John Grogan - The Longest Trip Home


The Longest Trip Home in paperback

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I arrived home from my children's book tour about two and a half weeks ago and have spent the time working around the yard, sailing, and hanging out with my family. Now I'm gearing up to head back out on the road. The occasion: This Tuesday, October 13, is the publication date of the paperback edition of my memoir, The Longest Trip Home. I'm excited!

The paperback has a whole new cover, a full-bleed image of me in the driveway of my childhood home, circa 1963. I like it even better than the hardcover version with the dark green border surrounding a black-and-white image. The paperback also has new material added for book clubs.

The Longest Trip Home is my story. It is also my parents' story because I could not tell one without telling the other. It begins with me as a little boy in our family home outside Detroit and comes full circle, ending right back in that same home some forty years later as my father's health was deteriorating and my mother's mind had begun to drift. I knew it was time to come back again after too many years mostly away, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually, as well. I knew it was time to say those things that needed saying while there was still time. That 40-year journey was my longest trip home.

I've been really humbled and gratified by the beautiful letters so many of you have written to me in response to the book. There is something about my story, as personal as it is, that many of you seem to have found oddly similar to your own. Our shared experience is what ties us together.

As Leslie Jones of Montana put it: "Your book is amazing to me in a personal way.  My husband and I are just your age, and I've never read a book that so closely mirrors my childhood... all the everyday stuff of suburban USA in the 60's and 70's. You also nailed the family dynamic--the parents and the adult children, and the process of breaking away into your own new family.  I know you were just writing about  your family but the way you did it was so masterful, and allows all of us readers to remember our own experiences and relate."

Or as Tim Bazzett of Michigan wrote: "Just wanted to let you know how very much I enjoyed your new book. I liked Marley, but this one moved me so much more."

Jason Bowman added: "I just wanted you to know that last week I finished reading Marley and Me and today I finished reading your new title, The Longest Trip Home.  I must say that of all of the books I have read, yours struck my heart in a way
that no writer has ever been able to do.  Those books made me laugh out loud and cry... well, actually sobbing
is probably the more appropriate word.  I love you for your books.  They have given me such an inspiration."

Melinda Boeh emailed: "After seeing Marley & Me on Christmas Day, I decided to check out your other work.  The Longest Trip Home sounded intriguing, but I wasn't prepared for a 'can't put it down' book.  The similarities to my own life were stunning."

And from Terence Lewis in Orlando: "I just finished your book The Longest Trip Home moments ago , and had to stop and thank you for it. Coming from a large family  and as a fellow Irish Catholic, I found the parallels of our experiences very enjoyable . I have not laughed and cried so much while reading a book. Let me add, I am not one to cry."

I could go on, but just know your notes and emails bring me much joy, comfort and inspiration. Please keep them coming! I read and enjoy each and every one, even if I cannot always respond individually.

Meanwhile, my Longest Trip Home tour begins this Sunday, Oct. 11, in my own backyard at Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA. From there I will be visiting over the next three weeks book stores and other venues in: New Canaan, CT; Mendham, NJ; Mequon, WI; Chicago; Lexington, KY; St. Louis; Portland, OR; Corte Madera, CA; San Francisco; Boston; and Philadelphia.

For my complete schedule, please click "Events" in the bar at the top of this page.

Hope to see you on the road.

posted by John Grogan at 8:06 PM


Blogger Cindy said...

The Longest Trip Home was another wonderful book!! I enjoyed it just as much as Marley and Me. Although I read Marley and Me too soon after we had our 10-year old Collie put to sleep. Cried my eyes out reading it! But it still is the best book I ever read. Thank you John! And, the Marley and Me book was way better than the movie. But that is usually the case.

8:21 PM  
Blogger V said...

Having read Marley & Me, I felt I very much needed to see the movie to make sure it lived up to the story. I loved it. I laughed, I cried...Oh my goodness John, my heart broke and I couldn't stop the tears in the end when he died! I could not even begin to imagine what you must have felt.

In part, because of you, I will be getting a golden retriever in the near future. I can't begin to tell you how much I love dogs but Marley has made me love them all the more. I know he's in dog heaven!

Look forward to reading more of your books!


6:01 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I have not read this book of yours yet, but after reading Marley & Me I'm only too excited to begin. I'm also happy to know you have a paperback version on its way out. I love the cover. Congrats!

2:07 PM  
Blogger ♥ Cal Pinheiro ♥ said...

Hi, John!

I've watched through the brazilian station "Record Television" a news with you and your wife talking about Marley and the film.

I was very happy to meet you and the house where you live. The place where Marley is "sleeping" is beautiful and calm.

Congratulations for everything, John!


Carla Pinheiro from Brazil

5:27 PM  
Blogger Alyce from TN said...

