The Longest Trip Home [NOOK Book]

Overview

Meet the Grogans

Before there was Marley, there was a gleefully mischievous boy navigating his way through the seismic social upheaval of the 1960s. On the one side were his loving but comically traditional parents, whose expectations were clear. On the other were his neighborhood pals and all the misdeeds that followed. The more young John tried to straddle these two worlds, the more spectacularly, and hilariously, he failed. Told with Grogan's trademark humor and affection, ...

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The Longest Trip Home

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Overview

Meet the Grogans

Before there was Marley, there was a gleefully mischievous boy navigating his way through the seismic social upheaval of the 1960s. On the one side were his loving but comically traditional parents, whose expectations were clear. On the other were his neighborhood pals and all the misdeeds that followed. The more young John tried to straddle these two worlds, the more spectacularly, and hilariously, he failed. Told with Grogan's trademark humor and affection, The Longest Trip Home is the story of one son's journey into adulthood to claim his place in the world. It is a story of faith and reconciliation, breaking away and finding the way home again, and learning in the end that a family's love will triumph over its differences.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Pet books rarely make bestseller lists, but in 2005, John Grogan's Marley & Me not only rocketed onto nationwide bestseller lists; it stayed there for months and months. Readers had discovered that Marley was no mere "dog book"; indeed, much of the runaway success of this book about a misbehaving Labrador retriever can be attributed to the journalist author's deeply personal account of his family's evolving relationship with the restless canine. That remarkable empathy is equally evident in Grogan's poignant father-and-son memoir. The Longest Trip Home retraces a trip that every son must someday take.
Janet Maslin
The Longest Trip Home takes Mr. Grogan from a boyhood as Mom's "little daffodil" into the shadow of somber, adult grief. And it honors his parents, perhaps not in the way they would have chosen but in a way that suits his talents: by bringing them to life on the page. He does what he did with Marley. His loss becomes our loss too.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Grogan provides heartfelt and evocative narration to his touching coming-of-age memoir. His speaking style may not necessarily convey polish, but his friendly lilt and natural enunciation perfectly fits the essence of the autobiographical material. Grogan’s vivid anecdotes of Catholic schoolboy mischief—from chugging communion wine to covertly purchasing cigarettes from a bowling alley vending machine complete with old-fashioned pull-knobs and the clank of coinage—come to life with wistful charm. The angst never descends into trite clichés, as Grogan reflects on honest family disagreements with respect and understanding. As the laughter of youth gives way to the weighty matters of adulthood, Grogan remains in full command as a master storyteller. His recollections of his dad’s valiant struggle with leukemia and their fateful dialogue about faith and fatherhood are especially memorable. The musical interludes at the start and end of each disk set the nostalgic tone without descending into heavy-handed orchestration. A Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 1). (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Grogan follows up Marley & Me(LJ7/05), a #1 New York Times best seller recently released as a feature film, with this memoir of growing up the son of Irish Catholic parents in suburban Detroit. He does an excellent job reading the tale himself-which tells of his evolving relationship with his parents, his wife, and his faith-with equal amounts of heartbreak and humor. Listeners to his first book, also from HarperAudio, will want to give this a try. Recommended for all collections. [Audio clip available through library.booksontape.comand www.harperaudio.com; the Morrow hc was suggested as a "required" purchase for all libraries, LJ10/15/08.-Ed.]
—Stephen L. Hupp

