>When a movie comes out based on a book, I don’t buy a ticket. I buy the book. I found The Horse Whisperer that way. I read and reread it, and then continued buying anything Nicholas Evans wrote after that. I was hooked. Eventually, I watched the movie. The book was much, much better.
So it was with Marley and Me. I didn’t go to the movie, but I picked up the book. I was glad I did. John Grogan wrote a fun book about a fun dog, captured the craziness of loving a far-from-perfect pet, and included enough life anecdotes to make this true story read like part memoir, part novel.
One of my favorite parts of the book was the actually a minor scene in the family’s move to Pennsylvania so that John could take a job at Organic Gardening Magazine. To live by his word, he and his wife, Jenny, start an organic garden in the yard and decide to raise chickens. Why chickens? Well, chickens are inexpensive, low-maintenance, provide eggs, forage by eating bugs and other nasties, and they’re cute. Yes, cute is important. Marley takes to the chickens not as food, but as friends.
Marley, however, is anything but cute. He is huge, ungainly, klutzy, destructive, moody, and despite (or maybe because of) all these traits, completely and totally lovable. Marley never meets a screen door he doesn’t love – as a hoop through which to jump. He mimics a snowstorm in Florida – by destroying couch cushions. He fails obedience school dramatically, getting kicked out after one disastrous class session. In other words, he’s a disaster, and the best kind. He’s the kind of pet that creates stories for a lifetime.
I keep a stack of books that have nothing to do with school or professional development. I call it my Pleasure Reading pile. It’s like a To Be Read pile, but it’s totally for relaxation and fun. Marley and Me fit perfectly.
It helped that I felt a connection as soon as I realized that we have Marley’s rabbit cousin living with us. Buttercup and Me, perhaps? Call the agent, I’m ready to write!
This is not a paid review. I picked up Marley and Me on Paperbackswap.com. Now that I’m done, it’s posted again. Now that summer is here, I’ll read a lot more. More reviews in store? Maybe! I just need to shuffle the pile and decide what to read next.