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

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

by John Grogan

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

John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with 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 grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, and stole women's undergarments. Obedience school did no good -- Marley was expelled.

But just as Marley joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Marley remained a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit's end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.

Marley & Me is John Grogan's funny, unforgettable tribute to this wonderful, wildly neurotic Lab and the meaning he brought to their lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061793554
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/17/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 143,809
File size: 771 KB

About 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.


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

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.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Perfect Dog     ix
And Puppy Makes Three     1
Running with the Blue Bloods     11
Homeward Bound     15
Mr. Wiggles     23
The Test Strip     33
Matters of the Heart     39
Master and Beast     51
A Battle of Wills     59
The Stuff Males Are Made Of     71
The Luck of the Irish     81
The Things He Ate     93
Welcome to the Indigent Ward     103
A Scream in the Night     113
An Early Arrival     123
A Postpartum Ultimatum     135
The Audition     149
In the Land of Bocahontas     163
Alfresco Dining     175
Lightning Strikes     185
Dog Beach     195
A Northbound Plane     207
In the Land of Pencils     217
Poultry on Parade     227
The Potty Room     237
Beating the Odds     249
Borrowed Time     257
The Big Meadow     265
Beneath the Cherry Trees     273
The Bad Dog Club     281
Acknowledgments     291
A Note from theAuthor     293

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.”

Customer Reviews

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Marley & Me 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1181 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
The book "Marley and Me" is a wonderful book that has touched the hearts of many readers. Josh and Jenny Grogan both had wonderful memories of their childhood dog's and would like to add an addition to their new family. They end up getting a cute, bubbly, Labrador retriever, and naming him Marley.Even on the first night Marley shows the Grogan's who is in charge by not letting them put him in the garage. Marley is not like any other dog, he is a wild, house destroying dog. Marley shows the family that they should be careful what they wish for. Marley is a wild dog that destroys the house numerous times, chews up everything, and slobbers everywhere, and not to mention runs away from home. Marley is an untouchable dog and was even kicked out of puppy training classes. Marley is an wild, lovable dog that is part of the Grogan family. "Marley and Me" is a touching story about a lovable dog who makes his way into the hearts of the Grogan family. Even through all of Marley's "outburts" the Grogan family loves him not matte what.Marley loves the family he has and he would do anything to protect his family. One thing about "Marley and Me" that might not be pleasing to others is it tends to drag some parts out. Overall "Marley and Me" is a wonderful book and if you are an animal lover or not you should pick up a copy and read about the fun, lovable, crazy dog Marley. This fun outgoing dog will also make it into the hearts of your family.
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
Sampicc More than 1 year ago
Marley and Me, by John Grogan is a practical and entertaining book. It made me feel many emotions, happiness to sadness. Marley, the Labrador retriever, is full of energy and sometimes trouble but at the end of the day he is fun, loving, and caring. In the middle of the book, Marley, John, and Jenny hear a scream from a girl that was stabbed. This makes a side of Marley come out that John has never seen. Marley stands in a fighter's position. His fur bristled and his jaw clenched ready to fight. Marley shows many sides of him in this book that make you smile, laugh, and sometimes be scared. This book is humorous and heartfelt. In the beginning of the book Jenny and John had no idea what they were in for, but everything was an experience. Marley is a dog that everyone wishes they had except when he destroys the garage or eats Jenny's gold necklace. The book talks about many rough times and times that will always be remembered. Later on in the book, John and Jenny's three kids, Patrick, Conner, and Colleen share memorable times with Marley. They all grew up with him in there lives so everyone had a special connection with him. I enjoyed how realistic the author wrote this book and the love he put into it. The writing was amazing and you just want to keep reading after every chapter. I would recommend this book to teenagers, adults, dog lovers, or anyone looking for humor or entertainment.
LauraB7A More than 1 year ago
Marley and me, by John Grogan is a hilarious, exciting, and heartwarming story about a young couples journey to start a family. John and Jenny decide it's time to get some practice at taking care of something, and both, growing up with dogs, felt it was a perfect idea to get one. Marley was what they decided to name this male yellow lab that looked so innocent, but grew to be a crazy, destroying, and yet protective dog. This book is great for all ages and dog or any pet lovers. This book really shows how dogs, even wild and crazy ones, can grow on people and really become a true member of their family. I think Marley and Me is a great story with really good details about how Marley acts and looks. Also, the author makes you feel like you are there with John and Jenny and you can picture the rooms Marley destroyed. I feel like I am the one that has just been tackled by Marley and licked on the face. I don't even have a dog but I can tell how the family really loves that animal and how he is such a huge part of there family. The only thing about this book I don't really like is at some parts the author seems to drag on and on about something which makes it boring at some points. Besides that I loved this book overall because of everything it made me feel. It made me laugh, smile, and at some times it even made me cry. This book also won the 2006 Quill book award. I would defiantly recommend this book to anyone about 9 and older, its very interesting and I couldn't put the book down.