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Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man
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Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  847 ratings  ·  236 reviews
Award-winning journalist Brian McGrory goes head to beak in a battle royale with another male for a top-spot in his home, vying for dominance with the family’s pet rooster.
Brian McGrory's life changed drastically after the death of his beloved dog, Harry: he fell in love with Pam, Harry's veterinarian. Though Brian’s only responsibility used to be his adored Harry, Pam cam
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Crown (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,374)
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Kath McStay

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I do not, I absolutely do not read books about animals. Am I an animal hater? Far From it. I love animals. Pretty much all animals are on my favorites list. Currently there are four cats and a dog in my home. My fur kids are aways rescues. I adore them all. I have had other dogs, other cats, a few rabbits, and the poor chameleon and ill fated mouse. I have been known to dress down folks I see mistreating animals or allowing them to be in harms way. I
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Beth
Maybe I'm a bit prejudiced, having grown up on James Herriot, but Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man was a let down. I went into this book with high hopes for humor and heartwarming stories. What I got was a hodge-podge of information, not necessarily in chronological order, that was only slightly touching and humorous, but more often irritating.

Personally, I feel that the best part of this book what the part that had nothing to do with the rooster. The first fourth of the book is about a
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Matt
I received this book from Goodreads after winning one of their give aways. If not for that, I may not have finished it.

While the title of this book implies it is about a rooster, it really is more of mid-life autobiography of Brian McGrory. The first part of the book describes Brian’s life with his dog after his divorce while living in Boston. The book continues, describing how Brian begins to date his veterinarian, Pam, who lives in the suburbs, and happens to become the owner of a rooster. The
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Amy
I did have a very hard time believing that a vet wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a hen and a rooster without a blood test. Especially beings the rooster in question was a White Plymouth Rock.
Deidre
By now we are well-accustomed to charming animal-centered memoirs featuring a troublesome pup or a winsome feline. The rooster, however, is an unlikely candidate for this sort of pet as life-lesson instructor story. But with the rise in urban farming perhaps more roosters will be making their way into family units. For those who might be thinking about welcoming a rooster into their brood, Buddy is both an inspiration and a cautionary tale.

Brian McGrory was a Boston-based dog owner when he fell
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Dianne Fallon
I knew that I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw a brief excerpt in the Boston Globe. I went to high school with the author, Brian McGrory, who is now the editor of the Globe. Brian always had a wry understated sense of humor and was a terrific writer. I was curious to read about his adult life and his conflicts with the rooster as he adapts from man-about-town city bachelor to suburban dweller with the love-of-his life, a veterinarian, and her two animal-crazed daughters (to whom Buddy b ...more
Erin
Disappointing. I expected to be rooting for Brian and his new family based on the premise of the book - a city-dwelling bachelor becoming a suburban family man via his vet and her two daughters. But honestly while I enjoyed and related to Brian's relationship with his dog Harry at the beginning of the book, after that part I felt it was lacking in substance as well as any likable characters. Brian had continued angst about moving from Boston to the suburbs. Living in the city on his own clearly ...more
Kasandra
The best part of this book is actually about the author's first dog, Harry. That part made me feel all warm and squishy inside, and then made me cry. The rest of it? Not badly written, but no amount of clever writing shores up his assertion that giving up an independent city life for the suburbs and married step-parenthood (and living with a crazy, loud rooster) was worth it. The excesses of spending on suburban kids and their parties is detailed here in all its disgusting glory. I ended this bo ...more
Lisa
I must confess, my favorite sections of the book dealt with Harry the late golden retriever - Buddy the rooster, not so much.