Kirkus Reviews
Author of the bestselling Marley & Me (2005) shares his candy-coated personal history. Grogan opens with memories of his "wondrous" youth, guided by a mother who awakened each of her four children with the tickle of a feather and some lighthearted teasing. The author recalls having inexhaustible energy while growing up in metropolitan Detroit, somewhat to the chagrin of strict but loving Mom, who made valiant attempts to rein in her preteen powerhouse. On a typical vacation, known as a "family miracle trip," they would camp out after spending the day visiting religious shrines and monasteries. The Grogan family was fervently religious, which may explain why the author became so mischievous at an early age. He spied on a topless neighbor sunbathing in her yard, cultivated crushes on teachers in his particularly sadistic parochial school and indulged in cigarettes, fireworks and mild neighborhood vandalism. Humorous situations saturate the narrative: his brother Michael's early affinity for the priestly life juxtaposed against Grogan's own predilection for the female bosom; his parents' radical frugality; various altar boy calamities; a lip-mauling kiss from "Lioness Lori . . . an overzealous make-out partner with braces." Experimentation with drugs, sex and petty crime soon followed, along with the dogged pursuit of writing, launched with a vulgar underground publication that landed him and his high-school cohorts in hot water. Post-college, Grogan got writing gigs at various newspapers in random locales. He also acquired a non-Catholic girlfriend: his future wife Jenny, with whom he cohabitated before getting married, which both bewildered and disappointed his conservative, judgmentalparents. Although much of the book describes Grogan locking horns with his parents over varied, mostly religious differences, after his father's leukemia diagnosis it becomes a mushy testament to the power of love, forgiveness and growing old gracefully. A harmless, wholesome treat for those who don't mind a little treacle. Agent: Laurie Abkemeier/DeFiore and Company
Booklist
“From the author of Marley & Me (2005), this is an extraordinary memoir of estrangement and reconciliation.”
Teen People Book Club
“As he did in Marley, Grogan makes readers feel they have a seat at the family dinner table. He’s now a nonpracticing Catholic, but here—to wonderful effect—he confesses all.”
Washington Post
“Wry and witty. . . [a] full-hearted and worthy memoir.”
People
“As he did in Marley, Grogan makes readers feel they have a seat at the family dinner table. He’s now a nonpracticing Catholic, but here-to wonderful effect-he confesses all.”
BookPage
“John Grogan is more like Marley than he might want to believe. An affable, unassuming rabble-rouser, the author who penned a bestseller about his goofy dog gets up to some hilarious antics of his own ... The resulting story is full of humor [and] poignant scenes.
Janet Maslin
“Genuinely heartending. . .Grogan invests these events with deeply felt humanity and pathos.”
People Magazine
“As he did in Marley, Grogan makes readers feel they have a seat at the family dinner table. He’s now a nonpracticing Catholic, but here—to wonderful effect—he confesses all.”
Ann Hood
“With his telltale humor and poignant observations about life and our humanity, John Grogan delivers another emotional wallop here. THE LONGEST TRIP HOME is a must read for anyone who has questioned their faith, sought to understand their identity, and loved their family. In other words, everyone.”
People
“As he did in Marley, Grogan makes readers feel they have a seat at the family dinner table. He’s now a nonpracticing Catholic, but here-to wonderful effect-he confesses all.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061980886
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 180,541
  • File size: 719 KB

Meet the Author

John Grogan

John Grogan is the author of the #1 international bestseller Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog, the bestselling middle-grade memoir Marley: A Dog Like No Other, and three #1 best-selling picture books: Bad Dog, Marley!, A Very Marley Christmas, and Marley Goes to School. John lives with his wife and their three children in the Pennsylvania countryside.

John Grogan ha sido un premiado reportero gráfico y columnista por más de veinticinco años. Vive en Pensilvania con su esposa Jenny y sus tres hijos.

Biography

Classifying a writer as an "overnight success years in the making" is something of a cliché, but in John Grogan's case, that designation is undeniably accurate. In fact, his claim that it took him twenty-five years to get to the point where his debut novel hit #10 on the coveted New York Times Bestseller List in its first week and amazingly was already in its twelfth printing after a mere seven weeks on the shelves, doesn't even provide the complete picture. If one takes into account the fact that Grogan has been a devoted and disciplined writer since he began keeping a journal as a young boy, his tale reads more like an overnight success story a lifetime in the making.

Perhaps most impressive of all is the book that became a whirlwind sensation as soon as it was released. Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog is a simple, lovingly rendered memoir about a man and his dog -- not exactly the stuff of lurid controversy. However, it is a testament to the universal power of a personal, witty, honest remembrance that Marley & Me has become such a smash success. It's not just any book that manages to get a "thumbs up" from Janet Maslin, famed literary critic of the New York Times. "Mr. Grogan knew the workings of Marley's mind," she observed in her career-making write up. "He makes that abundantly clear in Marley & Me, a very funny valentine to all those four-legged ‘big, dopey, playful galumphs that seemed to love life with a passion not often seen in this world.'"

