The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir
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The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,587 ratings  ·  517 reviews
Finding your place in the world can be the longest trip home . . .

In his debut bestseller, Marley & Me, John Grogan showed how a dog can become an extraordinary presence in the life of one family. Now, in his highly anticipated follow-up, Grogan again works his magic, bringing us the story of what came first.

Before there was Marley, there was a gleefully mischievous bo...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2007)
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Tattered Cover Book Store
This is an extremely delightful book--Grogan writes about his childhood and deeply religious upbringing in true ornery schoolboy style, varnishing nothing. To say he was a handful would be a gross understatement-- he certainly lived an exuberant childhood, the tales from which are PG13 to NR17 in nature but funny as all get out. There are also tough issues being discussed here--becoming okay with being a person other than the one your parents wanted you to be, and, eventually dealing with aging...more
Lisa
I loved Marley and Me--but this book was quite different. In fairness, I didn't get close to finishing it, but I could see this was not my type of book.
This book could be subtitled, "Catholic School Boys Behaving Badly". As a teacher and a parent, I can never enjoy seeing kids making bad choices.
As someone raised as a Catholic, and almost the same age as Grogan, I did laugh about lying in confession because I think that happened a lot. I don't know how the Catholic Church is managing confession...more
Jean
John Grogan has written another best selling book. This time, instead of stealing the hearts of his readers with a lovable,adventurous mutt, Grogan stole the hearts of his readers by writing about his family. The story of his childhood and growing up in a strict Catholic family made me laugh and the struggles of his parents late in life made me cry.
Anyone who grew up in a strict Catholic family can see their own family on these pages. You will relate to the parents wanting the best for their...more
Emma
this book really touched me. i laughed and i cried. it was a true spiritual experience for me. i grew up in a very catholic family and had many similar memories. john grogans portrayal of his father was truly a labor of love. the catholic church is not perfect but this devout catholic man was the church to his family. i want to have that kind of faith and peace.
Sheila
This is a wonderful memoir about families, faith, and trying to live your own life as an adult with different values than your parents. John Grogan's parents were very devout Catholics, and John was raised in this environment. But as he came of age in the 1970's, his world view changed, and he came to see there was more to the world than just the strict, sheltered Catholic family and school life he was raised in. But as many people may relate to, having your own values and life is one thing, ope...more
Pat Herndon
John Grogan has such a personal style of warmth in his writing. Just as I enjoyed every minute of the book Marley & Me, I enjoyed The Longest Trip Home. Although it seems odd to compare a troubled and loving relationship with parents to a troubled and loving relationship with a dog, I noted that the story arcs are similar in each book. Just as I began to really love his amazing parents, I realized where the story was heading and joined John and his siblings in their concern and eventual mour...more
Linda
This delightfully readable book had me doing a lot of self reflection about religion and parenting. I especially enjoyed the memories it elicited of my own upbringing, as I am near the age of the author.
Anne
The audio book version of The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir is read by the author, which I think adds a sense of authenticity and an almost intimacy with the author because you can actually hear the story in his own words.

Author John Grogan's second book, following Marley Me, is the funny, moving, and at times almost heartbreaking story of a son and his relationship with his father. At times I laughed out loud listening to the author's adventures and misadventures growing up in Michigan followed b...more
Jodi
Feb 18, 2010 Jodi rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: memoirs
Wow! Grogan can make me laugh, and cry buckets all in one book. He managed to do that to me in "Marley and Me" and now in this book. I was prepared for the laughs with both books but not the tears. "Marley" I read after my dog died and it was such a good book during that time - healing and theraputic. I did not expect the tears though in this book.......I guess I should have given the way it started. I could feel deeply all the feelings Grogan did because like him, I watched my father weaken and...more
Laura McHale Holland
I listened to an audio version of the book read by the author, which is a very different experience than reading, of course. So I have no idea whether I'd be gripped by the prose on the pages of this book. But, as a listener, I was pulled in entirely. I felt almost like I became part of the Grogan clan as John shared episode after episode of his life growing up in a Catholic family so devout, their family vacations consisted primarily of driving to religious shrines! So his relationship to the C...more
Gaby
I hadn't yet read Marley & Me, I found The Longest Trip Home to be a wonderful introduction to John Grogan's narrative voice.

