cover image The Longest Trip Home

The Longest Trip Home

John Grogan, , read by the author. . HarperAudio, $34.95 ( , unabridged, nine CDs, 11 hrs., $34.95 ISBN p) ISBN 978-0-06-172629-3

Grogan provides heartfelt and evocative narration to his touching coming-of-age memoir. His speaking style may not necessarily convey polish, but his friendly lilt and natural enunciation perfectly fits the essence of the autobiographical material. Grogan’s vivid anecdotes of Catholic schoolboy mischief—from chugging communion wine to covertly purchasing cigarettes from a bowling alley vending machine complete with old-fashioned pull-knobs and the clank of coinage—come to life with wistful charm. The angst never descends into trite clichés, as Grogan reflects on honest family disagreements with respect and understanding. As the laughter of youth gives way to the weighty matters of adulthood, Grogan remains in full command as a master storyteller. His recollections of his dad’s valiant struggle with leukemia and their fateful dialogue about faith and fatherhood are especially memorable. The musical interludes at the start and end of each disk set the nostalgic tone without descending into heavy-handed orchestration. A Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 1). (Nov.)