Mr Mars & Our Boy: Marley’s Story

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Mr Mars - Our Boy: Marley’s Story

Last Free Dates: 1st Aug 23 to 2nd Aug 23
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...Due to the formatting and writing issues I cannot recommend it, but for those who knew Marley, it would make a good memorial....

I picked this up because I have a soft spot for animal stories and pet biographies.

In the first few pages there are some funny stories. I am sure any dog owner can appreciate the problems with a black Labrador that returns from the beach brown with mud, and the following job of cleaning out the newly-recoloured car. It is a short book, a homage to Marley “Mr Mars” the Labrador’s nine years with his family. It begins when he was born and ends, as it must, in the inevitable heartbreak for any pet owner. His friends, his life and times, and a section of photos all make this a notable tribute to a notable dog.

However, there are significant issues with it as a book. The formatting is unusual, with sections separated by left-aligned titles, indented, underlined and in normal text. Lines separate sections and some paragraphs, though the paragraph beginnings are also indented.

The writing style is technically in first person, but reads like a blog rather than a book. For example, when his family are named, ages in brackets follow each name. Stray capitals can be found e.g. “I Stood…” and “with Me and Jo all…”. Commas appear irregularly, sometimes correctly, sometimes missing, and sometimes substituting for other punctuation e.g. “his food, When…” should be a full stop. The Oxford comma is absent, resulting in some odd lists. A classic example is the extract “our cat Tigers food bowl” which is missing both commas and apostrophes. All the errors I mention here are on the first page, so I will not continue; however, readers should be aware that this style continues throughout.

It is obvious the author has put their heart and soul into the stories and I will say that for those who knew Marley, it would make a good memorial.

I am not rating this as due to the formatting and writing issues, I cannot recommend it. A proof-reader, editor, or the simple and old trick of reading backwards, would allow many of the formatting errors to be fixed.

Rating: Unrated
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