Wednesday, December 12, 2007
It's been a year since I wandered into an arbitrary bookshop and spotted the doleful face of a Lab puppy staring at me from the shelf. As is typical of me, I gave the back of the book a cursory glance and added it to the armful of Great Book Finds which I plonked on the counter. I pride myself in intuitively divining the best places to pick up book bargains. If this was an Olympic sport, I'd be a gold medalist. It's not the first time that I've bought and read a bestseller before it was discovered by the masses. Marley & Me is a case in point. This is the ultimate dog lovers' dog story. It has all the ingredients to make you wince in sympathy, howl with laughter and sob in anguish as the life of this loveable Lab unfolds across the pages of John Grogan's book. Newly married, the author and his wife decide, unwittingly, to get a dog as a bit of a test drive, before they have children. Marley's subsequent behaviour has spawned a website, bulletin board, gift book range and due, sometime in the future, a movie featuring Jen Aniston and Owen Wilson.
This dog's life story has inspired a community of animal lovers to come together and share their heartfelt tributes to the canines with whom they shared their lives. Only a great dog could trigger such an incredible response. Fortunately he was adopted by a journalist-dad who recognised a good story as he saw it unfold before his eyes; that and the fact that the author resisted the idea of re-homing the terrorist dog who unleashed his special brand of chaos wherever he went.
This book is a must-read, you'll never yell at your puppy again for destroying anything, because they simply cannot be as bad as Marley was!