Throughout the memoir, Marley manages to get into all manners of mischief -- from smashing and trashing the Grogan home in a variety of ways, to ruining friendly get togethers with his excessive drooling, to embarking on canine panty raids. Throughout it all, the 97-pound Labrador retriever is never anything less than lovable, and Grogan and his wife Jenny display nearly saint-like patience for Marley's rowdy tendencies -- well, they do at least most of the time.

Although humor plays a tremendous role in Grogan's immensely entertaining shaggy dog story (sorry about that, folks), he also uses Marley's misadventures as a means for relating his own story, which isn't always a delightful romp. The reader is carried through tough times in the Grogan household, such as the miscarriage of their first child. However, Marley's presence makes such moments of heartache a bit more bearable for both the young couple and the reader.

Grogan credits his ability to vividly recount such key moments in his life to his decades of devoted journal keeping. "I've been a faithful journal keeper since grade school," Grogan confided, "and many of my published pieces got their start as rough journal entries... Many readers have asked how I remembered detailed moments and dialogue in Marley & Me. I didn't. Many of those scenes came directly out of lengthy journal entries I had written within hours of the event, and that's what I credit for giving those scenes their immediacy."

Marley & Me has undeniably struck a massive chord with dog lovers and critics alike. The accolades this modest memoir has received are truly impressive; Booklist deemed it "A warm, friendly -memoir-with-dog" and Publishers Weekly concurred that "Dog lovers will love this account of Grogan's much loved canine." And let us not forget about that crucial blessing from the New York Times. Not bad for a first-effort that is essentially the story of a "boy" and his dog.

"It took me 25 years to find my way here, but the last few months have been like a rollercoaster ride," says Grogan. "I'm holding on for dear life and watching, with equal parts exhilaration and terror, where it will take me."

Good To Know

A few fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Grogan:

"Before moving to Pennsylvania in 1999, I played bass in a newsroom rock band in South Florida for several years. The band was comprised of reporters and writers from my paper, the Sun-Sentinel, and the Miami Herald. Fortunately for me, everyone else was considerably better than I was, which allowed us to get paying gigs in clubs and bars. On many nights we sounded pretty bad, but occasionally, when all the pistons were firing in unison, when the gods of rhythm and harmony were smiling down, we actually rocked. It was enough to make me believe in magic. Those moments remain some of the best and most fun of my life."

"Along with my technology-suspicious friend, Dave, I'm a Luddite in Training. Even though I'm totally dependent on modern electronic gizmos, from my laptop to my iPod to my cell phone, I love to embrace old technology or no technology at all. I collect old rusty hand tools and sharpen and polish them, then use them to build things out of walnut and cherry that I harvest from fallen trees in the woods. I keep chickens in the backyard for their fresh eggs and would have a goat instead of a lawnmower if I thought I could get away with it. I garden without synthetic inputs and take great joy in turning old potato peelings and coffee grinds into compost. I'm the crazy man in the neighborhood who favors a scythe (you know, like the grim reaper carries) over a gasoline-powered weed whacker. Besides being an efficient cutting tool, the scythe is great for scaring away nettlesome youngsters on Devil's Night."

"I'm pathologically incapable of making decisions. Just ask my wife how long it took me to propose -- on second thought, best not to bring it up. You don't want to be with me while I'm trying to order at a Chinese restaurant. Sometimes, a guy just can't choose between the cashew chicken and the sweet and sour."

"In my first week in my first newspaper job out of college, I was a green-as-could-be 21-year-old, I was sent out to write about a murder victim whose body was found several days after it had been dumped in the woods. It was a hot June and the smell was horrendous. Flies were buzzing everywhere. I grew up in a quiet little suburban town on a lake outside Detroit; I'd never seen anything more horrific than a flattened chipmunk, and now here in front of me was this poor, decomposing man. I stood around with the cops, waiting for the coroner to show up and trying to look nonchalant. A veteran state trooper looked down at my brand-new suede shoes I had bought for the new job, and said, ‘You can kiss those goodbye. They'll never lose this smell.' And he was right. I don't know how or when or where, but with all of you as my witnesses, I vow that scene will someday end up in a book."

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    1. Hometown:
      Emmaus, Pennsylvania
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 20, 1957
    2. Place of Birth:
      Detroit, Michigan
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Journalism and English, Central Michigan University, 1979; M.A. in Journalism, The Ohio State University, 1986
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Longest Trip Home

Chapter One

"Wake up, little sleepyheads."

