TLC Blog Tour ♦ The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan

Meet The Grogans

Before there was Marley, there was a gleefully mischievous boy navigating his way through the seismic social upheaval of the 1960’s. On the one side were his loving but comically traditional parents, whose expectations were clear. On the other side were his neighborhood pals and all the misdeeds that followed. The more young John tried to straddle these two worlds, the more spectacularly, and hilariously, he failed. Told with Grogan’s trademark humor and affection, The Longest Trip Home is the story of one son’s journey into adulthood to claim his place in the world. It is a story of faith and reconciliation, breaking away and finding the way home again, and learning in the end that a family’s love will triumph over its differences.

Book Title: The Longest Trip Home Type: Trade Paperback 337 pages
Author: John Grogan Publication Date: October 2009
Publisher: Harper Collins ISBN: 978-0-06-171330-9
Genre: Memoir Purchase: The Book Depository

My Thoughts  

As soon as I heard that John Grogan had written another memoir I just knew I had to read it! Marley & Me holds a strong place in my top 5 memoirs of all time list – and not just because it’s about a funky, feisty freak-ball of a dog. I will admit that the canine focus was what drew me in, but what made Marley & Me such a beloved book of mine was the voice of John himself. He could have been writing about mudpies and I’d have been honestly enthralled. Grogans’ writing is so real, so down to earth, he really does have a talent for telling tales.

Admittedly, I was a little hesitant about reading The Longest Trip Home, because it wasn’t a memoir about a dog, and maybe the (unfamiliar to me) topic of religion scared me a little. But my desire to learn about how John Grogan came to be the man he is, was too strong to resist. From his first memoir you get to see who he is, but with The Longest Trip Home the reader learns about how he got there. At this point I’d just like to point out that although the subject matter is different, these two memoirs together make an excellent reading experience, and it really makes no difference what order they are read in. They compliment one another no matter how they’re read.

Humor seems to be a huge part of what makes reading John Grogans’ work so enjoyable. Much of this memoir focuses on the difficulties that arise when your own personal life choices don’t mesh so well with that of your parents. In John’s case, he never quite saw eye-to-eye with his parents regarding religion. That’s a pretty tough subject to tackle, and in another writer’s hands it could result in a dryer story. However, the writing here is the perfect balance of serious thought and laughable anecdotes. But the joking style is never overdone. Instead it is a thoughtful look at the struggles of developing your own inherent identity, dealing with the pressure of familial expectations, and learning how to walk that line that makes a person part of a family, while still being their own person.

The Longest Trip Home is another brilliant life story from Grogan, one that I enjoyed reading as much as Marley & Me, despite the more serious issues being presented. Hopefully, we will be seeing more from this author soon – I just know a memoir about his experiences with parenthood would be a gem!

About The Author

John Grogan has spent more than twenty-five years as a newspaper journalist, most recently as metropolitan columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is the author of the #1 international bestseller Marley & Me, and lives in the Pennsylvania countryside with his wife, Jenny, and their three children.

Other TLC Blog Tour Stops

19-Oct-09: BookNAround
21-Oct-09: The Novel Book Worm
26-Oct-09: Book Club Classics
27-Oct-09: Readaholic
28-Oct-09: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
03-Nov-09: Bookstack

04-Nov-09: The Girl from the Ghetto
09-Nov-09: The 3 R’s
12-Nov-09: Cozy Little House
17-Nov-09: Starting Fresh
Date TBD: The Book Lady’s Blog

Thanks so much to Trish at TLC Book Tours for giving
me the opportunity to host a stop on this tour!

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.


Kailana said...

I own this but I haven't got around to reading it yet. I am glad you liked it, though!

bermudaonion said...

I loved this book, too and just sobbed at the end. I went out and bought Marley and Me as soon as I finished this one, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Grogan's writing is from the heart.

trish said...

I'm so glad you liked it. Grogan must have a fantastic story-telling ability because he seems to hit each book out of the park. I usually don't read memoirs, but I'm thinking of picking up one of Grogan's books!

Thanks for being on this tour!

Florinda said...

I remembered how much you loved Marley & Me and was looking forward to your take on this - glad you liked it too! So did I. I really enjoy Grogan's storytelling voice, and there are always bits that make me laugh out loud.

Being a nonpracticing Catholic myself, this memoir hit a chord with me, but I'd have enjoyed it anyway.

Vasilly said...

I've been hearing great things about this book. I read Marley and Me last year and loved it. I'm definitely putting this book on my reading list.

Zibilee said...

I have been thinking of grabbing a copy of this book, so I am really glad to hear you like it. Great review, it looks like a great book!

Veens said...

I heard a lot of good things abotu Marley and Me, and since then I m meaning to get it. I am glad this one is as good as the previous one.
Next time I am sure, I will pick on of his books :)

That was a great review, thank you!

naida said...

Sounds very good, Marley and Me is on my TBE list. The Longest Trip Home sounds great.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Great review! I had no idea Grogan had written another memoir. I loved Marley, too, so I would definitely want to read this one!

Stephanie said...

Oh...I LOVED Marley & Me. Not a huge non-fiction fan, but a good memoir now and again makes me feel good.

Glad to see this is worth picking up!

Fiona Robyn said...

Hello Book Zombie – I hope you don’t mind me popping in! I’m a British author and a fellow Bookblogs member and my next novel, Thaw, will be published online next year after its physical publication. I wanted to invite you (and your readers) to participate in my Blogsplash - there’s more information at Thanks for listening!

Ladytink_534 said...

Marley and Me was one of the first memoirs I ever read. I didn't know he had written another one! Sounds interesting!

Vasilly said...

Taking a week off from blogging? =) Hope you're having a good time.

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Care said...

Hey you. How AHR ya? I would like to read this someday. I remember searching for more info on Grogan after I read M&M and saw a clip of him reading from this book and I'm sure I rushed to put it on my tbr. Anyway, I was thinking about you, wanted to say hello! :)

Anonymous said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

Lezlie said...

Just stopping to say Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

great review...the longest trip home is indeed a lovely story just as you guys can find it out from the beautifully written review over here...I love the book and cherish it in my mini-library which i recently purchased from :) :) :)

Care said...

Happy New Year!