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Publisher's Summary

The beloved memoirist and best-selling author of Population: 485 reflects on the lessons he's learned from his unlikely alter ego, French Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne

"The journey began on a gurney", writes Michael Perry, describing the debilitating kidney stone that led him to discover the essays of Michel de Montaigne. Reading the philosopher in a manner he equates to chickens pecking at scraps - including those eye-blinking moments when the bird gobbles something too big to swallow - Perry attempts to learn what he can (good and bad) about himself as compared to a long-dead French nobleman who began speaking Latin at the age of two, went to college instead of kindergarten, worked for kings, and once had an audience with the pope. Perry "matriculated as a barn-booted bumpkin who still marks a second-place finish in the sixth-grade spelling bee as an intellectual pinnacle...and once said hello to Merle Haggard on a golf cart."

Written in a spirit of exploration rather than declaration, Montaigne in Barn Boots is a down-to-earth (how do you pronounce that last name?) look into the ideas of a philosopher "ensconced in a castle tower overlooking his vineyard", channeled by a Midwestern American writing "in a room above the garage overlooking a defunct pig pen." Whether grabbing an electrified fence, fighting fires, failing to fix a truck, or feeding chickens, Perry draws on each experience to explore subjects as diverse as faith, race, sex, aromatherapy, and Prince. But he also champions academics and aesthetics, in a book that ultimately emerges as a sincere, unflinching look at the vital need to be a better person and citizen.

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Perry possess a voice and delivery that could easily fit the anchor's chair of any major news network. He is funny and engaging, and he knows his stuff." (AudioFile)

What members say

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A delight

I have never read anything by Mr. Perry or Montaigne. But now I am ready for more of both. A real delight with thoughtful afterglow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A beacon in a dark time

Michael Perry’s voice and manner of speaking make him feel like the best friend you’ve never met.
I started listening to this book during a pretty dark time in my professional life. A time when I was reevaluating my reasons for the path I’ve gone so far down, and the risks and sacrifices I’ve made in service of people who mostly don’t care.
As a fellow first responder, self described “Rough Neck,” and constant seeker of deeper meaning; Michael Perry has a remarkable mix of practicality, humor, introspection that make him seem like an old friend.
Hearing him read, Montaigne In Barn Boots, is like hearing from a kindred spirit who has and is living a full life, is embracing the ups, downs, mistakes, triumphs, and tragedies as a chance to grow and learn.
I’ve listened to this book four times now while working in my shop. I’m not a re-listener, or a re-watcher. This book is special, and Michael’s delivery couldn’t be more appropriate. I’m going to buy several print copies and just leave them in the break rooms at the station. More people, and first responders especially, should get to know his work.
In closing, all I can say is Thank You for writing and recording this book. It means more than you know!