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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    4,626
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    1,513
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    560
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Anti-Christian Rants Spoil The Potential

I enjoyed Offerman's character on Parks & Rec. I wanted to enjoy this book as well, but the persistent, anti-Christian ranting in this book made me put it away. A disappointment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • BJo
  • california
  • 10-05-16

Disappointed Fan of Ron Swanson

I loved watching Nick in Parks and recreation, and I also knew he advocates hard work and the whole heir of "manliness". So I was REALLY EXCITED to hear this book narrated by him. However I stopped listening because he seemed to be constantly bashing on God and Christianity. As a Christian with two science degrees, it's needless to say it was offensive and disappointing. Although. I do know everyone has a right to their own opinion, I just decided not to want to listen to his for over ten hours.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Boorish egotistical and false humility all in one package.

This book made me put it down several times but I kept hoping it would get better. It didn't. The author who also narrates is seemingly a self obsessive who beloved his anecdotes are funny and for the greater part they aren't just boring like an old drunk who corners you in a bar to tell you all the self apparent stuff they have 'discovered' and which is put down to folk wisdom. Sorry it's just boring. Spend your money and time on something useful like watching paint dry.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Readable - Not Recommendable

Never having seen his TV show but knowing of him through woodworking sources I think I expected more of a midwestern guy goes to Hollywood type of thing. He's really more of a Hollywood type at heart who has made a brand of his midwestern roots. That is, he's not a midwestern, down-home guy at all but can pull a few aphorisms and experiences from his youth to make a brand or schtick of the whole thing.

If you're an aspiring actor or entertainer this might serve as mild inspiration but otherwise I think the book has mostly been purchased by those who thought it was funny that Ron Swanson would write a book. And curious woodworkers of course.

Otherwise it's a collection of marginally interesting stories from his early years and a surprising amount of space given to his animosity towards Christianity. In context to the rest of the book, a few paragraphs would have sufficed but it's a recurrent theme woven throughout the book and thus something of an anomaly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Leave the humor to others.

Wasn't funny. Mostly just smug, anti-western culture. Very bitter left-wing sounding. Leave the humor to people that are funny.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Funnier If It Wasn't True

Ron Swanson is a funny character on TV, but that didn't translate to real life.

Nick's *constant* harassment of Christians, open promotion of drinking and pot smoking by minors, and frequent/promiscuous sex by young people was a turnoff. Parents beware.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lame. He bitches about Christianity, yet extolled the virtues of being tolerant.

I was hoping for some witty listening but was very disappointed. I couldn't even finish the book, no humor, no story, just the ramblings of his own story of his life, made up in his head.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hoping for better...

Like some of the others, I found this book disappointing and hard to follow. Nick jumps around a lot which would be okay if the stories had a point. He also makes fun of Christians all the time, which is fine for his opinion but he beats it to death, which seems like a typical showbiz person he claims not to be? I had trouble finishing the book and honestly don't know why it received such good ratings. The actual book ratings on Amazon is much more accurate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lg
  • 11-23-15

Not my cup of tea

I wanted to like it and I think others would like. It seemed preachy in a way I couldn't get past. Maybe I had different expectations for it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Couldn't finish

Couldn't finish the book. Was just a boring collection of the authors past, with no real connection, story, or lessons. Couldn't keep my interest

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
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  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-27-16

Delicious listening

I will endeavour to now make my life as delicious as nick's. I'll always try to paddle my own canoe.

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  • Droboogie
  • 04-26-16

Offermans Life Lessons

Funny, meaningful, and has some genuine life lessons that I try to implement. Bravo sir, bravo.

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  • Holly Robertson
  • 04-09-16

Awesome for ladies and gents alike.

I'm a big fan of Nick from parks and recreation, as a woman I wasn't sure if this book was going to be for me though. I was wrong. It's great, yes he talks about manliness, but it's much more than that. Well written and actually genuinely thought provoking. I'm off to craft my own canoe.

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  • Nick Sherratt
  • 02-03-16

Ace!

"You've never heard anyone scream like a one year old pig screaming for its balls." Offerman
need I say more?

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  • Ian W.
  • 09-17-15

Nick Offerman. Top notch.

Worth a listen, a truly fantastic story. Exquisitely read by an exceptional artist. Nick Offerman, top notch.

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  • M. B. Walker
  • 07-21-15

Great Storyteller

What did you like most about Paddle Your Own Canoe?

Offerman's approach to the book as a whole, lighthearted with real knowledge and passion about what he's talking about.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mr Offerman himself of course, particularly as a child.

Any additional comments?

A fun, interesting listen for fans and newcomers alike.

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  • david
  • 07-20-15

A fantastic listen

What made the experience of listening to Paddle Your Own Canoe the most enjoyable?

Nick has a great voice, soothing and intriguing.

What did you like best about this story?

The story about his wife's breasts

Have you listened to any of Nick Offerman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No yet

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The lucky bastard

Any additional comments?

Very similar to his stand up show, which is great. But Nick needs to branch out for my money.

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  • Hand Springs
  • 07-18-15

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.

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  • Rory Buckley
  • 06-11-15

Excellent delivery of a solid book

The best audiobiography I've listened to as yet - really enjoyed it. Highly recommended to any budding Swansons

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  • Physics Geek
  • 05-31-15

Great stuff

Great stuff. Sound advice. Many laughs. Wonderfully read by the author. I may seek out his other work.