“Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir” by Christopher Buckley — Book Review by Gregory Hilton

losingmumandpup
My admiration for the William F. Buckley’s will not come as a surprise to anyone, but this book is a real disappointment. Christopher Buckley is a successful novelist but I could never have done a hatchet job like this on my parents. He harshly criticizes them for what appear to be minor infractions. He portrays his mother as a borderline alcoholic and a pathological liar. He also tell us she was not religious and a hypocrite:
“I don’t think I ever once heard Mum utter a religious or spiritual sentiment, a considerable feat considering that she was married for 57 years to one of the most prominent Catholics in the country. But she rigorously observed the proprieties. When Pup taped an episode of ‘Firing Line’ in the Sistine Chapel with Princess Grace, Malcolm Muggeridge, Charlton Heston and David Niven, Mum was included in the post-taping audience with Pope John Paul II. There’s a photo of the occasion: she has on more black lace than a Goya duchess. The total effect is that of Mary Magdalene dressed by Bill Blass.”
Christopher tell us his father neglected him. He complains because his dad left his Yale graduation ceremony before it was over, and he withheld encouraging words about Christopher’s books.
At the very least, Christopher used his father’s means and name to establish himself, and that alone is enough to demand a shred of loyalty.
William F. Buckley was a prolific and highly regarded author. Perhaps he was a workaholic and Pat Buckley could have been a alcoholic. This is a book that never should have been written, and should not be read. I would have told Christopher to talk to a friend, a pastor, or a therapist about issues with his parents. His parents now have no way of explaining or denying these accusations.

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