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Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man by…

Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man

by Brian McGrory

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Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man by Brian McGrory is a brilliant memoir about the reluctant transition a man must make from content autonomy of singlehood to the selflessness that’s required in a longterm relationship, the unexpected and ever-changing moods of children — and in this case, a house full of pets.

Brian McGrory’s experience as a writer and editor for the Boston Globe since the eighties has clearly given him an advantage in writing novels, which in Buddy, obviously showcases his natural ease in writing an effortless and an easily readable and enjoyable prose.

The writing is indicative of McGrory himself: intelligent, witty, thoughtful, and humble enough to be accommodating to those he cares about.

The history of his life-changing relationship with his beloved golden retriever, Harry, is especially genuine and heartfelt that readers, even professed non-dog lovers, will naturally feel a connection to this intelligent, loyal, and gregarious dog, and a deep appreciation for their exceptional relationship with one other.

In comparison, the reader may indeed get frustrated with Harry’s polar opposite, Buddy, the incessantly pecking and crowing, much beloved and spoiled, self-indulged, and self-important, territorial rooster of the family.

It seemed for much of the book that poor McGrory was not only outnumbered by females, animals, and decisions that often put him last; readers may have felt an undeniable empathy—even pity—for the man who reluctantly accommodated great change in his life because of his love and commitment to one woman in his conceding role as second husband, stepfather to two stepdaughters, and bewildered co-owner to 12 feisty animals: Baker, Walter, Charlie, Tigger, Lily, Dolly, Mokey, Lala, Smurf, Chaz, Buddy, and the nameless frog — in one boisterous household.

I certainly did.

The injustice of McGrory’s desires almost always put last in accommodation to please Pam, his wife, and her two daughters in their desire to appease, nurture, and indulge their beloved and domesticated rooster, Buddy, baffled and infuriated me.

While I couldn’t understand how one’s love for an animal could impede on the desires and needs of a family member like McGrory, the length in which the family accommodated this regal, strutting, pecking, and attacking, feathered bird was over and beyond any pet owner’s natural obligation.

But this family isn’t ordinary. Nor is their lifestyle, which accepted and fell in love with an animal that originally began as a school project.

To read the rest of my review, you're more than welcome to visit my blog, The Bibliotaphe Closet:


Zara ( )
  ZaraD.Garcia-Alvarez | Jun 6, 2017 |
I have had this book on my to be read pile for a while. This is one book where I was really looking forward to reading this book. I used to raise chickens and turkeys. For a brief time we even had a rooster. Yet he went to a good home as living close to neighbors is not always a good mix. Plus, my dad did not enjoy being woken up by the crowing of the rooster. I loved my chickens. In addition, it has been a long while since I have read a good chicken story.

Sadly, this book was not what I was looking for. There was one brief moment early on where Buddy and Brian had "guy" battle to see just who was boss. Buddy won. As I read this, I had a smile on my face and even had to read this to my husband. Yet, this was the last time that Buddy would make an appearance in a long time. I can't tell you when he appears again as I got to chapter nine and put the book down. Not to take anything away from Mr. McGrory but I really was only intrigued in Buddy and his encounters with him and not so much about his life. Which if it had been more interesting then maybe I would have been more invested. ( )
  Cherylk | Aug 8, 2016 |
12/27/13 ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man by Brian McGrory
328 pages


When I randomly picked up this book at the library, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, the whole concept seemed a little cheesy to me, but what the heck. But right away I was sucked into Brian McGrory’s writing and lapped up his story of going from a man who had been single most of his life (except for a short marriage years before) in a large city to a man with kids, a fiancee, and A LOT of animals in the suburbs – including a rooster named Buddy. The author has a way of throwing his emotions out there and being honest which left me cracking up in some segments and tearing up in others. He has a habit of being very narcissistic and selfish at times but for the most part I found it charming. This really was a cute book, much more than just about a rooster (in fact many chapters have nothing at all to do with Buddy the Rooster) but about a past, a family and love. If you’re an animal lover, regardless of what kind, this may be a book to pick up. A surprisingly fun and quick read.
( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is a great book. It has a few sad moments among many, many funny, hilarious and poignant ones. You would have to be a completely unfeeling shell of a human being not to thoroughly enjoy this book. ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 24, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307953068, Hardcover)

Award-winning journalist Brian McGrory goes head to beak in a battle royale with another male for a top-spot in his home, vying for dominance with the family’s pet rooster. 
   Brian McGrory's life changed drastically after the death of his beloved dog, Harry: he fell in love with Pam, Harry's veterinarian. Though Brian’s only responsibility used to be his adored Harry, Pam came with accessories that could not have been more exotic to the city-loving bachelor: a home in suburbia, two young daughters, two dogs, two cats, two rabbits, and a portly, snow white, red-crowned-and-wattled step-rooster named Buddy. While Buddy loves the women of the house, he takes Brian's presence as an affront, doing everything he can to drive out his rival. Initially resistant to elements of his new life and to the loud, aggressive rooster (who stares menacingly, pecks threateningly, and is constantly poised to attack), Brian eventually sees that Buddy shares the kind of extraordinary relationship with Pam and her two girls that he wants for himself. The rooster is what Brian needs to be – strong and content, devoted to what he has rather than what might be missing. As he learns how to live by living with animals, Buddy, Brian’s nemesis, becomes Buddy, Brian’s inspiration, in this inherently human story of love, acceptance, and change.
   In the tradition of bestsellers like Marley and Me, Dewey, and The Tender Bar comes a heartwarming and wise tale of finding love in life’s second chapter - and how it means all the more when you have to fight for it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:12 -0400)

Award-winning journalist Brian McGrory goes head to beak in a battle royale with another male for a top-spot in his home, vying for dominance with the family's pet rooster as he learns how to live by living with animals.

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