Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman shares his humorous fulminations on life, manliness, meat, and much more in his first book.
Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman - who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson? Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking - he runs his own woodshop - Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman's childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois - "I grew up literally in the middle of a cornfield" - to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally. It also offers hard-bitten battle strategies in the arenas of manliness, love, style, religion, woodworking, and outdoor recreation, among many other savory entrees.
A mix of amusing anecdotes, opinionated lessons and rants, sprinkled with offbeat gaiety, Paddle Your Own Canoe will not only tickle readers pink but may also rouse them to put down their smart phones, study a few sycamore leaves, and maybe even handcraft (and paddle) their own canoes.
©2013 Nick Offerman (P)2013 Penguin
Secular humanist. Atheist. Dog lover (having had as many as four dogs in my pack). Skeptic.
I don't think I've ever laughed so much listening to a book. Admittedly I'm in the ideal demographic for this book: a middle age male who enjoys living life with gusto, eating and drinking heartily, and working with wood. Still, I suspect that anyone who enjoys the TV show "Parks and Recreation" will enjoy this book. This is essentially an autobiography but with a lot of wit, wry humor and frequent acknowledgement that he's been lucky. It leaves no doubt that Nick is someone you'd be happy to call a friend.
Warning: If you're a fundamentalist christian you're likely to be offended by his observations regarding religion in the early part of the book. But if you're an atheist or at least religiously liberal you'll enjoy those parts as much as everything else he has to say.
Yes, I read through half of the printed edition until I found out the author read the audio version. Without hesitation I downloaded this book and let ten hours fly by as I listened to this gentle, bear-like man recite prose that made my chest hair grow
Is this a question? Have you heard him talk? His man giggle? Phenomenal stuff, really.
I laughed much, but more importantly I could feel my twenty-something-year-old inner yuppie child quiver before a new mountain man like giant of self reliance and well roundedness
You'll love it more than Ron Swanson. I read this book going in with the idea that it'd be more of a book on life from the humorous outlook of Ron Swanson ( A character played by Offerman on Parks and Rec.) Instead, I was delightfully surprised to hear Nick's recounts of growing up with larger than life parental figures, his often humor infused humility, and his down to earth life lessons. I Will listen to it again.
I don't know how helpful this review will be, because I am finding it difficult to contain the gushing adolescent praise that keeps bubbling up. What is this book? It is kick ass. It is awesome. Oh my god, it's totally awesomely kick ass. If you hate deep wisdom carved right in the middle of gut laughs, then sister, you have found your Mein Kampf. However, if you like things that are manufactured with care, love, and absolutely not one iota of pretension or sense that in order to be intelligent you have to be obtuse and obfuscating, then... what are you waiting for? Click the thing, and get crackin', friend.
Nick's story is great not because I am interested in how to become a famous actor (although he crafts a pretty good blueprint for that) or because I was an athlete who grew up in a small town (I did grow up in a small town around the same time as him, and one state over, but I really didn't care for the jock archetype at all) or because I am unsure of how to become a proper man (all the chest hairs are present and accounted for)... it's just that there is so much humor, warmth, intelligence, and wisdom in the words here writ that I challenge you to not find yourself guffawing, talking to friends about it, and hitting repeat so that you can nod along with what he's saying in an attempt to milk every bit of understanding from this comely and delicious basket of concepts. This is A Good Book, the best book I have read or listened to this year, and probably one of my very favorite works of humor ever. Nick Offerman: 21st Century Mark Twain? Maybe not, but probably as close as we're likely to get. For god's sake, why are you still reading this? Download the book!
This was a fine audiobook. Not as funny or touching as Tina Fey's Bossypants, but nice company while I was working around the house.
It was a pleasure to hear the author tell his own tales - it definitely adds atmosphere to hear it in his own voice, like sitting at a bar listening to stories of his youth.
Nick Offerman is not Ron Swanson.
The book includes stories of Offerman's childhood on a farm in Illinois which were sweet and charming to hear. He also talks about his time in drama school and early days on stage, as well as moving to LA.
Offerman is primarily an actor who performs works written by others, so his book isn't as polished or tight as one written by someone who is primarily a writer. I'm not sure, for example, why a chapter about his thoughts on religion and politics was included. It wasn't very groundbreaking or particularly insightful, nor was it what I was wanting. This book is only tangentially "a guide to delicious living." It's mostly "a guide to how Nick Offerman has spent his delicious life."
Offerman seems to have a positive and grateful outlook on life, which colors all of the memories and anecdotes he shares and makes listening to the book a good experience. When I started listening, Offerman and his Parks and Recreation character, Ron Swanson, was linked firmly in my mind, but by the end I heard him as an artist who is currently on TV.
Just wasn't expecting all the anti-religious stuff so it pretty much turned me off. I guess I like Ron Swanson and not Nick Offerman.
Its a fascinating tale that would begin on may 5th, 1989 in Mease Dunedin hospital and from there the legacy grew. I am adult now.
Funny nonstop listen
It was narrated by nick offerman
Just as entertaining as his well written character.
I laughed and felt his passion for life.
Please narrate more books nick. Genius.
Yeah, the stories and the anecdotes would all have something to do with the message of the book.
I liked hearing about how his relationship with Megan Mullally took shape, but I really didn't care a whole lot about the rest of the stories he had to tell. They seemed kind of random. He jumped around a lot and there just wasn't a great cohesive flow to the events he relates and most of them don't really lend themselves to the stated message of the book; hard work and loving relationships are the things that bring us happiness. I guess I was also kind of disappointed that he isn't more like Ron Swanson in real life.
Great actor, fantastic performance. It's like he had always planned for this to be an audiobook when he wrote it. Very well done in terms of performance.
I'd probably wait for home release.
Didn't read the print version.
Less episodic with more of a through line.
How to be a real man.
Great cadence to the storytelling.
Enjoyed the woodworking and farming stories when he was growing up in rural America.
Could do without the plethora of drug references and the ongoing slur of expletives but he is a very intelligent, funny guy with a great perspective on life.
Funny, honest, funny.
Why Nick, of course. I am now inspired to construct a table with my own hands without the use of nails.
What? He's narrating other books? Bring them on!
I can't point to one specific one, but I find that I'm eating more meat lately.
If I were a male, I would have cultivated some lush facial hair immediately after listening.
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