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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve; Reprint edition (May 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446540951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446540957
  • ASIN: B0051BNURI
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Bookmarks Magazine

Reviewers’ reactions to Losing Mum and Pup seemed to depend largely on the stake they had in the Buckleys and their legacy. Many critics did not care very much about whether William and Pat were actually the way Christopher describes. For them, the book was a refreshing take on parental loss that deviated from the usual clichés. But readers who knew the Buckleys, even if it was only through William’s writing, found parts of the memoir to be petty and unfair, though most still enjoyed the book as a whole. For both groups, though, Losing Mum and Pup fascinated because of the uniqueness of its characters who, despite their reputation as storytellers, are the kind of people you just can’t make up.
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

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

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

"Read LOSING MUM AND PUP and you'll realize it would have been a mortal sin to have not written this book . . . Because he can write, because he cared and was perhaps driven to it, Christopher Buckley has given us-- and the ages-- something of his parents. Read his book and you sense truly that you know them." (Chris Matthews)

"Christopher Buckley's Losing Mum and Pup appears like a cheerful beacon . . . Buckley's remembrance of his famous folks is refreshingly different . . . What you remember from Losing Mum and Pup aren't the sad endings; you end Losing Mum and Pup dazzled by the Buckleys as people." (USA Today)

"LOSING MUM AND PUP is a subtle, fond, and, above all, honest chronicle of his celebrated parents. This is an important work, at once unsparing and gracious-and that is no small achievement . . . The anecdotes are rich and numerous . . . Buckley has pulled off what eludes many writers: he has written candidly but not unkindly about people whose vices and virtues he sees clearly." (Newsweek)

"Smartly written... an improbably funny book that will hit home hard... Read it and chortle. Read it and weep." (New York Times Janet Maslin)

"Dazzlingly written." (National Review)

"Intense, beautifully written and often achingly personal . . . One suspects that somewhere, beyond all this, Bill and Pat Buckley are very proud of their son." (Washington Times)

"The memoir is loving, exasperated and very funny. In its moments of real ambivalence, LOSING MUM AND PUP is surprisingly strong drink... [Pat Buckley] remains glamorous even when she's impossible... The writing, like the book's subjects, is generally top-drawer. To take but one example: "the elder George Bush "may be New England Yankee blue blood, but he has the tear ducts of a Sicilian grandmother." The yield of such lines is exceptionally high, and it's fair to say that the particular talent required to produce them is one of the few that William F. Buckley lacked. [Christopher Buckley's] own considerable accomplishment is to have emerged from two large colorful shadows as very much his own writer and very much his own man." (New York Times Review of Books)

"There are also many touching moments . . . what's become clear is that the book, for all its hype-oriented excerpts, is really much more akin to Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking than to any of Chris Buckley's own biting and wry prose. And the best evidence that it will do well is that each time one of these damn segments comes out, even if they're all a repeat, we just keep reading them." (New York Magazine)

"Satirist Christopher Buckley writes honestly and with touching humor about the recent passing of his legendary parents." (Elle)

"With characteristic asperity and immeasurable tenderness, Christopher Buckley mourns his legendary parents." (Vogue)

"Whether or not your parents are Pat and William F. Buckley, it's wrenching to say goodbye . . . LOSING MUM AND PUP is emphatically as billed: occasionally about family life but mostly a sad, intermittently angry and ambivalent chronicle of illness, decline and bereavement . . . wonderful detail . . . This was not the book Christopher Buckley was meant to write. But it's the one he had to, and that gives it great punch." (Town and Country)

More About the Author

Christopher Buckley was born in New York City in 1952. He was educated at Portsmouth Abbey, worked on a Norwegian tramp freighter and graduated cum laude from Yale. At age 24 he was managing editor of "Esquire" magazine; at 29, chief speechwriter to the Vice President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. He was the founding editor of "Forbes FYI" magazine (now "ForbesLife"), where he is now editor-at-large.

He is the author of fifteen books, which have translated into sixteen languages. They include: "Steaming To Bamboola," "The White House Mess," "Wet Work," "God Is My Broker," "Little Green Men," "No Way To Treat a First Lady," "Florence of Arabia," "Boomsday," "Supreme Courtship," "Losing Mum And Pup: A Memoir," and "Thank You For Smoking," which was made into a movie in 2005. Most have been named "New York Times" Notable Books of the Year. His most recent novel is "They Eat Puppies, Don't They?"

He has written for "The New York Times," "Washington Post," "Wall Street Journal," "The New Yorker," "Atlantic Monthly," "Time," "Newsweek," "Vanity Fair," "National Geographic," "New York Magazine," "The Washington Monthly," "Forbes," "Esquire," "Vogue," "Daily Beast," and other publications.