The voice drifted through the ether. "Wake up, wake up, boys. Today we leave on vacation." I opened one eye to see my mother leaning over my oldest brother's bed across the room. In her hand was the dreaded feather. "Time to get up, Timmy," she coaxed and danced the feather tip beneath his nostrils. Tim batted it away and tried to bury his face in the pillow, but this did nothing to deter Mom, who relished finding innovative ways to wake us each morning.

She sat on the edge of the bed and fell back on an old favorite. "Now, if you don't like Mary Kathleen McGurny just a little bit, keep a straight face," she chirped cheerily. I could see my brother, eyes still shut, lock his lips together, determined not to let her get the best of him this time. "Just a tiny bit? An eeny teeny bit?" she coaxed, and as she did she brushed the feather across his neck. He clamped his lips tight and squeezed his eyes shut. "Do I see a little smile? Oops, I think I see just a little one. You like her just a tiny bit, don't you?" Tim was twelve and loathed Mary Kathleen McGurny as only a twelve-year-old boy could loathe a girl known for picking her nose so aggressively on the playground it would bleed, which was exactly why my mother had chosen her for the morning wake-up ritual. "Just a little?" she teased, flicking the feather across his cheek and into his ear until he could take it no more. Tim scrunched his face into a tortured grimace and then exploded in laughter. Not that he was amused. He jumped out of bed and stomped off to the bathroom.

One victory behind her, my mother and herfeather moved to the next bed and my brother Michael, who was nine and equally repelled by a girl in his class. "Now, Mikey, if you don't like Alice Treewater just a smidgen, keep a straight face for me . . ." She kept at it until she broke his resolve. My sister, Marijo, the oldest of us four, no doubt had received the same treatment in her room before Mom had started on us boys. She always went oldest to youngest.

Then it was my turn. "Oh, Johnny boy," she called and danced the feather over my face. "Who do you like? Let me think, could it be Cindy Ann Selahowski?" I grimaced and burrowed my face into the mattress. "Keep a straight face for me if it isn't Cindy Ann Selahowski." Cindy Ann lived next door, and although I was only six and she five, she had already proposed marriage numerous times. My chin trembled as I fought to stay serious. "Is it Cindy Ann? I think it just might be," she said, darting the feather over my nostrils until I dissolved into involuntary giggles.

"Mom!" I protested as I jumped out of bed and into the cool dewy air wafting through the open window, carrying on it the scent of lilacs and fresh-cut grass.

"Get dressed and grab your beer cartons, boys," Mom announced. "We're going to Sainte Anne de Beaupré's today!" My beer carton sat at the foot of my bed, covered in leftover wallpaper, the poor man's version of a footlocker. Not that we were poor, but my parents could not resist the lure of a nickel saved. Each kid had one, and whenever we traveled, our sturdy cardboard cartons doubled as suitcases. Dad liked the way they stacked neatly in the back of the Chevrolet station wagon. Both of them loved that they were completely and utterly free.

Even in our very Catholic neighborhood, all the other families took normal summer vacations, visiting national monuments or amusement parks. Our family traveled to holy miracle sites. We visited shrines and chapels and monasteries. We lit candles and kneeled and prayed at the scenes of alleged divine interventions. The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, located on the Saint Lawrence River near Quebec, was one of the grandest miracle sites in all of North America, and it was just a seven-hour drive from our home outside Detroit. For weeks, Mom and Dad had regaled us with tales of the many miracles of healing that had happened there over the centuries, beginning in 1658 when a peasant working on the original church reported a complete cure of his rheumatism as he laid stones in the foundation. "The Lord works in mysterious ways," Dad liked to say.

When I got downstairs with my packed beer carton, Dad already had the tent trailer, in which we would sleep on our expedition, hooked to the back of the station wagon. Mom had sandwiches made, and soon we were off. Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré did not disappoint. Carved of white stone and sporting twin spires that soared to the heavens, the basilica was the most graceful, imposing building I had ever seen. And inside was better yet: the walls of the main entrance were covered with crutches, canes, leg braces, bandages, and various other implements of infirmity too numerous to count that had been cast off by those Sainte Anne had chosen to cure.

