If you’re a dog lover, Jennifer Aniston fan, or Owen Wilson fan you’ve probably seen the Marley & Me movie. It was a pretty big hit when it first came out and a crowd pleaser all around. I, myself, watched the movie years ago. The book was also a New York Times Bestseller.
Synopsis of the book
A married couple gets a Labrador Retriever puppy and names it, Marley. The book follows the lives of the married couple, John and Jenny, and Marley. Turns out Marley is the worst behaved but loveable dog. From life as newlyweds to first-time parents, new jobs, living in new cities… the book documents a span of 10+ years. *SPOILER ALERT* Marley passes away at the end of the book but what happens is after his passing and the way the family griefed is actually how this book came to be. You see, Marley & Me is based on a true story. The author, John Grogan, was a newspaper column writer and Marley’s owner. When Marley passed, John wrote a book documenting “life and love with the world worst dog” based on the response he received from his column on Marley’s eulogy.
Book vs. Movie
Even though I watched the movie first (years ago), I decided to refresh my memory and watch it again after I was done reading the book. The movie actually follows the book pretty closely but the book is better. The book is always better. Well, not always but usually. The movie touched on all major aspects and timeline of the book but there were a few things either felt out or that was shortened in the movie. For example, ***BOOK SPOILER ALERT*** the book goes deeper into Jenny’s postpartum depression, the humiliation John felt moving into Boca Raton, FL, and John growing a passion for gardening which becomes the reason they, later on, move to Pennsylvania, and a few other moments. Again, the movie touches on all of those but the book just dives deeper. Books don’t usually make me cry but I am not going to lie, my eyes were watery as I finished up the book. If I hadn’t been sitting in the middle of a really busy airport, I probably would have shed a few tears.
Have you read the book? Have you watched the movie? What are your thoughts? Which do you like better?
FYI: I just found out there are adaptions of Marley & Me for younger readers! I’m definitely going to grab copies for my niece. I think it would be fun to have a little book discussion with the younger kids.