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Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir (Hardcover)


by Christopher Buckley (Author)

Review

"One of the rarest political specimens-- the authentically comic writer." (Boston Globe )

"An accomplished comic novelist and raucously funny political satirist." (Sunday Times of London )

"The quinessential political novelist of our time." (Fortune )

"One of the funniest writers in the English language." (Tom Wolfe )

Product Description
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.

Outstanding Audio Book by an Outstanding Author, April 29, 2009
By George McAdams (Alabama, USA)


Most authors cannot, for any length of time, read their own books well. I do not know why they try to think they can. Maybe they've heard John Le Carre read so eloquently one of his books, and think, "That's what I'll do. I'll read the audio version of my book, and I will sound great!"

Christopher Buckley is not like most authors. He is not only a great writer, but his reading of LOSING MUM AND PUP: A MEMOIR stands as a testament to his parents, and as such is a testament of himself: they are grand people standing on the grand stage of life.

I only knew William F. Buckley through his writings, his guest appearances on the talk shows and his interview show "Firing Line." In everything he did, he tackled serious subjects with tenacity and wit, and just when it looked as if the person he was talking to or interviewing was going to get a valid point-in, Mr. Buckley would open his mouth, touch the tip of his tongue to his top lip and say something, usually very economically, that would shoot down the other's point as if it was a clay pigeon hit by both shots of a double-barreled shotgun...>BAM< Got you!

As for Patricia Taylor Buckley, she was just as remarkable. She had to be because Bill and she were married for 57 dull-free years.

With LOSING MUM AND PUP: A MEMOIR, their only son, Christopher, has given us, in this case the listener, a well spoken account of what he went through when he lost both of his parents within a year. This account, perhaps too personal for some, is nonetheless honest and forthright. It speaks of the flaws of the author as much, if not more, than the subjects of his writing, his parents. And, what I find so remarkable was how his loss was so much more expressive when the words sometime came out of his mouth somewhat reluctantly, often skating to the edge of quivering, but never doing so, at certain points, such as reading his father's letter to others after his mother's passing.

I can say this in part because I know somewhat offhand what he went through. While I did not lose both my parents within a year, after loisng my mother 9 years earlier, I lost my father, and then, two months to the day later, I lost my wife.

To get hit with a double whammy is very tough. Christopher Buckley, in detailing what he went through with his father William F., that last year, and reminiscing about previous events in his, and his father's, life, and how those related to what was happening during that last year, shares with the reader the pains, the hopes, the fears, and the realization that all is slipping away, and there's nothing much he can do about it, no matter how hard he tries.

There are some who may feel that Christopher has done a "hatchet" job on his parents, or he did a disservice to them by telling us as much as he did. I disagree with those readers. In my eyes, he has given us a glimpse into the wonderful lives of his parents, and a understanding of what a person, in this case an only son, goes through when he becomes an "orphan" within a year. How he deals with his dad is similar to what many children have had to deal with when a parent, especially a parent who pretty much got their own way before, is dying. Only, in this case, instead of ones sister or a cousin calling you to hear how ones parent is doing, you have Henry Kissinger calling to say, "I miss your reports (on your father's health)." With that message, you realize even further that William F. Buckley was no normal man with normal friends).

If you can, buy the audio version, but if you cannot, or do not have the time or facilities to listen to the audio version, buy the book. If you have enjoyed William F. Buckley in the past, you will enjoy reading about him through the eyes of his son. And, if you haven't read anything else my Christopher Buckley, this book will, like it did for me, encourage you to read this other works (I am on my second, of what I hope are many more).

Warm & Wonderful, April 29, 2009
By Darby (Dallas, Texas)


This is a wonderful little memoir written by Christopher Buckley as a means of spending a little more time with his beloved departed parents. This method of coping with grief will sound familiar to those of us who have lost parents. Relationships with parents are often complicated and Buckley's is made even more so by the extraordinary intelligence and achievements of the people involved; WFB and Pat were no mere mortals. The tidbits shared in the book about the relationship are by turns hilarious, endearing and gut wrentching. The book is as much about the famous parents as it is about Christo's dealing with the sickness and death of his ailing loved ones. It will be enjoyed not only by those who knew WFB and his larger-than-life wife, Pat, but also by those who are only vaguely familiar with these people but identify with the problem of dealing with difficult but ailing parents. Buckley's writing is excellent; I couldn't put the book down. I found myself wishing for more of these delicious little slices of WFB and Pat's life but in the end that's really not what the book is about. Thank you, Christo, for sharing this incredibly difficult time in your life with us.

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