All around us were disabled pilgrims who had come to pray for their own miracles. We lit candles, and then Mom and Dad led us into a pew, where we dropped to our knees and prayed to Sainte Anne, even though none of us had anything that needed fixing. "You need to ask to receive," Mom whispered, and I bowed my head and asked Sainte Anne to let me walk again if I ever lost the use of my legs. Outside, we climbed the hillside to make the Stations of the Cross, pausing to pray at each of the fourteen stops depicting an event in Jesus' final hours. The highlight of the visit was our climb up the twenty-eight steps that were said to be an exact replica of the steps Christ climbed to face Pontius Pilate before his crucifixion. But we didn't just climb the steps. We climbed them on our knees, pausing on each one to say half a Hail Mary aloud. We went in pairs, Mom and Dad first, followed by Marijo and Tim, and behind them, Michael and me. Step One: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." As we uttered the name of Jesus, we bowed our heads deeply. Step Two: "Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, amen." Then we moved to the next step and started again. Over and over we recited the prayer as we slowly made our way to the top, Michael and I jabbing each other and crossing our eyes to see who could make the other laugh first.

The Longest Trip Home. Copyright © by John Grogan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 23, 2008

    Great Read

    This was the first Grogan book I read. I received it as a reader copy and couldn't put it down. I wish I could come up with something not quite as cliche, something that would inspire you to read this book. Here's what I have and its the truth. I laughed out loud. I cried (in a car with near strangers). In the end, I felt it was a triumph. I would have liked to have known this kid when I was growing up.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2009

    Read It!

    This book slams it home! I just finished reading it last night and all I can say is "WOW." If you liked Marley & Me, you're gonna like this just as well, if not more. The words and the way that John Grogan writes will have you glued to every single page, and you will be right there with him -- in his parents' living room, at the hospital, at the church, in the garden -- feeling it all as if you were right there with him. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. He is an amazing, gifted writer and he has a wonderful story to tell. It's probably one of the best and most moving memoirs I have ever read. It's a book that will keep you thinking about him and his wonderful family (and a lot of other things) long after you have read the last page. I sure hope he writes more like this. I would come back for sure.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2008

    A beautifully written book that will make you feel like one of the family!

    I loved Marley and Me because I am a dog person and have had many of the experiences John Grogan wrote about. Having grown up without the influence of religion, I was skeptical that I would find much to relate to or enjoy in The Longest Trip Home. <BR/>Turns out The Longest Trip Home is a beautifully written book about the relationships between parents and their children. It¿s about love, disappointment, and accepting people for who they are. None of these are action packed themes and this book's plot is far from fast paced, but Grogan draws you in and makes you feel like a member of his family until you care deeply what happens in the end. His writing style is so smooth and easy to read that you reach the end before you know it. You can expect to shed some tears, but you can expect to laugh a little too.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2008

    Very heartwarming and relateable.

    John Grogan is a very good writer who is easy to read and follow. I am a big fan of Marley and Me and now The Longest Trip Home. I believe that his story is similar to many other's story of growing up with religion being the priority in the household. Quick, easy and wonderful read for a vacation or weekend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    So enjoyed this one

    A simple story of a catholic family growing up in michigan~ some parody on the catholic church....humorous with a great father -son relationship story. Same author as Marley as Me, great read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2011

    good read

    love memoirs and this is a good one. Set in Michigan. the nook price seems a bit high though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2011

    great read

    this is a great read that brings you back to childhood memories, john grogan is an amazing aurthor!

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    Great story, John has a way with words

    Loved this book! I enjoyed his view on growing up and his honesty that made me laugh through the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2011

    Amazing book!

    I loved this book to death! I read it in two days! John Grogan is a wonderful writer. Read this book! You won't regret it!

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  • Posted September 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I could so identify with the author

    Not only was the autobiography interesting, I really identified with the author's struggle with his parent's strict, unquestioning beliefs; and his own struggle to come to terms with his beliefs, and learn how to deal with his parents, and become honest with himself and them, and then to not cause them more grief and harm than necessary. It touched me deeply, I've been on a similar journey for over 40 years, and could relate deeply.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Too Long Grogan

    First let me say the audio was of very poor quality. Had to turn up to highest volume and still strain to hear.
    The book is basically three parts. Part one: Grogan as teenager who lies constantly to his parents, who misbehaves and who gets by by looking innocent. Part two: Grogan as adult who constantly lies to his parents and lets them control his life even though he is a married adult. Part three: His dad's death.
    Part one was well written and enjoyable. Part two was alright and enjoyable in parts. Part three was way too long, was all about his dad dying and very boring.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    The Longest Trip Home

    I think I was halfway through before I was excited for the next chance to pick this book up again. I identified with much of the book - my time period - and I also went to Catholic school for 8 years. I also identify with the struggle to come into our own and be true to ourselves which amazingly does take a long time when you have parents so passionate in their values. I think what parents instill in their children, eventually does come to fruition in their lives.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Disappointed in this book! Can't finish it.

