annie b, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by annie b)
Not only a wonderful journey of "fitting in" to a new family environment, but a damn funny story! It's a fully enjoyable look at committing, adapting and loving in a new way.
Bookwomyn, December 12, 2012 (view all comments by Bookwomyn)
As a person who appreciates chickens and a former chicken 'mom' I was curious about this book. The only rooster I had taught me to walk carefully and carry a big broom. It's a fast read and one which gives a good chuckle from page to page. Very cute. Literary masterpiece? No. But I liked it.
techeditor, October 19, 2012 (view all comments by techeditor)
People who like and care about animals are nicer people, I say. Brian McGrary, author of BUDDY: HOW A ROOSTER MADE ME A FAMILY MAN, is one such person. He loved his dog.
But loving a dog is pretty easy because dogs are people pleasers, even dogs not as perfect as his Harry. The second half of the book asks: what about a rooster?
This is the test: the woman he loves, his dog's veterinarian Pam, and her two little girls have a rooster named Buddy. McGrary doesn't like the rooster; Pam and the kids love the rooster. Now what to do?
So McGrary gives us accounts of his dealings with the rooster. That includes his experiences with Pam's daughters and his efforts to become a member of their family. These stories are funny and touching, and they're a pleasure to read especially if you, too, have struggled to find happiness and contentment with your husband's or wife's children or if you, too, have observed the lengths some divorced parents will go to to satisfy their children.
But back to Harry: almost the first half of the book is devoted to him. I loved reading about Harry but was wondering when I'd learn what he had to do with the title character. Turns out not much, although McGrary does try to relate the Harry accounts with the Buddy accounts when he says that Harry was the reason he met Buddy. Even though that's true (because Pam was Harry's veterinarian), the Buddy stories and the Harry stories are seperate in time.
So this is pretty much what the book is: nonfiction presented in many short stories, first, about Harry, then about Buddy and family, all in chronological order. Sometimes Harry is recalled during the Buddy stories.
I would have preferred that this book was one story rather than a series of episodes. It could have flowed very well from lonely McGrary and his dog to McGrary's efforts to become a family man when a rooster is part of the family. That's what McGrary tries to do but in episodic form.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"A moving and funny account of one man's journey from bachelor to husband and father aided by remarkable pets. Novelist and Boston Globe columnist McGrory begins his tale by recounting his bond with his first dog, Harry. Obedient yet loving, Harry helps him through his divorce and enjoyment of newly single life, until a painful disease takes the dog just before his 10th birthday. A grieving McGrory goes about his life, 'swallowed up by acres of emptiness like I had never imagined,' until Pam, his former vet, sends him an expensive necktie, and he falls in love again. Pam, recently divorced with two young daughters, introduces McGrory to suburbia and a rooster named Buddy. Originally a science fair project for one of the girls, Buddy quickly becomes the neighborhood attraction, strutting out on the front lawn. Despite McGrory's hopes that Pam will find a more suitable home for the rooster, Buddy's tenure becomes permanent with a strong fence around the yard and a home in the shed. In spite of (or perhaps because of) Buddy's frequent attacks on McGrory, and a disastrous summer in Maine, McGrory comes to understand the obligations and sacrifices that come with family life. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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