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Losing Mum and Pup
A Memoir

by Christopher Buckley
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Within one year, Christopher Buckley lost both his father William F. Buckley, founder of The National Review, and his mother Patricia Taylor Buckley. With such well-know parents, one might expect the author to offer a sweet, sentimental account of his life with them. That is not the case.

Christopher Buckley recounts his time with his parents during their last days, while at the same time drawing on flashbacks from his younger days with them, to give an honest portrayal of the elder Buckleys—which in many cases is not positive. Yet even as the reader sees the less-than-perfect aspects of his parents' lives, he senses the love that both son and parents have for one another.

Even though this is a memoir about his parents, Buckley is not past poking fun and making satirical remarks about them. Probably one of the hardest things he had to admit about his mother was that she could be an out-and-out liar. He does it with humor, and the reader comes away thinking no less of his mother.

One of the selling points of this book is the reader—the author himself. Readers who followed his father know that reading his material almost invariably required the use of a dictionary. His son has a similar command of the English language, and his prose comes off as almost poetic.

The many stories (both during his growing-up days and his last few months with his parents) give the reader such an accurate account that he feels he know this family—with all its fleas and ticks and with all its love and compassion.

It is easy to listen to this book.

The Book

Hachette Audio
May 6, 2009
Unabridged audiobook 6 CDs / 6.5 hours
More at

The Reviewer

Willie Elliott
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Willie Elliott is's "Before the Title" columnist, covering non-fiction books and related subjects.
© 2009