Grogan is sympathetic, funny and witty as he shares the anecdotes and the milestones in his life. We first meet Grogan as a six-year old being woken up in the morning by his mother with a feather duster, surrounded by his siblings. With affection and love, he shares the particular nuances of his childhood as he was raised by deeply Catholic (with icons, pilgrimages, an...more
Wanda
John Grogan, author of Marley and Me, writes a memoir of his life with his strongly cultural Roman Catholic family, and his growing up in Michigan. As in Marley and Me, Grogan plucks at our heartstrings.
This is a well written and thoughtful book, that draws in the reader quickly and is a fast and entertaining read. Grogan is brutally honest and does not spare himself, giving us the unvarnished truth about telling lies in confession, sneaking cigarettes and later pot, and generally coming of age...more
Tara
Jul 20, 2009 Tara added it
When you're getting to know a person, finding out about their past and even a little bit of their personal misdeeds can be endearing. Or, they can share so much information about themselves that you feel uncomfortable and eager for the conversation to end. Think of this book as the latter. I was listening to this book on CD and I couldn't get past the 1st CD. There is a lot of detail which, at the beginning drew me in and I was very interested in this person's life. As it went on, though, too ma...more
Christi
Having not read his first book, I was unsure exactly what to expect from this book. I absolutely loved it! Perhaps it helped that John Grogan grew up in the area immediately surrounding where my family and I now live and so I have a familiarity to the places he was describing. Or perhaps it was that I was raised Catholic and attended parochial school. Whatever the case, I found myself enraptured by this memoir and enchanted by Grogan's writing style. I loved his use of metaphor in so many areas...more
Kim
The first half of the book was unreadable. I really don't care to read about his adolescent forays into being what he thinks is a "bad boy." The ending part of the book dealing with the illness and passing of his father moved me. But even then the overall pervasive feeling of "It's all about me!" does not do justice to the life well-lived by his father. He speaks of how handsome his father looked on the 25th anniversary at GM but he does not include a photo.
Crabbygirl
this author did marley and me (which i found sentimental and contrived) but my mom loved this title so i wanted to give him another chance.

I got the book on audioCD to make him easier to take. hmmm. maybe that was a bad idea. read by the author himself, the delivery was terrible, and often times didn't seem plausible - even though he was supposedly reading his own words/thoughts! (for example, i was certain he was mispronouncing st francis of assisi)

when the book got to his college years and yo...more
Kristi Vitale
I don't think I've cried so much over a book. I laughed quite a bit too. And I miss my mom and dad something terrible. A memory stirrer.... and such a lovely, lovely, touching book.
Bill
I have to admit, I just don't understand why people write memoirs about their wholeheartedly unspectacular lives.
Jan Grant
If you grew up Catholic, you had to read this book. It's wonderful.
Bailey Albert
Couldn't finish it. Too slow. Too complicated.
Melissa
Author of Marley & Me, John Grogan, has a way with words. So when the dog is gone from the story and the memoir is just about him, I was curious to see how the story would end up. Well, that and my grandma included this book in a pile she gave back to me, and I read just about anything that comes into my hands.

Grogan was brought up in a very Catholic household. In fact, his parents were about the most devout Catholics I'd ever read about. But he didn't take to the faith, even from an early a...more
Paul Pessolano
Many of you probably know John Grogan from his first novel about his love affair with a mischievous Labrador Retriever names "Marley".

Grogan, again, calls on his real life experiences in "The Longest Trip Home". This is a "no holds barred", honest, and frank story of a young man coming of age in a Detroit suburb.