He received the Washington Irving Prize for Literary Excellence and the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He lives in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

It's humorous, revealing, poignant, and very well written.
Lawrence W. Wilson
I found this memoir by Christopher Buckley quite unlike any other book I have read.
Ronald H. Clark
Christopher Buckley's memoir, Losing Mum and Pup, is an engaging read.
S. Daniel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Ronald H. Clark VINE VOICE on May 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found this memoir by Christopher Buckley quite unlike any other book I have read. It recounts some of the life and a great deal about the deaths of his parents, William F. Buckley, Jr. and Patricia Taylor Buckley, which occurred within 11 months of each other during 2007-2008. It is at times hilarious; moving; and cuttingly sad. But mostly it celebrates their lives and his life with both of them. In the process it gives us some really inside views of Bill Buckley and his famous wife, and adds to our understanding of the human dimensions of this "Godfather" of the right. I think also anyone who has parents still living, or has gone through the experience of bidding "Adieu" to one's parents (as I have), will find much to learn from and identify with in this short book (251 pages). The book certainly sparked my interest in Buckley (not exactly an ideological compatriot of mine) and I look forward with great interest to the forthcoming biography by Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the New York Times Book Review and author of a fine book on Whittaker Chambers.

Christopher Buckley celebrates the lives of his parents, but also shares his mourning with us. He recounts with total frankness his disagreements and prickly relationships with both parents. Anyone who has buried their parents will recognize the combination of mourning, regret at not having straightened everything out (aka as "the talk"), and just the sense of being truly alone (not to mention, as the author points out, you become next in line in this endless procession of death). Buckley calls himself "an orphan" and I think we all fall into that designation. There certainly are very sad moments--I for one never imagined I would ever shed a tear for Bill Buckley but came close a couple of times.
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91 of 100 people found the following review helpful By George McAdams VINE VOICE on April 29, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I usually cringe when I see that an author has decided to read his book. Writing is such a solitary task, and while research and other ancillary endeavors involved in writing are interesting, most authors cannot, for any length of time, read their own books well. This isn't always true, you have ones like Jean Sheppard or John Le Carre doing such a great job, others try. With Christopher Buckley, you get a good reader, who, because of his slight tongue-in-cheek manner sometimes, one wonders where I got that from, makes the book more humorous than the subject, losing ones parents, would normally be.

For me, LOSING MUM AND PUP: A MEMOIR stands as a testament to his parents, William F. and Patricia Buckley, and as such it is also a testament of himself: his parents were grand people standing on the grand stage of life, and while he has a certain amount of notoriety in the publishing world, he lives in shadows of them somewhat, especially his father.

With LOSING MUM AND PUP: A MEMOIR, their only son, Christopher, has given us, in this case the listener or reader, an excellent account of what he went through when he lost both of his parents within a year. This account, while 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 (in the audio version), but never quite doing so, at certain points, such as reading his father's letter to others after his mother's passing.

I only knew William F.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By James D. Zirin on May 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Christopher Buckley's "Losing Mum and Pup" joins Philip Roth's "Patrimony," Geoffrey Wolff's "Duke of Deception," and Alexander Waugh's "Fathers and Sons" (there are a number of other examples) as a masterpiece of the contemporary parent genre. Is there a happier way to grieve than to write a book?
His loving memoir of two difficult parents, the account at times hilariously funny, at times outrageously irreverential, draws his outsize father and mother, Bill and Pat Buckley with the eye of a portraitist uniquely in a position to know.
Both parents were at times difficult for Christopher Buckley. As his mother comatose lay dying, he said, "I forgive you." Much as Geoffrey Wolff lovingly said, "Thank God," when informed of his father's death.
What is so interesting is that the very style of his parents is reflected in the style of the portrait. The account is breezy but incisive reminiscent of his mother. One can almost hear her saying, "Pul-eeze, excuse me while I go out and buy a Stradivarius" in parrying some filial jeremiad. The outside-the-box thinking is vintage Bill Buckley. I paraphrase: "I wanted to tell each eulogist at my mother's memorial service at the Temple of Dendur that I had snipers hidden in the Temple with orders to shoot if any exceeded four minutes." Who, but a Buckley, thinks like that? It's what makes them so exasperatingly delightful. You can almost see the arched eyebrows. The ideation is of a piece with the father's famous quip during the 1965 New York City Mayoral election. "What will you do if you win, Mr. Buckley?" "Demand a recount."
The book particularly resonanted with me since, like Christopher Buckley, I am an only child who in his fifties lost both parents (mother first) within a year of each other.
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