Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Marley and Me by John Grogan

iconiconI never thought I would read Marley & Me.  I'm not a big fan of pet memoirs, although I've read several — I usually end up feeling that just because someone is famous doesn't mean their pets are any more special than anyone else's, for one thing.  (There are a few exceptions, pet memoirs that are truly about a special animal or situation.  In my opinion, Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards is a perfect example of such an exception.  Dewey by Vicki Myron is another.)

I also despise the fact that pet memoirs almost always make me cry.  It feels like cheap tears, too, since it seems like both author and reader know it's going to make you cry, and in fact, that's more or less the goal.  (I can think of only one exception to this rule, and that is Sex and the Kitty, the only pet memoir I know of where the pet doesn't die at the end, and in fact, is still alive and well — with her own Facebook page, no less!)

So I wasn't terribly gung ho on reading Marley & Me.  But my mom decided to read it, so I checked the ebook out from the library for her.  And I decided that, while I had it out, I might as well read it too.

Of course, I cried.

And of course, it wasn't about a dog that was any different than anyone else's dog.  I don't even think he was the worst dog in the world, no matter what his owner thought.  He seemed like a pretty average lab to me.  Maybe a touch better behaved than average, actually.  (There's a reason why we don't own a lab.)

But the book was funny.  It had some great scenes, although sometimes it was Grogan's narration that made them so funny.  It was also a fairly light and fast read.  And I didn't cry as much as I sometimes do at these kinds of books.

I feel a little bit like I've sold out by reading Marley & Me, but I guess at least I haven't jumped on the bandwagon.  No movies, movie sequels, children's I Can Read books, or other movie memorabilia for me.  The book was good, but not good enough to justify the ridiculous fandom it seems to have inspired, at least not in my opinion!


Kathy@TheFlawlessWord said...

When I finally get around to emailing you, we need to talk about this book. There was one part that really ticked me off (as often happens with me when I read animal memoirs, which is why, like you, I'm frequently hesitant to do so). They, of course, left that part out of the movie.

Katharine Swan said...

Oh! I'm curious what it was, so we do have to talk soon. There were a couple of other things he said that annoyed me while I was reading, but I can't remember now what they were.