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Showing 1-10 of 74 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 157 reviews
on April 5, 2017
Buddy, Brian McGrory; Broadway Books [Cover design by Anna Kochman; Crown Publishing Co.; Random House LLC; Penguin Random House Co.] (2012 paperback)

The rave reviews of "Buddy" are quite understandable. I regret that I'm not writing one myself.

The first 69 pages of "Buddy" are superb*. It's too bad that they aren't a stand-alone book, or are part of an extensive memoir about McGrory's experiences as a journalist, which no doubt would make for quite good reading.

Unfortunately, when Brian's golden retriever Harry passed away, my interest in the story vanished. The story of how an obnoxious rooster was adopted as a member of a family, to the extent that he resided, unrestrained, inside of a house, struck me as simply crazy.

Equally enervating was the conduct of Brian's (eventual) stepdaughters when he moved in with Dr. Pam Bendock; & the suburban American culture that dictates "swag bags" have to be given away at children's birthday parties (which veers right up to & possibly over the line at which point people have to be bribed to attend such events. McGrory also resented such nonsense & his candor is appreciated).

As for the potentially excellent book design: Why are the photographs on the back cover partially obscured by the blurbs?

(One of which is an incestuous Boston Globe review --- of which McGrory is the editor. Also noted: If for any reason you doubt the Globe's untainted assurance that "Buddy" is a "laugh-out-loud" book, take heart. The next character witness for the defense, the Chicago Tribune, identically assures us that "Buddy" is a "laugh-out-loud read.")

Finally, Goose Rocks Beach, south of Kennebunkport, is where Brian loves to go on vacation. I'm sure that he's heard of the classic memoir, "My Love Affair With The State of Maine," written by Scotty (Gertrude) Mackenzie & first published in 1955.

Have you? If not, pick up a copy of the excellent reprint issued by Down East Books in 1997, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the time when raging forest fires ravaged large areas of the state of Maine, from Kennebunkport all the way up to Bar Harbor.

* One objection: Stop with the "the fact that... the fact that... the fact that..." Many journalists admire E.B. White. Why do they ignore his advice about avoiding verbosity?

[End Review]
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on March 23, 2013
I am sure Brian McGrory is a terrific writer for the Boston Globe. He should stick to that and not attempt to write a book about a pet rooster.
First of all Buddy the rooster is a small part of this book. Almost an after thought.
I happen to love a good book about a pet. Marley and Me. Wesley the Owl. I have many more I thoroughly enjoyed. This book was so boring I read it in one sitting. The parts where it shines are about the authors dog Harry. The love pours out and I embraced the love those two shared. Harry who passed away from cancer is mentioned throughout the book. Honestly Mr. Mcgrory should have penned a book about Harry. I think it would have been cathartic and a lot more interesting than this book. From the little bits I read about the rooster I realized with a different writer- Buddy's personality and eccentricities could of shined like a beacon but poor Buddy was basically maligned as a biting nuisance until the end of the story. This was supposed to be the story of a pet rooster. Instead it was a biography of the authors life and it paid homage to Harry, his late beloved dog. It was also tiresome to hear him harp and complain about suburbia non stop. the trials and tribulations of a new wife and step daughters seemed to overwhelm him every day. You get the feeling he would be happier back in Boston in a condo with his dog. As a writer I tend to be picky when I read a book but I will tout a book that has merit. This book was supposed to make the reader laugh out loud. Chuckle. Guffaw. It did none of those things. I can't recommend it to readers who appreciate a good book about animals. It was a major dissapointment.
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VINE VOICEon January 19, 2014
Brian McGrory had it made, working his dream job as a columnist for the Boston Globe, walking the streets of Boston, and sharing life with his beloved retriever, Harry. But then his marriage fell apart and his dog grew old and died, Major changes took place, not always graciously accepted. Brian found new love with his dog's charming veterinarian, Pam. But that meant uprooting himself to the suburbs, trying to fit in to a new family, and most of all, learning to get along with his nemesis, a fluffy white rooster named Buddy.

