John Grogan - The Longest Trip Home


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Marley Arrives in the United Kingdom

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I've just returned from a whirlwind week in the United Kingdom, promoting the UK edition of Marley & Me, which was released there July 3. I flew out of Newark on the night of July 1 and arrived in London the next morning, a Sunday, which I spent catching up on my jet lag and walking around my very charming West London neighborhood running along -- I'm not making this up -- Marylebone Street. And yes, they pronounce it like "Marley Bone." It seemed fitting.

I spent most of the week doing radio and television interviews and visiting bookstores to meet booksellers and sign their stock of Marley books. In the evenings, I was mostly free to explore, sample pints of the local ale and read the local newspapers.

It was a rough week for the Brits -- they got knocked out of the World Cup, watched Andy Murray's incredible run come to a disapointing end at Wimbledon, heard David Beckham resign in tears as captain of the England football team, broiled through a stifling heat wave and, on July 7, paused in respectful silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the terrorist underground bombings -- a somber rememberance that brought back vivid memories for this post-9/11 American.

Late in the week, I flew to Dublin for a 24-hour visit to do interviews with the Irish media and visit some bookstores. The last time I was in Dublin was with Jenny in 1991 (described in the book). The city then seemed depressed and dour...and very quiet. I had heard it had changed as the Celtic Tiger economy took off, but I wasn't prepared for just how dramatically it had changed. The place was hopping, vibrant. Live music was everywhere...young people filled the sidewalks...street entertainers drew huge crowds...and, or course, the Guinness flowed freely. My hotel was in the Temple Bar nightclub district, and I had a great time.

My publisher, Hodder & Stoughton, did a great job drumming up interest in Marley & Me (and making me feel incredibly welcome and at home). I learned that some things are universal, and the way humans love their dogs is one of them. The British and Irish and Australians seemed no different to me than Americans on that front. They told me the funny stories about the mischief their dogs caused, and they shared the pain of saying goodbye to their pets, too.

My visit seemed to pay off. Marley & Me is #1 on the Ireland bestseller list and #2 on The Times of London bestseller list. Meanwhile back at home, Marley popped back up to #1 on The New York Times nonfiction list this week and will be at #1 again next week.

England and Ireland were great, but it's good to be home. I'm looking forward to a sleepy August with my family. The purple coneflower and cosmos are in bloom, the pears and apples are swelling on the trees, the garlic ready to be harvested, the zebra grass nearly as tall as I am. There's been record amounts of rain so everything is emerald green..come to think of it, not unlike the Irish countryside. Summer in Pennsylvania...it's a lovely time.

Over and out for now.... John

posted by John Grogan at 6:39 PM

5 Comments:

Blogger Golden Dreams said...

I began your novel last evening laughing and marvelling at the similarities of our doggie lives and finished it in tears this morning with the same feelings. Thank you for such a wonderful story and a healing process for me.

I wish Marley and Me much success in the United Kingdon and across the globe. I will recommend it to every person I know.

8:00 PM  
Blogger " THE ROYAL BRIGADE " New Cartoon Series Blog said...

I enjoyed reading your blog.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Southern Girl said...

Mr. Grogan, every Sunday my mother turns to the NYT bestseller's list to see where Marley and Me is that week -- she was so excited this week to see it was back on top. Your book was the first one she had read in *years*, and now she's read six more so far this year.

So thanks for getting her to read again!

5:57 PM  
Blogger ConnieMc said...

I am alternately disgusted and angry reading this book. I have never read about such morons when it comes to raising a dog. Dogs are first and foremost PACK ANIMALS and should never be locked up in a garage or cage. KICKING him in the chest to keep him from jumping makes me want to kick the shit out the author. Considering "getting rid of him" because he had outgrown his puppyhood and was simply "too much trouble" is unconsionable. While I also currently have a dog terrified of thunder, I manage to keep him relatively calm without drugging him or locking him away so he can BLEED trying to tear himself out. They make a special "vest" that makes the dog feel safe in these situations. What the hell is wrong with these people? I sure hope they have more common sense with their human animals. Poor Marley. I've had dogs my whole life, all different breeds, all rescue dogs. I would NEVER have handled the issues with such callous disregard or have ignorant enough not to understand the BASIC NEEDS of a dog! Reading up on labs doesn't educate you on the true nature of ALL DOGS. Marley would have benefited by a doggie daycare or a companion animal. I never used anything but patience, time and oodles of love to break all my dogs of any issues. KICKING HIM IN THE CHEST???? Jesus...
I haven't finished this book yet because I kept wanted the author to know what a disservice he is doing by allowing other ignorant dog owners to follow his example of inconsistency, abuse and abandonment upon the birth of his human animals. I pray every night for all the animals who are in homes like this, and obviously, homes that are far worse. They only seek understanding and love. Mentally ill?? Maybe YOU are John, but I doubt Marley ever was...just confused and neglected.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

I generally find that people who judge another person that harshly without even knowing them or experiencing their circumstances first hand, are generally small minded hypocrites.

People make choices in life - sometimes those choices are wrong and someone else needs to step in and say something (such as in the case of the sexual abuse of a child.) But certain other choices (lightly smacking children, abortion, sedating a dog in an attempt to treat a phobia) should be the decision of the individual.

Let people make their own decisions in life and if you feel the need to judge, then do so silently.

8:11 PM  

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