Brian obviously loved living in the city, but moved to accomodate his new family. He seemed like he was trying to convince himself that he'd done the right thing. (I'm thinking he should have kept his condo)

The whole "American Girl" incident just made me mad - the girls want to stay home with their mother, so he had to go to the mall days after Christmas, and purchase hun
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Jason
I am thoroughly surprised by the relatively high average rating that has been given to what basically amounts to a self-indulgent, narcissistic rant that uses the novel concept of a chicken pet to bait the hook. It’s pretty evident that McGrory loved his dog, and his dog loved him (and according to him, everyone else for that matter – children, other dogs, his co-workers, his dry cleaner…you get the idea); it is equally evident that he really just wanted to write about said dog and to a much gre ...more
Diana
Oh, how I wanted to like this book, but ended up barely finishing it. The first part of the book was about the author & his beloved dog Harry, and this part was very good. Unfortunately, 2/3 of the book was about the author trying to fit into a new marriage, 2 spoiled step-daughters, and a menagerie of animals, including the evil rooster, Buddy. The family dynamic, headed by the weak-willed and passive aggressive, Pam was by far the most awful part of the book. I have seen mothers like her, ...more
Rebecca Pierzchala


McGrory is so in love with himself, it's a wonder he got not one, but two women to marry him. While his dog Harry adored him, Buddy the rooster had the better sense to see him for who he really was. Unimpressed with this book, or at least with McGrory himself. If I could give this one and a half stars, I would.
Janine Graves
As most everyone else has said, the most engaging part of this book is when the author describes his relationship with Harry, his Golden Retriever.

I did love that part of the book, but it only serves the purpose of a springboard to how he met his manipulative second wife, the Golden's veterinarian, and her atrociously spoiled rotten offspring.

It went completely downhill from there.

As a women who has a blended family, where my husband and I have 5 children combined from our first marriages and a
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Calye
I was shopping for my own b'day presents in the time between Christmas and my b'day. What I really wanted were the Good Eats books from Costco, but, as it goes with Costco, they were in and gone before I got any. I ended up at Target instead and this was one of the few books they had left that I hadn't read so it became a b'day present.

I enjoy reading witty, life journals such as this, however Buddy never really seemed to find a voice (no pun intended). The author rambles around his tale a bit
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Zara
Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man by Brian McGrory is a brilliant memoir about the reluctant transition a man must make from content autonomy of singlehood to the selflessness that’s required in a longterm relationship, the unexpected and ever-changing moods of children — and in this case, a house full of pets.

Brian McGrory’s experience as a writer and editor for the Boston Globe since the eighties has clearly given him an advantage in writing novels, which in Buddy, obviously showcases
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Mary (BookHounds)
Don't let the cover fool you. This is a memoir with a dog book. Well, ok, there IS a rooster involved but the author makes it clear right from the start that no rooster is going to come between him and his dog. Then he cute-meets a woman, who just happens to be his vet. Again, he has sworn off women since he has just come off a divorce and loves his single life with his dog. She has just gone through a divorce and when she spies him being especially gentle with his dog, her heart is forever his. ...more
Emily Morris
Something keeps drawing me to these inspiring animal books. Perhaps it's my love of animals. Perhaps I've just been sucked into the trend. I've had hits-and-misses with them that's made me question my tendency to read them, but somehow those hits keep me reading. I consider "Buddy" to be one of the hits.

So many other examples of the genre are cozy heartfelt reads of that undeniable bond between Person and Beloved Animal. This one most refreshingly is not, so do not expect to be wrapped up in tha
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Timothy Rynders
This was a terrible waste of time. I sort of hate myself for finishing it. It sounds like this guy got put up to writing the story and never really wanted to write about anything other than himself. It's a very thinly veiled story about a rooster helping a man supposedly discover how to be a family man. That connection is made for about half a page and the rest is this guy double talking about how he isn't just a selfish city dweller who has a revelation about ending up miserable and tries to ma ...more
Shonica
I wish that I could break this book into parts and give it stars in pieces. The first part was fantastic! He told the story of his first dog and it was beautiful. I honestly think that if you get this book and only read the part about Harry... totally worth it. 5 stars for sure.

The middle... eh... it was ok. There were parts I liked and parts I skimmed through because I just didn't care. 2 stars.

