I haven’t read any of Christopher Buckley’s fiction, but I read great things about this memoir when it was released. His story is that of a middle aged only child who lost both parents in the span of a year. Add on that his parents were William F. and Patricia Buckley and there was no way this book wouldn’t be good.
I was right. It was great.
He won me over right away by saying that he never meant to write a book about his parents, but that “when the universe hands you material like this, not writing about it seems either a waste or a conscious act of evasion”. He apologizes nearly every time he name drops.
But here is an example:
St. Patrick’s Cathedral limits each funeral to two eulogies. For his father’s funeral, he was doing one and Henry Kissinger was doing the other. Then the White House called. Dick Cheney would like to attend, and to speak. So Christopher had to decide – drop his own eulogy, boot Kissinger (a great friend of his father) or decline Cheney. ‘Cause there is no arguing with St. Pat’s.
Cheney was out.
I particular liked the stories of Patricia Buckley. Apparently, she was a storyteller in the sense that you could never quite tell if her stories were true. Put that on top of the ability to throw a helluva party and I would’ve loved to be her friend. Seriously, look at that cover photo. She was clearly fabulous.
Finally, I listened to the audiobook, which Buckley narrated himself. Listening to a guy quote his own parents is pretty cool.
I am not rushing out to pick up any Buckley fiction – Boomsday just sounded morbid – but I will probably stop and look the next time I see his name.