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This is a beautiful and heartwarming memoir of Christopher Buckley s parents William F Buckley and his wife Patricia Before reading this, I knew very little about them other than the fact that William F Buckley was a staunch conservative Regardless of where one stands with his political viewpoints and all, this is a worthwhile and surprisingly entertaining read, despite the sad subject matter losing one s parents I would recommend it to all who have dealt or may soon be about to deal with losing one s parents Some of my favorite quotes William F Buckley often told his son, Industry is the enemy of melancholy Perhaps, after all, the most beautiful words in the language are I m sorry A twenty minute eulogy, unless composed by a William Shakespeare, b Winston Churchill, or c Mark Twain, is sixteen minutes too long Technical note It is better to tell a eulogist to speak for four minutes not five minutes Five minutes to the modern ear sounds like around five minutes, whereas four minutes means four minutes Once they re both gone, your parents house instantly turns into a museum. STILL LARGER THAN LIFE I looked at Mum and realized twang that she was telling an untruth A big untruth And I remember thinking in that instant how thrilling and grown up it must be to say something so completely untrue, as opposed to the little amateur fibs I was already practiced at horrid little apprentice sinner that I was like the ones about you d already said your prayers or washed under the fingernails Yes, I was impressed Christopher Buckley, Losing Mum and PupThe image of Christopher Hitchens wheeling his flight luggage into St Patrick s Cathedral in NYC to attend the funeral of Conservative Lion, William F Buckley, Jr., in and of itself, would have made this audiobook worth its six hours of listening time Fact really can be stranger than fiction.Christopher Buckley, however, is one of the most entertaining and articulate writers ever it must be in the genes , and his reminiscences in LOSING MUM AND PUP are rife with sterling and nostalgic imagery Recommendation Especially for fans of the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s Industry is the enemy of melancholy part 1 OverDrive MP3 Audiobook edition, 6 hours, 21 minutes Christopher Buckley s bittersweet memoir of his final year with his stylish mother and famously conservative father lends a human scale to a couple that so often appeared larger than life Personally, I was never particularly enamoured of William F Buckley, Jr s politics or even his books, despite being piqued by God and Man at Yale and amused on occasion by the capers of fictional CIA agent Blackford Oakes However, from the time I was a small boy who loved big words, I was flattered to be compared favorably to the legendarily eloquent Buckley, for whom it was perfectly natural to toss off a word like postprandial when one intended to take a stroll after a lunch Despite his legendary command of the English language, it was apparently his third language In addition, although no sailor myself, I have always had an outsized admiration for anyone who could captain or navigate a wind borne vessel Ironically, I have not read Buckley s celebrated sailing books, but I have admired his exploits on the water based on second hand accounts Finally, anyone who is able to make a good living through his pen earns a certain amount of admiration from me As Samuel Johnson famously said, No one but a blockhead would write except for money There are few difficult ways to grow up than as the son of a famous father and a socialite mother Winston Churchill is perhaps the most notable example, having admired from afar his imperious, syphilitic father and fashionable, flirtatious mother reportedly a consort of no less than than the King of England Christopher Buckley, similar in kind if not degree, seasons his admiration for his famous parents with a clear eyed and painful acknowledgment of their many shortcomings public and private Patricia Buckley, once one of New York s most celebrated hostesses, apparently frequently found it impossible to distinguish between truth and fiction on topics as diverse as her reasons for not finishing her college education at Vassar to visits from the Royal Family in her youth Christopher s Buckley s relationship with his mother was often stormy, but his complex blend of admiration and antagonism toward his father is the potent cocktail that really fuels this story and carries it to its poignant conclusion Bill Buckley s Olympian detachment from quotidian concerns resulted in over 90 books, thousands of pages of articles, hundreds of television appearances, and friends and acquaintances among the most celebrated persons of the day Coupled with Buckley s steadfast convictions, conservative views, and Catholic certitude, Buckley s sense of himself could be alternately entrancing and insufferable And his personal recklessness in his boat and in his car whether his family was aboard or not