John Grogan - The Longest Trip Home


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Press and Praise for The Longest Trip Home

THE WASHINGTON POST:
"Garnished with sentences that are lyrical and observations that are wry and witty... What unfolds is a classic narrative of someone distancing himself from hovering parents, in this case a righteous pair absolutely convinced they knew God's will for themselves, their children and those unfortunates bound for limbo... Full-hearted and worthy... If the elder Grogan taught his son to obey the biblical commandment to honor his parents, and doubtless he did so a thousand times, the lesson appears to have been emphatically learned."

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THE NEW YORK TIMES:
The Longest Trip Home, a book about the author’s upbringing in a devotedly Roman Catholic household, echoes emotions that Mr. Grogan has already described to such best-selling effect.... The last, genuinely heart-rending part of The Longest Trip Home follows Mr. Grogan’s efforts to reconcile himself with his parents before time runs out... Mr. Grogan invests these events with deeply felt humanity and pathos. Suddenly, the reader, who has been regaled with amusing trivialities, is drawn deeply into matters of life and death.... 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."

-- Janet Maslin, The New York Times

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BUFFALO NEWS:
"Touching and inspiring.... The Longest Trip Home is an enjoyable story of growth and family, from an incredibly gifted writer. Grogan makes the transitions between childhood, adolescence and adulthood masterfully, weaving the threads of his life in a way that is both relatable and interesting to readers."

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ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH:
"The Longest Trip Home is at its funniest as Grogan recounts his youth: the hidden cigarettes, the boyhood gangs of friends, the awkward first crushes. It becomes bittersweet as he separates from his parents and their rigid religious beliefs. But as Grogan's parents age and their health begins to fail, baby boomers everywhere will recognize that feeling that now, it's the child trying to take care of the parent in a role reversal that is so difficult to undertake. The evolution of the Grogan family is not always easy to read about, but the author keeps it entertaining, funny and, best of all, always honest at its core. The Longest Trip Home succeeds because of that unsparing eye."

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PEOPLE Magazine (10/27/08) Four Stars:
“In this prequel [to his 2005 bestseller Marley & Me] the author looks back at his [Catholic] childhood in suburban Detroit—and proves he doesn’t need a four-legged subject to write a winning book. . . . 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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ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS (10/17/08):
"Grogan is no lightweight. This is a serious story of how he painfully redefines his relationship with his parents and copes with their aging. But best of all, his stories of their unconditional love despite his abundant youthful mischief will evoke all the best parts of your childhood.

This story is milk-and-cookies simple: pure and terrific."

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DETROIT FREE PRESS
"A special gift... As long as you grew up somewhere, Grogan's luminous prose will resonate."

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SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
"Bittersweet magic... Recounted with Grogan's trademark mix of warmth, mischief and honesty."

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
"All energy and love, passion and compassion -- all leavened with a grand sense of humor."
--Frank McCourt

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ORLANDO SENTINEL
"Grogan is a gifted and engaging writer. His disciplined prose, winning way with anecdote, and knack for comedy serve him well... Millions of people will identify with the progress of Grogan's Boomer- era life with its familiar milestones."

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AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
"You can see what Grogan means when he refers to his first book as a warm up for this one. At its best, The Longest Trip Home is tougher and truer than -- an unflinching look at how parents and children can feel at once too close and too distant from one another."

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FLORIDA TIMES-UNION (Jacksonville)
"A funny, touching book... This isn't Marley, the sequel. It's about life before Marley, life in the 1960s and 1970s and how that shaped life in all the decades that have followed. It's about family and faith and struggling to figure out both. It's about growing up, leaving home and then coming back as an adult.... The result is a better book than Marley... more complex, more personal and more powerful."

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BOOKREPORTER.com
"This real-life coming-of-age story is a tender and touching tribute to parents Grogan loves and respects. Many anecdotes are hilarious.
Some may well move readers to tears.... Readers will be grateful for this poignant treasure chest of moments that stuck for John Grogan -- and to him for sharing them with us."

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BOOK PAGE (November 2008) Review:
“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 in a new coming-of age memoir, The Longest Trip Home.”

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BOOKLIST (9/15/08) Review:
“From the author of Marley & Me, this is an extraordinary memoir of estrangement and reconciliation.”

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PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred) Review:
Grogan follows up Marley & Me with a hilarious and touching memoir of his childhood in suburban Detroit.

'To say my parents were devout Catholics is like saying the sun runs a little hot,' he writes. 'It defined who they were.' Grogan and his three siblings grew up in a house full of saints' effigies, attended a school run by ruler-wielding nuns and even spent family vacations at religious shrines, chapels and monasteries. Grogan defied his upbringing through each coming-of-age milestone: his first impure thoughts, which he couldn't bare to divulge at his First Confession (the priest was a family friend); his first buzz from the communion wine he chugged with his fellow altar boys; and his coming to know women in the biblical sense. As Grogan matured, his unease with Church doctrine grew, and he realized he'd never share his parents' religious zeal.

Telling them he's joined the ranks of the nonpracticing Catholics, however, is much easier said than done, even in adulthood. At 30, he fell in love with a Protestant, moved in with her and then married her -- a sequence of events that crushed his parents. In this tenderly told story, Grogan considers the rift between the family he's made and the family that made him --and how to bridge the two.

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LIBRARY JOURNAL Review:
Über-best selling author Grogan (Marley & Me) recounts growing up devoutly Catholic in a "Shangri-La by the shore" outside Detroit, beginning with an idyllic childhood in an unsanctimonious, loving household full of friends, swimming, and stealth cigarettes. During a comparatively tame (for the late Sixties) adolescence, replete with making out, beer, and shooting off fireworks, Grogan realizes, "There could be either one God who loved everybody the same, or no God at all." So begins a religious estrangement that is paired with major guilt over disappointing his parents (he often lies to them to spare them heartache). The book's latter part is a love-soaked paean to his terminally ill father. While Grogan's workmanlike writing, certain and readable, gives off a calculated sincerity, he is genuinely devoted to his parents. Grogan's memoir of his journey for identity is akin to Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Required for even the smallest libraries owing to Grogan's name recognition, the upcoming movie release of Marley, its tie-in paperback, and the publisher's substantial PR push.

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THE OXFORD MAIL
"Now readers are being given the chance to find out more about the man behind Marley & Me, in Grogan’s autobiography, The Longest Trip Home. Grogan’s life story doesn’t have a dog at the heart of it this time, but the writing is warm and engaging and I found the whole book captivating. ...The Longest Trip Home reminded me of Bill Bryson’s The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, focusing on childhood reminiscences in a genial manner. Grogan’s humorous observations about family relationships and his honest assessment of his own shortcomings are very readable, and I look forward to the next instalment of his life story."

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THE SCOTSMAN
"The Longest Trip Home strikes a similar balance to Marley & Me – it is funny, poignant and honest..."










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