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Editorial Reviews

John Grogan (Marley and Me) spent his life distancing himself from a devout Catholic upbringing, only to return as his father battled leukemia. Grogan reads his own book with a voice that conveys both the defiance and cynicism of his youth and the concern of his older self for his ailing father. He also reflects on both times in his life from the wiser perspective of adulthood. This isn't a sentimental memoir. Grogan has rollicking tales of his youthful marijuana use and "making out," and discusses how he fell away from religion. Grogan often shows admiration for his parents, relating how they took in kids fleeing the Detroit riots. This one's for those disaffected kids, now adults, not their parents.
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Publisher's Summary

Finding your place in the world can be the longest trip home... In the highly anticipated follow-up to Marley & Me, John Grogan again works his magic, bringing us the story of what came first. Before there was Marley, there was a gleefully mischievous boy growing up in a devout Catholic home outside Detroit in the 1960s and '70s. Despite his loving parents' best efforts, John's attempts to meet their expectations failed spectacularly.
Whether it was his disastrous first confession, the purloined swigs of sacramental wine, or the fumbled attempts to sneak contraband past his father, John was figuring out that the faith and fervor that came so effortlessly to his parents somehow had eluded him.
And then one day, a strong-willed young woman named Jenny walked into his life. As their love grew, John began the painful, funny, and poignant journey into adulthood, away from his parents' orbit and into a life of his own. It would take a fateful call and the onset of illness to lead him on the final leg of his journey, the trip home again.
With his trademark blend of humor and pathos that made Marley & Me beloved by millions, John Grogan traces the universal journey each of us must take to find our unique place in the world. Filled with revelation and laugh-out-loud humor, The Longest Trip Home will capture your heart, but mostly it will make you want to reach out to those you love most.
©2008 John Grogan (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By bclmb on 12-06-08

As real as it gets

I chose this book because I wanted a memoir; not a gruesome story about a horrendous childhood. I wanted something that was closer to real life, normal, somewhat typical, like mine.

What I loved about this book is the clarity of the writing. It amazes me when writers (good ones) can relate an otherwise boring story and make you want to finish reading or hearing it.
This is not an exciting story, or one that makes you cringe. It is a story that many people, like myself and many others, have lived.

This story was real. It sheds a great deal of insight into what it feels like to grow up in a religious home (Catholic or otherwise). It dealt honestly with the bland realities of just growing up, a typical, American middle class childhood. It makes you feel as if you can see him growing up, feel his emotional struggles and growing pains, and it leaves you feeling as if your own story isn't so boring after all.

This is a book I will listen to again, as I do many of my favorites. It reminds me of the powerful influence we have as people, as spouses, as children and as parents. A powerful, honest book, well worth reading.

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15 of 17 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ed on 12-23-08

Heart Warming

John Grogan has struck gold a second time. His writing and reading style are warm, inviting and inspirational. I was particularly pleased with the "wonder years" type of stories from his childhood, and I laughed and cried at the end as he shares intimate moments between he and his father. There was a bit more energy put into the religious aspect of his parents' lives, but he holds true to the necessary facts about his life to tell the whole story. I bought this book after reading Marley and Me in the hopes that it would deliver the same emotion and character. It did not dissapoint.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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