bespeaks a level of self absorption that contrasts sharply with moments of familial generosity Ultimately, of course, laboring as an author in the shadow of your famous father, subject to criticism alternately enthusiastic and capriciously cruel, is a cross no son should have to bear, even if it is assumed voluntarily Christopher Buckley, despite the traces of bitterness that lace this confection, writes with wit, grace, and self awareness of his attempt to reconcile himself to the complex emotional inheritance bequeathed to him by his parents In doing so, he seems ultimately to come to terms with the repeated betrayals inflicted on him by his prevaricating mother The wounds left by a half century of fighting and making up with his father require a slower reconciliation, brought about in part by his father s slow physical decline and the constant devotion it evoked To his credit, the senior Buckley, whose unfailing mental acumen carried him through the completion of biographies of Goldwater and Reagan even as he succumbed to kidney failure, diabetes, skin cancer, and general physical enfeeblement, was mostly good hud and gracious toward his son as he approached his end In the end, the younger Buckley s vocation as a humorist and the elder Buckley s personal civility and generosity shine through the tangled emotions of this real life soap opera featuring one of America s first families. I consider myself a very smart person, and this book was full of words even I didn t know Sheesh Talk about writing for the common folk Seriously, if I Post it flagged every word to look up, this would look like a freakin divorce decree with all the sign here s Also, this bonehead goes right into the story ASSUMING we know who his famous parents are He never says What he does do though is list the famous people his parents hung around with So what He s all I don t want to be a name dropper, but then proceeds to list about 100 names some I recognized, some not So, I decided to not finish, and maybe I didn t even start It s possible all of this was in the prologue or writer s note I still don t know who his parents are, but I m assuming his dad was some sort of political bigwig in personal contact and the author too with presidents It seemed very pretentious of this guy to assume we know who they are And maybe I m just ignorant and should know I have a feeling that even if I did know who they are, I still wouldn t want to read this. As I have said before, memoirs are hard to rate For one, you try to be as honest as possible without sounding bias but then you try to remain realistic at the same time Based on the contents of this book, I honestly thought this was less about his parents and about what led to his parents demise I simply did not care about anything else, it just seemed like filler thus me skipping the majority of this book I did like the pictures, that was probably the only thing that I felt was memorable The other parts were just not that exciting, it read like a bad movie script that no one would choose to produce a movie.Oh well, I had high expectations reading it and was let down.Another book that bites the dust I adore Christopher Buckley s writing Have been a big fan for a while now, especially with his novels and pos NR stuff Had read excerpts of this book in various places, then my mom took a nosedive in her health and I forgot about reading the book Enter my good friend Liz, my book lending savior, with a copy of Losing Mum and Pup What a truly moving memoir Humor, honesty and a helluva vocabulary not to mention a fabulous writing skill and the ability to tell a story made this one of my favorite books of the year Reading this as my mother moved into the end stages of life was not sad cathartic Someone was walking with me, sharing the decline of a larger than life figure For though my tiny mother is no William F Buckley, she is, indeed, larger than life One only has to look at the hundreds and hundreds of messages that have come in for her since we let folks know she was moving toward the exit.Javaczuk is reading the book, and ElderBrother has his eyes on it though I ll probably get him his own copy, because he returns to India in a week and this copy goes back to Liz. What I ve read of Christopher Buckley s fiction is funny and incisive, as he takes on the hypocrisies, corruption, foibles and follies of the American political universe or should that be biverse the lobbyists, lawyers, candidates, spin doctors, players, kingmakers, etc., etc And he should know this world, since he s the son of William F Buckley, conservative icon, author of over 50 books, creator and host for 30 years of Firing Line and founder of National Review, both prominent defenders of the political right What I hoped for in reading this memoir about, and eulogy to, his parents, the famous Bill and his socialite wife Pat Buckley, was perhaps a Oedipal book about Christo s liberation from their tyranny he did, after all, publicly betray his father s political convictions last year by