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
I was really hoping for this to be comedic/inspirational but instead it was a pretty boring walk through of his life. Most of it was him talking about how great his family is, with no comedic value. Also, he rails Christians for being narrow minded and hurtful to society because of their judgments. His whole point was believe what you want but don't push it on others. All the while, he is insulting and making fun of sacred Christian practices. I'm not a crazy Christian but I was pretty offended. The hypocrisy was very disappointing. If you don't want me to push my beliefs on others why are you shoving your atheism down my throat and insulting my chosen belief system? Poor show.
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!
OK, so the author isn't into religion or other people who openly profess their beliefs. I get it. But after the sixth time of going onto other topics and coming back to express his dislikes on this topic yet again? You don't see the hypocrisy and banging on and on about the same topic here?
As for the rest of the story? Moderately interesting and sometimes gave me the odd chuckle. Not great and not terrible.
Nick spends the first 8 chapters on a diatribe against God and Christians. It's really too bad because he's lumping all Christians in with the Westboro Baptist fundamentalist types and it's not accurate or fair. Most Christians I know are humble honest folks who are just trying to be better people and live lives of devotion to God. Hardly the types to deserve this rant. Nick then goes on to recount numerous adolescent antics he and his college buddies did while suffering from various degrees of inebriation. This is paddling your own canoe? Sounds like running with the pack, Nick.
He could have spent more time with his encouraging young people to give more consideration to hands-on occupations. He can serve as a really good example here.
Yes, any friend with a sense of humor. I've never seen Parks and Recreation before, but this was the funniest [audio]book I've consumed in years. Even my grandmother would probably spit her drink out laughing.
Nick discussing his high school sweetheart, who happened to be an evangelical Christian.
He's telling jokes designed for a deadpan delivery, so it's he'll do a better job of delivering them then you could with your own internal voice if you had read the actual book.
Yes. It's an enjoyable listen.
The 'fake proposal' story
Don't expect this to be a bio of Ron Swanson
Niet, I thought this would be fun, much like Tina Fey's, but this is, I guess, for hardcore Offerman fans. This is the first audiobook I didn't finish because I didn't sympathize with the author.
Say something about yourself!
I'm a fan of Parks & Rec. Loved Amy Poehler's book "Yes, Please". Am generally a fan of the Ron Swanson caricature Offerman has played.
But in the first hour, this book is nothing but is Offerman lecturing the listener about organic foods (he's in favor of them), the joy of meat, and religion (keep your fictional stories to yourself) in a fairly condescending why-isn't-this-obvious-to-you manner.
All of which would be forgivable if the book were funny. It's not. Not so far, anyway, and my patience is running out.
May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on every rung... May your heart always be joyful, and your song always be sung.- RA Zimmerman
I thought "Paddle Your Own Canoe" would be funny. The book may have been funny had Nick Offerman omitted his pompous lecture in which he laughs that the faith/beliefs of the religious of the world are purely founded on fairy tales.
The primary point of all this hilarity is his understandable detestation of self-serving politicians and charlatans who quote the Bible as if it were law, who attempt to force upon the public their religious beliefs as a part of political platforms and positions and who otherwise profit in the name of their higher power.
I agree with what appears to me to the chief *point* of his mini-lecture; these religion-profiteers, panderers and politicos also sicken me. I don't need an actor/comic to point out the obvious by laying a sermon on me (ironically) mocking religious faith as nothing but bullshit based on fairy tales, chuckling that the Christian religion (mine) is composed of legions of mindless sycophants to a sort of comic-book superhero Son of God (Swanson's label).
Why would Megan Mullally's husband need to ruin his big-shot book by taking potshots (near the book's beginning) at an almost certain majority of his target audience (white males, age 25-54)?
Apparently it's true: no matter where you come from (be it Oklahoma City or Minooka, IL), initiation into the Tinseltown fraternity/sorority of "acting" intellectuals includes learning to loathe religion and God-fearing people and to ridicule them and their institutions by brandishing biased generalizations in service to a "high-minded" bigotry, Hollywood-style.
I expected more humor and got mostly very foul language.
He ether lied or remembers wrong about RoundUp in his bean field. That herbicide does not kill weeds in minutes, takes a week or 10 days depending on weather and growing conditions.
I stayed with the book long enough to be repulsed by his description of his sexual conquest as a 15 year old, just vulgar in my opinion.
"Nick Offerman isn't Ron Swanson"
I do not own the printed book, but it appears there is an abundance of visual matierial included within.
Autobiographies read by the author, have those little flourishes that they experienced at the time. Hearing Nick giggle as he repeated events from his past, if it's good enough for the author to laugh at it's fine in my book.
The whole section on belief, in relation to others. The fact people will always confuse a character for an actor and having differing opinions is an almost constant
NOT RON SWANSON, the story of woodworker turned actor.
I highly recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Nick Offerman's acting.
"He is better than his father ."
Listen to the book. You will find out what that means, why it's true, and why this is possibly the best autobiography on audible. And his awesome voice doesn't hurt either .
"The most amazing and joyous listen"
As a massive Ron Swanson fan, I really thought that this audiobook would be completely different, but I'm so glad it surprised me! I truly enjoyed listening to his point of views and side with him on most, he is also a very funny dude but as you go on realise very intelligent. Thoroughly recommend this book!!
"Nick Offerman. Top notch."
Worth a listen, a truly fantastic story. Exquisitely read by an exceptional artist. Nick Offerman, top notch.
Offerman's approach to the book as a whole, lighthearted with real knowledge and passion about what he's talking about.
Mr Offerman himself of course, particularly as a child.
A fun, interesting listen for fans and newcomers alike.
"A fantastic listen"
Nick has a great voice, soothing and intriguing.
The story about his wife's breasts
The lucky bastard
Very similar to his stand up show, which is great. But Nick needs to branch out for my money.
"Offerman takes the boring idea of a memoir and turns it into something delicious"
This is a great read about a fascinating life. Offerman's perspective on life is delightfully uplifting and as a creative person who has fallen off the horse somewhat, Offerman's words have encouraged me to get back on.
Offerman's performance is fantastic and takes full advantage of the medium, it very much feels like he is telling you a story rather than just reading it aloud. Something I would expect from a professional actor.
I would recommend to anyone who enjoys comedy, aspiring creative types, or anyone who enjoys working with their hands and getting dirty. Delicious.
"Excellent delivery of a solid book"
The best audiobiography I've listened to as yet - really enjoyed it. Highly recommended to any budding Swansons
Great stuff. Sound advice. Many laughs. Wonderfully read by the author. I may seek out his other work.
Nick Offerman narrating is just the greatest. He really brings his book to life and gives it an added dimension. Already a fan of his after watching him in Parks and Rec, my husband and I just loved the whole thing.
Oh we laughed out loud a lot!
Everyone needs this book in their life, Nick Offerman is an amazing person and it was so wonderful to hear him talk about his life and his experiences. He has some interesting views on religion, food..all sorts. It's excellent from start to finish!
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