At the end of the book he talked more about Buddy and how Buddy "made him a family man." It was swee
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Liz
It has been a long time since I have read a ‘feel good’ book. This one really hit the spot for me in terms of satisfying my animal lover side and feeling a sigh of happy contentment for the author. Brian McGrory is a journalist from Boston who was married and then quickly divorced. He had a dog, Harry, that he bought for his wife but kept him after they divorced. McGrory was living the life of a jet-setting journalist from the city but still found plenty of time to spend with Harry. Harry’s stor ...more
SheilaRaeO
In "Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man", Brian McGrory has shared the story of his transformation from an independent, Boston sports writer, to a suburban step-dad. Using the catalyst of his step-daughters' pet rooster, and the trials and challenges he (the rooster) presents in a suburban home environment, to illustrate lessons he learns in parenting, and being a supportive spouse. Mostly how the rooster wanted to kill him and how his family didn't seem bothered by that at all, but how he ...more
Debra
Anyone who does not read this novel is missing one hilarious romp from single status to happily married land...while I always love books that feature an animal, Buddy and Brian's relationship had me literally laughing out loud...this while I happened to have the worst summer cold and I was trying to get some rest in bed, needless to say this is the book I will be adding to my permanent personal library to reread as needed...
Kevin
I can't say I know for sure what led me to pick up this book. I like animals as much as a guy would who didn't really grow up with them. I suppose the back end of the title, "How A Rooster Made Me A 'Family' Man," resonated. Whatever the reason, l needed to pick it up and get through it.

It wasn't easy. This is the story of a self-described metrosexual, transformed into a happy suburbanite. As an avid fan of spy and detective fiction, l needed almost 3 weeks to get through it. Now that I've fini
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Adrienne
BUDDY: HOW A ROOSTER MADE ME A FAMILY MAN
A Non-Fiction Review
------------------------------------------
Narration:
In my opinion, the author has a wonderfully smooth style. He writes in a manner that draws me right in and keeps the narrative flowing quickly.

Organization:
This story is a bit non-linear, and it contains a number of "time and space" breaks (which fits the journalistic "short burst" style), but overall, it works.

Naughty-Bits:
In my opinion, the editor could have deleted the occasional
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Nora Brosseau
I love all things local. I have read Brian and listened to him on the radio. I probably would have head to Boston if put in your situation....you are a brave man. I loved figuring out the Buddy thing....amazing how we still learn at every age. Brian has changed, for the better, over the years....congrats on the new job too!
Jeri
This is a book for an animal lover. It is warm and humorous! You will love to read about Buddy and his special home. And the very touching story of Harry. Enjoy this book!
Susan
Loved this book. If you've ever had a pet you loved, this is a must read.
The Loopy Librarian
Endearing, humorous and as much a story of family as of a pampered rooster named Buddy. The story was touching, sweet, and comical. It often had me laughing aloud. Recommended for fans of memoirs and animal stories.

Quotes:

"I never knew joy and sorrow could be so intricately entwined" (p. 161).

"Me defending Buddy. It was the start of something odd" (p. 181).

"If women were a mystery to me at my advanced age, take it as a fact that girls were a total enigma" (p. 229).

"Say this about that bird, his
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Julie
Completely heartwarming contrasted story of a perpetual city bachelor (who only loves his dog Harry), and a land loving vet with a very gracious and patient heart. A book on his journey through a failed marriage, a re-marriage, blending of families: dogs, bunnies, cats, and living with three females............all centered around a male dominated chicken named Buddy (who's secret desire is to castrate the perpetual city bachelor to maintain his status as the top dog..........umm....I mean top Ch ...more
Stephanie
While Buddy the rooster does figure prominently in this book, Brian McGrory actually excels most when he offers a very intimate look at his relationship with Harry, a Golden Retriever. He also shared a rather scrumptious view of living simply in a big city that he loves, making me itch to leave suburbia. You cannot help liking Brian an awful lot. He is without a doubt a most patient and kind man, very sharp, and someone who appears to live an authentic and full life. This good man put up with mo ...more
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All About Animals: Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man 7 10 Oct 08, 2013 10:29AM  
Free Book Giveaway: How A Rooster Made Me A Family Man 1 3 Dec 14, 2012 06:55AM  
Critical Era: Author Appearance: Brian McGrory 6 9 Nov 05, 2012 05:57AM  
Critical Era: Giveaway: Brian McGrory's Buddy 1 7 Oct 24, 2012 07:05AM  
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McGrory is the editor of The Boston Globe. A 23-year veteran of the Globe, he was previously a Metro columnist and associate editor. Born and raised in Boston and the region, he has also worked as the Globe’s Metro editor, White House reporter, national reporter, general assignment reporter, and suburban reporter.
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