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The Longest Trip Home

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  3,525 Ratings  ·  595 Reviews
Using the trademark blend of humor and pathos that made Marley & Me beloved by millions, Grogan tells the powerful story of a son in the making--a universal journey of love, faith, and family that explores what it means to break away and find the way home once again.
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (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
Dec 06, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 30, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, I just don't understand why people write memoirs about their wholeheartedly unspectacular lives.
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Jan 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Pat Herndon
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the signature sensitivity and humor that Grogan expressed in "Marley and Me", Grogan describes his life growing up in a strict Catholic family and the journey home when his father is ailing. I listened to this (Grogan reads)and there were laugh out loud moments! I totally understood Grogan's need to go to mass toward the end of the book. It is the "Once a Catholic, Always a Catholic feeling" that I can relate to. I have so many problems with the Catholic Church and yet attending a mass can ...more
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, 2009
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
Jan 20, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unforgettable, 2013
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.
Jan Grant
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you grew up Catholic, you had to read this book. It's wonderful.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In college, I was a frequent reader of Grogan's Philadelphia Inquirer columns, and of course, his first book, 'Marley and Me'. While this was not the oft-humorous story focused on one of my favorite topics, dogs, that 'Marley' was, I was more impressed by 'The Longest Trip Home' than I expected once I learned the common theme running throughout the book. Grogan's writing style was key here, as he narrates his life growing up with strict-Catholic parents, as he made a topic I could not relate to ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny and Touching

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having been raised a Catholic
I could identify with the rituals and requirements. I also attended Catholic schools all the way through college. I found John Grogan's adventures and antics hilarious. I could also identify with his need to protect his parents and himself from his changing values and rejection of Catholism. I was deeply touched by the family's coming together at the end. A very satisfying ending!
Eileen M. Collier
My husband. and I always read and enjoyed John"s column in the Philadelphia inquired. I loved this book and could relate in many way"s to this wonderful story.

My husband and I always read and enjoyed John"s column in the Philadelphia inquired. This book. Was so good. I can relate to this story in many ways. Looking forward to reading Moe of your books,John
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was not a bad book... it was just SUPER pedestrian. Why does everyone feel like they need to write a memoir? Isn't it ok that your childhood was good, but not that interesting? And being raised SUPER Catholic and then losing faith on your way to adulthood just isn't that interesting.
Anne Roszczewski
This memoir really touched my heart as John Grogan shares his story about his relationships with his parents as they near the end of their life. It is a fun story about growing up Catholic in the Detroit suburbs, relationships with friends and family. It was a delight to read.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I kept thinking as I read this book that I sure hoped his parents were gone before it was published. It would have surely done them in to know that two wonderfully loving and excellent role models produced a naughty kid and selfish person.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It reminded me a lot of my own catholic childhood. Well written and a superb testament to his own family.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First 2/3 about him growing up a mischievous Catholic boy. Last 1/3 was a serious tearjerker regarding the decline of his parents 😥.
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Grogan's second memoir shows that he can write a moving and often hilarious memoir that doesn't involve a dog. Of course, you didn't have to be a dog person to love Marley & Me...but it didn't hurt. At the same time, you don't have to have grown up Catholic to appreciate The Longest Trip Home...but again, it probably wouldn't hurt. I'm sure it contributed to my own appreciation of this book.

The memoir is divided into three sections. "Growing Up" covers Grogan's childhood and high-school
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by this because I read the Marley and Me kid's version. I needed more backstory on Marley's owner who wrote very winsomely for a book about a family pet. So I wanted to give this 3 stars, but can't. It's just TMI (language, descriptions of adolescence and all). He's a writer; it's catharsis -- I get it. I could never write that honestly with no part of my life off-limits.

It did occur to me around 320 why I felt like I should finish the book. It reminded me of what Home by Marily
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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
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John Grogan, you did it again! 1 4 Jul 09, 2013 04:02AM  
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John Grogan has spent more than 25 years as a newspaper journalist. Previously he worked as a reporter, bureau chief, and columnist at newspaper in Michigan and Florida. He is also the former editor on chief of Rodale's Organic Gardening magazine. His work has won numerous awards, including the National Press Club's Consumer Journalism Award. His first book, Marley & Me, is a number one inte ...more
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