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
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.
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
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.
"From this, he took a lesson: value the original, fragile, and rough. That's the art." Holland Carter on the art of Henri Mattisse
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 and his television persona Ron Swanson have many things in common... and it's easy to confuse the two if you're not careful.
I find Nick funny as hell, I promise. His performance as narrator is top notch. He seemed genuinely interested and familiar with the subject matter... enough so I'd have him narrator kids oral book report on Charles Lindburg if he's willing to give it an honest go.
As much as I love Ron, and Nick the narrator, shoot I rate Nick the comedian the funniest dead pan comedian on my list of dead paners. I just found out I really don't like the guy in general.
Is it a great book? I don't know, my opinion is no. But if I put aside my opinions and the material I found insulting, Nick delivers exactly what he promised... Nick Offerman.
That's why it's important you don't approach this work as something Ron Swanson wrote, or even a person you're going to like. It's not that guy... It's Nick. And you may or may not like him.
I'm sure Nick and I could sit over a beer and triple patty baconator beef burger and have a fantastic and civil time... But we are equally likely to find ourselves squabbling over religion, politics, and the like.
The difference is I'm ok with Nick being so damn wrong on so damn much. I'll probably never write a book about me and include his errors as a part of it. It's just not a part of me like it is a part of Nick. To which I wish he'd be a little more Ron in that regard.
Best of luck Nick!
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