My husband & I watched "Marley & Me" tonite. Loved it! Of course I BAWLED @ the end. I've always been a crier w/dog movies. I grew up watching "Lassie" every nite before supper. Shoot a person-that's OK, but have a 2-parter w/ Lassie down a well, holding up an injured paw, & I'd blubber all thru supper, hearing my parents say "You know it's just a story! Lassie's fine!" Watching it tonite hit very close to home- the 1st dog we had as a family, Lucky, had to be put to sleep a year ago this Wed. My son had her cremated & says he's taking her ashes when he leaves home to get married-he's 18. Like Patrick, Jay can't remember a time w/o her. They always slept in the same bed. When her arthritis kept her from jumping up, he'd lift her onto the bed. Like Marley, she was tough; she had 3 surgeries- 2 for torn ligaments, 1 for a rectal tumor.She also beat the vet's odds on recovering from the knee sugery-TWICE! We rushed her to the Pet ER once for anaphylactic shock from a bee sting. We were in the car driving & I realized my son was stung several times too! I quickly called home to check on him. Bad mother, huh? We'll be watching Marley again but when more time has passed for my son. You have such a way w/ words, even your interview is great, interesting reading. Thanks! Blessings, Alyce

10:12 PM  
Blogger ermy said...

Hello John, I wanted to know two things if possible.
No. 1 when you come in Italy?? you know that our wine is worth a taste fantastic ....
No. 2 will be translated WHEN YOUR LAST BOOK IN ITALIAN?? thanks and especially compliments.
P.S. greetings to Janny.

12:24 PM  
Blogger ermy said...

This post has been removed by the author.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Ricardo Lopes. said...

Hello John, I would like to express here my gratitude for a special work, for putting feelings in text is fundamental today. knew their work without wanting to, was a bus trip to a citizen not as close, then posted a film, the film was Marley and I, we all were silent and many manly tears wetting the left seat, I confess I was a them.
After novamante decided to see the movie and ended up buying the book. With the book I noticed details that would not give pra to reduce the 13 years in two hours.
I love reading, I can not stop reading and everything that goes on TV talking about John Grogan and Marley, is part of my interest.
I am Brazilian, live in the city Campos, do not speak English and I am using a translator of google, so forgive any errors.
My email is: and my blog is:
I would be happy to receive a response.
No blog posts have talking about you.
Ricardo Lopes.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

You are going to be here on Oct.29 But I don't see any book signings..You going to be at any bookstores?

6:05 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

This post has been removed by the author.

6:07 PM  
Blogger The Girl from the Ghetto said...

I finished reading "The Longest Trip Home" this weekend and I am thankfully that your book came into my life at the right time. I really enjoyed it. However, I am sad to admit to you that not only have I not finished reading "Marley & Me" yet, but I've never had a dog in my life.

I'm a fellow CMU alumni and Michigander, and I have a question for you - why didn't you come to the Detroit area to promote your book? We don't get enough good writers here! Let your people know I'd at least bring my book club with me!

9:04 PM  
Blogger Sandrags said...

John - I just had to tell you that I worked on an IT contract in DC with Allan Herdman, who was in your class in high school. He said he wasn't surprised by your success and said something to the effect that you were a "cut-up" in school with a wicked sense of humor. I think he may have even referenced the fireworks prank on the crotchety neighbor. Can't wait to finish the book - it's like dessert.

3:53 PM  
Blogger drangfly said...

is marley and me is your frist book?

10:15 AM  
Blogger flor said...

Ola! sou karollyne sou estudante e tenho 13 anos e moro no Brasil bom Oqe eu qero falar e qe esse foi meu 1 livro qe eu li e me a paixonei pela historia acho qe toda pessoa tinha qe ter um Marley
eu nao sei mais suspeito qe vc ja saiba qe bem fas ler esse livro pois qem nao gosta de bicho fica apaixonado pq a historia e encantadora so por saber qe um dia ele existiu e facinante ha! so pra terminar essa semana eu vi o filme aqi em casa passou no tele cine pipoca minha familia toda chorou com marley e riu tambem foi uma delicia Obrigado por ter contado sua historia bom eu nau sei se você vai poder ler oque eu escrevi porqe eu ainda nao entendo nada qe esta escrito no seu blog tenho qe botar tudo no tradutor da google rs... nao sei ler englês ainda mais beijos a todos ♥

11:18 PM  
Blogger Ellen Moceri said...

Dear John,
I bought my mother the Longest Trip Home thinking she would enjoy the story and I saw Marley and me and enjoyed the movie. My mom is 84 and got through the book quite quickly and told me she really enjoyed but that I really needed to read it. You see, I grew up about 2 miles from you and instead summers at the Outlot, we were on Sylvan beach or Ward's point. I went to St. Benedict's which played OLR in sports. I remember Sylvan lanes!! What hit even closer is that Dr. Bober attends my parents in their aging health also. While my parents weren't as devout Catholics as yours, in their 80's they still volunteer weekly at Focus Hope and Meals on Wheels to help the less fortunate. I can only hope that I can instill in my son the same work ethic, integrity and charity that my parents required in our home. I think the age that we grew up with may never come again with both parents working and our busy schedules. We didn't have big homes and fancy cars or vacations but we had a wonderful childhood. Keep writing.

10:32 AM  

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