Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man by Brian McGrory

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 came with accessories that could not have been more exotic to the city-loving bachelor: a home in suburbia, two young daughters, two dogs, two cats, two rabbits, and a portly, snow white, red-crowned-and-wattled step-rooster named Buddy. While Buddy loves the women of the house, he takes Brian's presence as an affront, doing everything he can to drive out his rival. Initially resistant to elements of his new life and to the loud, aggressive rooster (who stares menacingly, pecks threateningly, and is constantly poised to attack), Brian eventually sees that Buddy shares the kind of extraordinary relationship with Pam and her two girls that he wants for himself. The rooster is what Brian needs to be – strong and content, devoted to what he has rather than what might be missing. As he learns how to live by living with animals, Buddy, Brian’s nemesis, becomes Buddy, Brian’s inspiration, in this inherently human story of love, acceptance, and change.
What an amusing book this was. I really enjoyed reading about the author’s life with a rooster who just had to have his own way.

Brian’s life changes when he falls in love with Pamela. They move in together, with her two daughters, and the many pets Pamela has. This includes a pet rooster. As expected, hilarity ensues. The author’s struggles to get his life back under some kind of control are comically retold, with enough self-deprecation and absolute honesty that it makes this a must read for all animal lovers.

I do have to warn you, though, that there is a chapter on the author’s loss of his dog. It’s utterly heartbreaking and very difficult to read (think Marley and Me). I just mention it because I wished I’d skipped over it. But it is wonderfully written and, if you can stomach it, definitely worth the tears.

The rest of the book is fun and funny, making it hard to put down. Buddy the rooster is just a ball of personality that will steal your heart from the moment you meet him. It was actually sad to finish the book because of this reason.

I do recommend this book to animal lovers and to everyone who would like a fun book.


Lizzy said...

I'm a huge fan of the pet memoir genre, although I never got through Marley and Me (too sad, I just couldn't handle it). This one seems fun, I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the heads up about the dog chapter!

Susan Oloier said...

I saw this around in the blogosphere yesterday. I am going to put the sample on my Kindle right now.
Thanks for the review.

Lianne said...

This book looks delightful! It's been added to my wishlist. :)