I have read many, many books about dogs, & all sorts of animals, but John Grogan really nails what raising a pup is all about. I laughed, cried & thoroughly enjoyed this smoothly, well-written book. I almost got kicked out of bed, for loud laughter, in the middle of the night. My husband is not a reader, & doesn't understand how I can get so involved, in a book!!! Marley & Me is truly a must read, & one of the best animal stories I have read, in many years. I hope John Grogan writes gets a more, & quickly.:) still giggling/ 7catmom.Mary Ann EggermanMarley & Me gets a 5* rating, from this old cat lover!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me cry at times but it also made me laugh until I had tears running down my face. I read it twice - it was just as good the second time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mom got me the book and I started reading the book. It sounded intresting. So far I lile how Marly chews EVERYTHING he sees. So, so far I like the thebook therefore I give it four and a half stars. I'd recammend this book for people who like love and romance books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite book by far
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The nool will make you life within the first few chapters guarenteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed
Guest More than 1 year ago
First off, I feel extremely sorry to any animal that is in the care of this author and his family. I was extremely disappointed with this book. I am a huge animal lover and have three dogs myself...one being a lab. The treatment this author gave this animal was horrible, and I didn't like the way it was written either. Marley is constantly referred to as the problem dog in the book...he was far from that. Maybe if the author correctly disiplined the dog and gave it the time and attention it needed it would have behaved better for this family. I feel sorry for Marley who gave all his love and attention to this family in return for the crude way he was often treated. Is proper treatment of a dog beating it with your fists? Or leaving it locked in a garage? Or putting it in too small of a crate to transport it...so it can't even stand up and barely move? This book talks more negatively about this animal than anything else. 'Life and LOVE with the World's Worst Dog'...hardly. Marley wouldn't have been a burden had the family knew better of how to care for a dog. This book was far from what I expected and I wouldn't recommend anyone to read it..and I'm sorry I did. The review from 'Proud Parent of Three Dogs' couldn't have been more right.
Anonymous 28 days ago
One of my favorite books of all time. I laughed i cried. But enjoyed every page in this book hated to see it end but left me with su h a thought how loving our pets are to us i really wised i vould have a marley. Will never forget the book
Anonymous 4 months ago
Marley and Me is an exhilarating story about a newlywed couple, John and Jenny, who go out on a search for a dog to invite into their home. To them, this dog, Marley, was their chance to learn how to take care of another living being together so that they could eventually raise a kid. Marley was a ninety-seven pound, couch chewing, drool slinger, screen breaker, trash eating dog. He scared away potential pet sitters, and even got kicked out of obedience school. Looking past all of the trouble that Marley had caused in John and Jenny’s life, this story illustrates how he has changed their world by teaching them about friendship, selflessness, and above all else, unwavering loyalty. While reading this book, I feel like I became emotionally involved in this family, and I grew to love Marley in my own kind of way. This book made me relate my experiences with my dog with the stories about Marley, which made the book so much better for me because it made me emotionally involved. There were sections of the book that had me laughing, and then there were sections of the story that had me sobbing to the point where I had to stop reading and grab a tissue. It's books like this that make me want to read more and more because of the way that it catches my attention and urges me to keep reading. I would highly recommend this book to anyone because of the extraordinary writing and the message behind the story. A person can learn a lot from a dog, even when they are crazy like Marley. They can teach a person how to love, and how to enjoy life and all the little things that it throws at you. I believe that this is what the lesson that this story has brought to my attention and it is something that all people need to learn someday. After finishing this book, I rate it a four out of five because I found it enjoyable to read and I believe that there is a strong and valuable lesson behind it.