coming out in support of Obama but perhaps he couldn t write that book yet As it is, I m sure lots of republicans and Buckleyites will accuse the son of some sort of parricide He tells enough stories that put Mum and Pup in a pretty unflattering light, though he s in almost every instance quick to apologize and remind us that Great People can be forgiven their arrogance, blindness, pomposity, selfishness I m willing to do that to some extent, I guess, though I m less tolerant about Christo s namedropping how many times do I really want to hear about good ol Henry i.e Kissinger , whom Buckley jr calls one of the most brilliant and eloquent men on earth, not to mention several presidents, kings and queens, artists, billionaires, actors, and so on and so forth Is the book a paean to this host of who s who or an attempt to come to terms with his parents and their deaths On the plus side, Buckley s book is nearly as funny as a book about the terminal illnesses and deaths of one s parents can be Certainly much of what surrounds death should amuse us I strongly recommend Evelyn Waugh s satire of the funeral industry, The Loved One, which surely Christopher Buckley must have read once upon a time , even if death itself is not so funny. *Download Book ↡ Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir ↝ In Twelve Months Between And , 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 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 So keen is Christopher Buckley s wit, that I couldn t help laughing even though the chuckles were often followed by sighs The death of your parents isn t normally considered fodder for comedy I suspect he finds mirth and irony in all of life William F Buckley, Jr came to my attention in my early twenties One of my first conscientious self improvement projects was to read his novels and columns in order to expand my vocabulary I was shocked to discover that English was WFB s third language, learned at age six in school in London He often spoke Spanish at home and even in the hospital with Hispanic care givers It s clear that there was fond affection between father and son CTB calls his father a truly great man, the world s coolest mentor Their area of conflict the subject they eventually avoided was that Christopher did not share his father s devout Catholic faith I wish Christo, as he was called, had been careful to protect his parents dignity He admits up front that parts of his book would appall them Well, it would appall me, too, to have my diabetes related lack of inhibition increasing eccentricity highlighted It s the oddest hobby, but I like funerals I watched Christopher s and Henry Kissinger s eulogies on YouTube they are transcribed in the book The complete service is not available online, but, bless him, Christopher included the musical playlist that will be my playlist in the days to come Before I was a third of the way through this book, I put three sailing memoirs of WFB on my nightstand It s a delightful juxtaposition, reading the son s view in one book and the father s in another Years ago, he gave an interview to Playboy magazine At the end of the interview, he was asked what he would like for an epitaph and he replied, I know that my Redeemer liveth Only Pup could manage to work the Book of Job into a Hugh Hefner publication. Losing Mum and Pup by Christopher Buckley is an unforgettable memoir that is endearing, enchanting and spoken from the heart A story of dedication, love, honesty, irritable moments and just plain stubbornness A serious story but with so many light moments that you can t help but chuckle out loud Oh don t get me wrong as you will still need a hankie for the tear jerking renditions of what we deal with when a loved one dies, but that is back story and the pleasant, jovial moments of life are what is portrayed as most important.As I listened to Christopher Buckley read this I could not help myself with feeling my own pain of losing a parent and then recalling the wonderful memories that my dad and I not only made but shared as each of us aged.At first I really wasn t sure that I would like this story but it didn t take long before it captured me, ensnaring me like a fish caught in a net I just could not put it down and longed for the next CD as the one before was finishing up.I could actually see so many ways in which WFB was so like my dad that I think it is the programing of an older generation which instills hard work, hunger for life and a certain stubbornness that seems to be lacking in our current generation A need to put family first as much as possible doesn t seem to carry the weight of what it did with the children of the cold war era.My opinion is that Christopher Buckley s reading of his parents story is a necessity, for who else could tell of the good, bad and hair raising moments of the life of the two people most important to him The different tones of voice lending so much to each and every different memory that you can almost envision yourself being right there with them.