Marley & Me
Review By: Gringo

Ugh.

That one word neatly sums up my feelings upon finishing John Groganís book Marley & Me, which details one manís seemingly never-ending anecdotes about his dead dog.

This book is essentially a transcript of what happens when youíre seated next to some prick on an airplane who can talk about nothing but how coochie-poo cute their pet is. Somehow this book -- which is so sickly sweet and inoffensive your hands get sticky from the treacle itís covered in -- made its way onto several bestseller lists where it seemed to stay forever.

Why? I have no idea. I truly do not understand the lingering appeal of this book. Itís a series of reminisces about a dead dog and all the wacky adventures and scrapes the dog got into. Grogan writes in an extremely bland manner, and his prose is so twee that it practically holds up a sign saying ďCry here!Ē at the end of various paragraphs. Instead, I wanted to vomit.

What to do with this book

Donít go thinking that Iím writing such a negative mini-review just because I hate pets, because thatís incorrect. Iíve had several dogs for pets and theyíre far more affable than obnoxious cats. No, I hate this book because itís just so very awful. Although the author seems to think that anything the dog does is hilarious, itís not. This is like a literature version of someone saying ďawwÖhe thinks heís peopleĒ when watching a dog exhibit quirky behavior. Itís that dull.

But rather than keep ranting in my own words, let me lift some criticism straight from the excellent movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Just as Neil Page said to Del Griffith, Iíd like to say this to Mr. Grogan: ďY'know, not everything is an anecdote, you have to discriminate! You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing! You're a miracle! Your stories have none of that! They're not even amusing accidentally! 'Honey, I'd like you to meet Del Griffith, he's got some amusing anecdotes for ya! And, oh, here's a gun so you can blow your brains out, you'll thank me for it!'Ē

Of course, change the name Del Griffith to John Grogan in that quote. Cheers.

The only saving grace for this book? The fact itís about a dog, not a baby. Thereís only one thing worse than people who blather on and on for hours about their puppies, and thatís new or soon-to-be parents. Hooray for hating everything!


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