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 want my credit back. Which is sad to say because I really like Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson in p and r but this book was waaay too preachy. Oi! After a while the shock value looses it's shock and in my opinion is regarded as just a tad arrogant. :( I'll still watch him in parks and rec but I just can't finish the book.
One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
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 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!
I am a huge fan of Nick Offerman and the character of Ron Swanson, whom I consider the love of my life. As mentioned in other reviews, there are times when the book comes off as a bit preachy, there were times when I was agitated by this and didn’t really want to listen. That doesn’t come until much later in the book. What saved this book, and makes it far superior to the print version, is getting the chance to hear him sing; this is an experience I would have missed out on had I just read the book. It’s a good listen if you can ignore the preaching parts.
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
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.
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.
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.
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