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Review: Losing Mum and Pup

September 4, 2009

Losing Mum and Pup

Christopher Buckley is the only child of the late larger than life couple of William F. Buckley, Jr. and Patricia Buckley.  William was well known for his conservative newspaper column, his books and the TV show Firing Line.  Patricia was well known for her glamour and her skills as a hostess.

Obviously, with parents like that, Christopher didn’t have an ordinary childhood.  Politicians, celebrities and actors were frequent guests in the Buckley household.  Trips to exotic places around the world were common.  Christopher really didn’t know that his parents were all that different from anyone else’s until he was a teenager and away at boarding school, though.  After his parents visited, comments from other students made him realize how unique his family was.

William and Patricia died within a year of each other and, being an only child, Christopher was the one who had to deal with making health care decisions at the end, and handling funeral and burial details.

I listened to the audio version Losing Mum and Pup which is written and read by  Christopher Buckley.  I wasn’t sure this was the right book for me since both of my parents are in their eighties and my dad has had some struggles lately.  I decided to give it a try and just stop listening if the book became too emotional for me, and I’m glad I did.

This book certainly has some emotional moments, but it really doesn’t focus on the end of William and Patricia’s lives – rather it focuses on their relationship and what it was like to grow up with larger than life parents like them.  It’s a celebration of living life to its fullest.  Christopher said his goal in writing the book was to make it a “testament to their devotion,” and I think he succeeded admirably.  Losing Mum and Pup had the potential to be a terribly sad book, but Christopher’s humor keeps it from being too heavy.   This book is a loving tribute to his parents written by their adult son who still misses them.   I think fans of memoirs and William F. Buckley, Jr. will enjoy this story, like I did.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2009 6:14 am

    Kind of a nice change from some of the stories you see, where the parents damaged the child, and who will now forever be in therapy? I’m amazed Buckley didn’t even realize his family was different until he was older! That is a tribute to the parenting.

  2. September 4, 2009 6:47 am

    Funny, my first thought was to ask if the book had lots of pictures – but I see that you enjoyed the audio version!

  3. September 4, 2009 7:33 am

    I thought this one looked good! Maybe I’ll have to add it to my growing TBR list!

  4. September 4, 2009 7:53 am

    Thanks for the review! I’ll be adding this one to the List!

  5. September 4, 2009 7:56 am

    Gosh, I’d been staying away from this one for the reasons that worried you. I am glad for your turning my mind around on this.

  6. September 4, 2009 8:04 am

    Kathy, this is definitely going on my TBR list. Nice review!

  7. September 4, 2009 8:17 am

    I haven’t read this book for the same reason you were hesitant – my mom isn’t doing well. But you and this book remind me that it’s important to focus on the other parts of their lives, the vibrant part. Thanks, Kathy.

  8. September 4, 2009 8:17 am

    Very interesting. I really like memoirs – I’ll check this one out.

    I’ve given you an award here.

  9. September 4, 2009 9:47 am

    Great to read your review on this one Kathy–very good. thanks

  10. September 4, 2009 9:56 am

    It sounds like an interesting book and I’m glad to see a book by a celebrity that isn’t a Mommy Dearest tell all. I also applaud you for taking it on when you were not sure if you should!

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

  11. September 4, 2009 10:04 am

    Good review! I’m glad it wasn’t too sad.

  12. September 4, 2009 11:24 am

    The title itself is so sad, I’m not sure I could read it, but then you’ll never know.

  13. September 4, 2009 11:24 am

    I used to listen to William F. Buckley, Jr. on Firing Line a long time ago and found him very entertaining. This sounds like a terrific tribute to the Buckleys.

  14. September 4, 2009 12:41 pm

    I recognized the name, but really didn’t know who William F. Buckley was. It sounds like a good read.

  15. September 4, 2009 1:38 pm

    Not sure about this one. Is it bad that I’ve never heard of these people? LOL

  16. September 4, 2009 1:50 pm

    I’d heard great things on this one. I love that Christopher Buckley is narrating on the audio version. I’ll have to check that out.

  17. September 4, 2009 2:50 pm

    I wantedt o read this book ever since I read an interview with Christopher Buckley. He is witty and a little sarcastic so I didn’t think the book wasn going to be that sad. And, as you said, it’s more about growing up with strong, powerful, well-known parents. He implied that he had quite a complex relationship with his father but he loved him and his mother very much. All of which peaked my interest!
    Thank you for a great review! Now I’m sure I will read this book!

    ~ A

  18. September 4, 2009 4:10 pm

    It sounds like a very good book. They must have been wonderful parents if he didn’t grow up spoiled. Sounds refreshing, actually. If the world only had more erudite people such as William Buckley.

    BTW, thanks for the anniversary wishes at wrighty’s reads. Isn’t she sweet !

  19. September 4, 2009 9:53 pm

    Lovely review! I’ve seen this book about lately and it strikes me as one that I would enjoy reading sometime.

  20. September 5, 2009 5:11 am

    I am a fan of my Buckley, the senior…I think he is a very interesting fellow….and it sounds like a good book.

  21. September 5, 2009 1:48 pm

    Thanks for this, I might listen to it now. I was hesitant for the reasons you mention, but a celebration of life and devotion sounds good.

  22. stacybuckeye permalink
    September 5, 2009 2:29 pm

    I love books that are tributes to parents. There are not enough of them! Great review. As an only child and the wife of an only child, we’ve got 4 parents to keep track of!

  23. September 6, 2009 12:46 pm

    So glad you went ahead and took a chance. Great review!

  24. September 7, 2009 8:34 am

    Nice review. I so want to read this memoir as I enjoy Christopher Buckley’s writing and would enjoy reading about the famous Buckleys. Good to know its not a downer.

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