John's mother and father were very religious and deeply imbued in their Catholic faith. John and his brothers and sisters went to Catholic school, and his two uncles were Catholic priest...more
Adam Rabiner
There's hardly any mention of Marley in The Longest Trip Home. M&M was an autobiographical slice of Grogan's life - a 12 year period when he was newly married and started a family. In TLTH he goes Big Picture, and starts from the beginning until his father's death shortly before the publication of his blockbuster best seller. While M&M focuses on his wife and kids (and of course the crazy canine) this book looks largely back on his childhood friends, first girlfriends, his fiance Jenny a...more
Simon
After winning my heart over with Marley and me, I was very excited to discover that John Grogan wrote another book. I discovered it on the shelf at The Real Canadian superstore and I had to buy it. I began to read right away and spent every free moment reading it. I found it funny and engaging at first, it got right in depth with the mind of a growing child. His descriptions of being an alter boy were hilarious to me for I was the same thing, I knew the crazy situations he was going through beca...more
Joanne
Like veterans of foreign wars and alumnae of certain colleges, those who grew up in Catholic families share an undeniable bond. When it comes to things like stations of the cross, holy water, fundraising bazaars, Bingo nights and other hallmarks of our religion, if you have to explain the feelings engendered by those things to someone, they are just never going to get it. In other words, if you grew up in a parish, your mother was in a Sodality unit (mine was in St. John Newman) and your Dad was...more
Betty-Anne
John Grogan’s memoir of growing up Catholic, The Longest Trip Home is one of the most interesting books I have recently read. The author of the bestseller Marley & Me now writes about his deeply Catholic upbringing and how it affected the course of his life.

As one of four children to deeply devout Catholic parents, John Grogan grew up surrounded by religion, with the milestones of his life measured by the sacraments and rituals of the Catholic Church. At the same time, Grogan tells of a ver...more
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
John Grogan is the youngest of Richard and Ruth Grogan’s four children. The Grogans were devoted to each other and their Catholic religion. In The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir, John shares what it was like to grow up in this wonderful family. I laughed through the first half of the book as I read about his childhood exploits - setting off fireworks in a neighbor’s yard; sneaking peeks at his father’s photography magazines to see topless women; learning to smoke cigarettes, etc. - because his writ...more
Craig Anderson
After watching Marley & Me (the movie was subpar, but I was interested in the characters), I came across author John Grogan's memoir, The Longest Trip Home. Wanting to know more about the man himself, I picked it up not sure what to expect. What I found is apparently what made Marley & Me (the book) such a big hit - Grogan's warmth, humor, and easy writing style that practically invited you into his family as he matured from a young boy from a strong-valued Catholic clan to a man with hi...more
krisabelle
I loved this book, but then again, I have a soft spot for boys’ coming-of-age tales, especially those that take place during the 1950's. There is something I find so romantic about that era of innocence and ideals in America. This book is so much more than a simple remembrance of a boy’s childhood, though. I truly fell in love with the author’s parents, especially his father, even during the rough patches where they were hell bent (pardon the pun) on having their grandchildren raised Catholic. I...more
Bill Hall
Fans of John Grogan's "Marley and Me" will not be disappointed by his new offering, "The Longest Trip Home." This is a beautiful, funny, sad, moving, remarkable book.

"The Longest Trip Home" is described as a prequel to "Marley," and that's accurate, because it tells his story both before and after that rambunctious, lovable dog came into his life. Grogan brings the same sensitivity and gift for detail to these pages that he brought to "Marley." We meet John's parents, siblings, friends and lover...more
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John Grogan, you did it again! 1 2 Jul 09, 2013 04:02AM  
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John Grogan's first book, Marley & Me, is a number one international bestseller soon to be released as a major motion picture. His second book is The Longest Trip Home. John lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Jenny, and their three children.
More about John Grogan...
Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog Marley: A Dog Like No Other: A Special Adaptation for Young Readers Bad Dogs Have More Fun: Selected Writings on Family, Animals, and Life from The Philadelphia Inquirer Bad Dog, Marley! A Very Marley Christmas

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