©1994 Patrick F. McManus; (P)1995 Recorded Books, LLC
"Stories abound about hunting, fishing and arduous treks, including a piece about hiking with George Bush during the 1992 presidential campaign. There's entertainment aplenty here that even indoorsy folk should enjoy." (Publishers Weekly)
Unless you are one of those serious, intellectual grumps, you gotta love Patrick McManus. Even I ??? who have less-than-zero appreciation for hunting and fishing ??? love Patrick McManus ??? maybe because he never actually kills anything in his humorous pieces about hunting and fishing. In fact, many of the stories in "How I Got This Way" brag ??? self-deprecatingly ??? about how he not only never bags any game or fish, but keeps everyone around him from catching anything, too. "How I Got This Way" tells about his childhood in Idaho during the Great Depression. Of course, he may be exaggerating a teensy bit; but I think that he is basing his stories on real people and real experiences while growing up mostly in the outdoors. Think Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. You will love meeting his friends ??? like Rancid Crabtree and Crazy Eddie ??? and enemies ??? like the entire Scragg family ??? and you will enjoy seeing these same characters pop up later in his Bo Tully novels. I recommend "How I Got This Way" unconditionally to anyone with a sense of humor ??? even if you don't like hunting and fishing.
This was my first McManus book. I found his reflections somewhat amusing at time, but rather soon, one could predict the way a story would turn out. After a while, I got tired of his droll retelling of some of his life's experiences. I may try actually reading rather than listening to another of his books, but I have the feeling that there won't be much new to be found. It sounds as if he is popular speaking at Elk's Lodges and VFW meetings or addressing the local Rotary Club, but don't look for anything profound in his ruminations.
The present day Mark Twain for the modern sportsman, McManus's self-deprecating approach to humor is something that almost any outdoors person can relate to. With the help of great narration to bring the stories to life, you will no doubt reflect upon your own hunting experiences and tribulations both in the field and out.
Rancid will always hold a special place in my heart.
I've heard a couple of different narrators of McManus stories, and short of having the author read them himself, Dietz's readings are by far the best in my opinion.
McManus always makes me laugh.
Report Inappropriate Content