Author Brian McGrory has written a charming, if slightly fluffy, memoir about this period of his life, and how he transitioned from a self-absorbed, Seinfeldian thirty-something, to a real family man, thanks in large part to the relentless badgering of the rooster. It's well written, but a little overdone. If there's any flaw to this story, I would say the author dragged it out too long. Too much introspection, too much self-absorbed whining. Still, it's enjoyable. If you're looking for a light-hearted but touching memoir packed with animals, feelings, and personal growth, you will probably love this one, and I recommend it. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.
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on December 8, 2012
Everyone should read this book -- well, anyone who has been in love, had a dog, dealt with kids or a commute from the suburbs. And certainly anyone who has lived with a rooster. (Does that leave anyone out?)

Mcgrory is a talented writer. If you've liked his Globe articles or listened to his radio appearances, you will hear his voice in the writing. He offers a dry sense of humor and a vivid, honest assessment of his own life at various stages and, if you're lucky, you'll see shadows of your own life in his. There are moments of sadness, sure, but there are many more places in the book where I was laughing, helplessly, out loud. I refuse to ruin any of his punchlines, although I am sorely tempted.

Read it. Really. I bought it for my kindle and have bought several copies for Christmas gifts. I am hoping that Mcgrory will allow us another peek into his hysterical and poignant existence again, at some point, in the future.
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on January 20, 2013
I read this after reading "The Round House" by Erdrich, when I was overwhelmed with her amazing writing and thought I never wanted to read another book again. But, I had ordered "Buddy...", so I started it the following night in bed, finishing it the next night. It was "laugh aloud" funny; laughing is not a nice thing to do in bed when your husband has a bad cold and is trying to sleep...but, he was encouraged by my laughter, and enjoyed it too.
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on January 29, 2013
I loved this book. I chuckled, if not down right laughed at the images conjured by Brian Mcgrory. If you know chickens (and I'm a city girl) you can picture Buddy in all his escapades. My favorite story is Buddy and his birthday cake. Although Buddy is the title character, it is really the story of Brian and his relationship with his second wife and her girls. Buddy's story is the thread that pulls you through the book and I found myself waiting for the next Buddy anecdote.

Brian Mcgrory's style and writing was easy and enjoyable, his life a little less so, but kudos to him for the efforts and sacrifices he makes to fit into this family.

I will probably read this book again in the future. I found it that good.
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on December 28, 2012
As a fellow Sudbury resident (home for the book's namesake and author), I LOLed at so many bulls-eye descriptions of over-the-top contemporary suburban lifestyle "necessities." Recently promoted to Boston Globe editor from his long-time post as metro columnist, McGrory writes with his signature journalistic style, nailing the quirks of our shared humanity. An entertaining read that I've given to three so far, even if you're not a familiar a fan of his columns, you will love this mid-life memoir containing anecdotes of a fascinating 23-year career writing for the Globe, as well as wonderful tales of how his significant pets and people shaped his urban and suburban paths.
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on January 6, 2013
I rarely laugh out loud while reading a book, but this book is hilarious! Even more than that, however, it gives tremendous insight on what it is like to be a step-parent--to be a man in a woman's world--to try to be a hero, a protector to his brood. How hard men try in their own way to be invaluable. There is a vulnerability in McGory's honesty that is very sweet and there is a humor in the very male sacrifices that he makes. I loved, loved, loved this book and Brian McGory in all his humaness.
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on December 21, 2012
I finished this book in 2 days. It is a very inspiring book for every one - not just animal lovers. It is also a very humorous book. Brian Mgrory is a fantastic writer. If you need your spirits lifted. read this book. I bought it mainly because I faithfully read Brian's column in the Boston Globe newspaper. A few of his column's were dedicated to Buddy and the progress they were making as a family. BUY THIS BOOK, GIVE IT AS A GIFT, JUST READ IT. Mary Ann Grayson.
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on March 1, 2015
This was one of the best written stories I have read in years. Of course everyone loves human interest and this was tops. Funny, yet heart wrenching all the way through. I grew up with chickens, roosters and dogs and perhaps this is what totally captivated my interest. If time had allowed, I would have read the entire book in one day.
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