January 13, 2013

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

Hmm, maybe I just couldn't get into the book that well, but I had a lot of trouble seeing how this rooster made the author a family man. But I suppose if you're going to write a memoir, throwing a rooster into it makes it interesting at least.

Brian McGrory has lived a pretty good life. He's got a job he loves, that pays well, and while his first marriage didn't work out so well, he got a wonderful dog out of it. Sadly when that dog dies, he's on his own again, except for the fact that he becomes involved with the dog's veterinarian. And she comes with two kids, a dog, two rabbits, and a rooster. Yes, a rooster, who isn't too fond of Brian. But it's through this rooster that Brian sees himself able to leave the exciting life in the city he's used to, to settling down in the suburbs with this pre-made family.

I think Brian is pretty funny. He doesn't paint himself as perfect but he's reasonably funny, has a few flaws, but cares for people too. I actually enjoyed reading about him, especially when the story was focused on him and his dog Harry. His fiance and her kids I wasn't as attached too. He tries to describe them as nice and special, but they all seemed kind of spoiled and not very caring of Brian's feelings to me. Now granted this is from his point of view, but a lot of things that he described just didn't seem fair. The animals he describes particularly well, and his scenes with his dog Harry about moved me to tears. The chicken, well, I can tell you right now that Buddy and I wouldn't have gotten along. I like my roosters to respect the humans that come into their yards.

The memoir flowed easy enough. The first third described Brian's life with his dog Harry and I think that was my favorite part. He had a really good connection with the dog and it was easy to see what a good pet owner he was. But then we got to the madness of the kids, more dogs, rabbits, and rooster and I think I was a little overwhelmed, just like Brian was. As much as he described wanting to be a part of that family, I somehow wonder if he's as happy as he says he is. It just didn't seem like the right fit for him when he describes his life with them. In fact, those parts of the book I didn't find as interesting or enjoyable, it really was that first third that I enjoyed most in this book. But at least the book had a humorous voice to it and it made for easy reading. I can't say I took any important lessons out of the book, but it was a nice way to relax.

A different sort of animal memoir. It's not often you run across one involving a rooster. I can't say I thought it was stupendous, but it was a decent read.

Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me A Family Man
Copyright 2012
311 pages