    I was totally disappointed in the amount of time he spends talking about his sexual self-satisfaction. And most of his childhood antics he writes about should be an embarrassment to him as an adult---but instead he seems proud of them. I have to say--I can't even finish the book---can't even get beyond the first few chapters. On to another and hopefully better read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2009

    Could be my favorite Grogan writing

    My dad is at early stages of Dementia and I'm struggling with how to handle this from a man who has been so strong and endured so much in his life, that most of us will, fortunately, never endure. So when I picked the book up it was prior to my parents visit for Thanksgiving and I was trying to find a new sense of balance with them both. Mom's just become pretty self-absorbed now that dad can't cater to her as he once did.

    The book, really did help me look at my relationship with them differently and made for a more pleasant visit, but I didn't expect the book to provide side-splitting reminiscing of growing up Catholic, in a very traditional Catholic home.

    As a result, I bought 5 copies as gifts this Christmas and can't wait for friends and family to read them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an interesting memoir

    Before Marley (see Marley & Me), John Grogan grew up in a deeply religious Catholic home near Detroit in the 1960s and '70s. His parents loved him and tried to get him to live a good Catholic ethical lifestyle. However, John was an imp who like many boys used his telescope to stare at the woman next door. He drank holy wine, smoked cigarettes and tried to score with girls while also eluding the necker-checker watcher, his kind but strict mom. To imbue him with their fervor, his parents took John on family miracle trips to visit shrines and camp under the stars so he would learn first hand the miracle of God. However unlike his parents or his brother Michael who turned towards priesthood and was as a devoted believer as their parents, John was devoted to the altar of female breasts; at best an agnostic as pure faith seemed illogical and tedious. When he met Jenny, he fell in love and began the real transition to adulthood, but remained practically faithless. That is until his father's illness led him to re-look his values including Catholicism.

    This is an interesting memoir that reads like many young middle class Americans (religious denomination not matter) growing up in the 1960s as drugs, wine and sex were in and the religions of parents were out. Still amusing and filled with angst, John Grogan's The Longest Journey Home was not quite finished at this point, but he was definitely getting his act together. Boomer fans and their still alive parents who want to reminiscence about the internal family revolutions will enjoy joining Mr. Grogan as he travels a path many others took; younger fans might ask so what.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted December 21, 2009

    Not worth reading

    I have heard it said that everyone has one good book in them. Unfortunately Mr Grogan wrote it prior to The Longest trip Home. In this book, Mr Grogan shows an utter disrespect for his parents and those who loved him and raised him. He attempts in the conclusion to justify his actions and to pacify the reader with the idea that he is sorry for some of his actions. He speaks of the trust his parents put in him, and he rewarded that trust with this book, an insult to all that they stood for. I found myself saddened as I read that someone would put these actions and this much parental disrespect into writing.

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  • Posted December 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Literary Trip Worth Taking

    John Grogan does a fabulous job effortlessly taking readers through his childhood, teen years, and adult journeys. He offers the perfect balance of humor and enlightening self-examination. You will laugh and cry, and won't be bored for a single moment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book!

    I really loved Marley & Me, so I wanted to read another book by John Grogan and it did not dissapoint! His writing style always makes you feel like you know everyone in the story. It is a great book I would recommend to anyone who likes a heartfelt book about family.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    Just a great read!!

    I have read this book and have given it to at least four (4) of my friends and relatives; not to mention I've spoken of it many many times. I would recommend any of his works.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    "Longest Trip Home" captivated me from the opening chapter all the way through. Grogan's account of his life took me down my own memory lane. I bought a copy for my brother and have recommended it to several friends. Anyone who is dealing with aging parents or who grew up in a Catholic family will relate to the situations, decisions and self-discovery. Touching journey with plenty of laughs along the way!

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