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Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir by Christopher…

Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir (2009)

by Christopher Buckley

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Wanted to read this book when it first came out to great fanfare several years ago, was an immediate NY Times bestseller, made several 'best' lists, etc. Found the paperback edition on sale just last week, and, now that I've read it, I'm glad I didn't shell out for the hardback. Because, while it has its moments, I didn't find it all that great. I found Buckley's style a bit overblown and pretentious. But I was often moved by the obvious affection and familial love shown in his portrayal of a famous, flamboyant and intellectual family. An only child, "Christo" obviously reaped the benefits of his parents' celebrity as one of the premier couples of New York society.

Actually, there isn't a whole lot here about the author's life, except in how it relates to his famous parents, William F. and Patricia Taylor Buckley. There is a major surplus of name-dropping throughout the book, without a lot of interesting context to go with it. I learned that Wm F. Buckley, Jr. was a "conservative icon" over and over, and that he wrote scores of books. I'm wondering if I should be embarrassed not to have read any of them.

What moved me most about LOSING MUM AND PUP was the real sense of grief and loss that Buckley felt at losing both parents in less than a year, although I could have perhaps stood a bit less of the dark humor he laces it all with. A few years back I read another memoir about the loss of both parents in quick succession: Benjamin Busch's DUST TO DUST. It was a REAL memoir, and it was much more effective in its depiction of that dual loss in a very short time. Buckley's book is very different, too determined, perhaps, to maintain his typical flippancy and airy style. It was okay, but only if you want to learn all about the lifestyles of rich and famous, not if you're looking for a definitive portrayal of grief. (three and a half stars)

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | Jul 24, 2016 |
Excellent. It would be easy for me to dislike the Buckleys (conservative and wealthy), but Christopher Buckley brings out the humanness of his parents. For all the names and privilege in it, it's really a book about what it's like for each of your parents to die. And a good book
  revliz | Feb 25, 2016 |
Christopher Buckley, an author who I'm rather fond of, turns his trademark wit on himself as he relates his experience of losing both of his parents. Regardless of what one thinks of his father, Christopher's stories about their complicated relationship and their final times together are both heartwarming and sad and worth reading for any fan of the author of Thank You For Smoking. ( )
  BrookeAshley | Jun 5, 2013 |
Some other reviewers have called the author a whiny, self-centered, ungrateful brat, and they are entirely correct. However, if he was indeed raised by his parents (William F. Buckley jr and wife Patricia) as indicated in this memoir, they have only themselves to blame.
The stars are for the style, which is quite entertaining, and the name-dropping.
And somewhat for the emotional catharsis. ( )
  librisissimo | May 27, 2013 |
A perfectly splendid memoir, which seems an odd thing to say about a book primarily concerned with death. Buckley is hilarious, wry and incisive. He never descends into the maudlin, but he is vulnerable and open about his grief and the ways he moves through it.

The rich ARE different, of course, and some of the memories he shares are the stuff of dreams to the rest of us- but more of it is universal, the fabric of love and loss. Buckley's own voice is perfect for the narration, and I enjoyed listening to him speak.

There's plenty of name-dropping, how could there not be? There's a bit of dirty laundry, but nothing shocking. Mostly there is love, respect and loss interspersed with genuine hilarity.

Highly recommended. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Control and the confessional impulse abide uneasily in a single manuscript, which is what makes this memoir -- for all its apparent candor -- hollow and unsatisfying. Christopher Buckley is curiously silent, for example, concerning the influence of his outsized parents and their melodramatic marriage on his own somewhat messy personal life.
The memoir provoked by their lives and deaths is loving, exasperated and very funny. In its moments of real ambivalence, “Losing Mum and Pup” is surprisingly strong drink.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446540943, Hardcover)

In twelve months between 2007 and 2008, Christopher Buckley coped with the passing of his father, William F. Buckley, the father of the modern conservative movement, and his mother, Patricia Taylor Buckley, one of New York's most glamorous and colorful socialites. He was their only child and their relationship was close and complicated. Writes Buckley: "They were not - with respect to every other set of loving, wonderful parents in the world - your typical mom and dad."
As Buckley tells the story of their final year together, he takes readers on a surprisingly entertaining tour through hospitals, funeral homes, and memorial services, capturing the heartbreaking and disorienting feeling of becoming a 55-year-old orphan. Buckley maintains his sense of humor by recalling the words of Oscar Wilde: "To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness."
Just as Calvin Trillin and Joan Didion gave readers solace and insight into the experience of losing a spouse, Christopher Buckley offers consolation, wit, and warmth to those coping with the death of a parent, while telling a unique personal story of life with legends.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:26 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Bestselling author Buckley's most personal and transcendent work--the tragicomic true story of the year in which he lost both of his parents. The author offers consolation, wit, and warmth to those coping with the death of a mother or father.

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