Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book Review: Pat McManus

     Right now it’s the time of year when the weather can’t make its mind up. The temperature stays around 45 degrees, the wind is blowing a million miles an hour, and it’s muddy as heck. It will stay like this until about April 1st, when it dumps two feet of snow and drops to -5. As a result, a rambunctious lad such as myself has to find something to do, to get out of this blasted wind. And woodcarving and Netflix only go so far. That means it’s time to find a good book, and write a school essay (which this will double as). The books of choice at the moment are by Pat McManus. Pat McManus has written a treasure trove of books about those who are as obsessed with the outdoors as I am.
     You know how some people have a gift for speaking and telling stories? Well, McManus doesn’t have that. According to my source (which may or may not start with the letters Wiki), he is an awful speaker. But he doesn’t have that problem with writing. He has many stories involving “thingingmagiges” and “doodads” that bring tears of laughter, and inspire illogical ideas that are so stupid and dangerous, they might just work… in my teenage mind, anyway. He writes the way my Grandpa talks, with stories of adventures in which you feel a part. The books make you feel like you’re experiencing the same adventures through McManus.
     He also has fun characters! There is the mischievous “Crazy Eddy Muldoon,” who young McManus climbs dragon mountains with, and helps McManus pick buttercups for his mother (buttercup picking is a truly hilarious art). You have the “Troll,” a name given to his older sister, who regularly enforces discipline with a fist of iron and a nonexistent soul. There is also “Rancid Crabtree,” the epitome of a grizzled and grumpy old man. A lot of outdoor writers these days make one ask “Why don’t I catch dozens of huge brown trout and shoot monster bull elk on every outing” after reading their work. McManus paints a much more realistic picture. In fact, he makes the occasions when he was entirely skunked, largely to his own failures, the funniest in the books. It make the rest of us mere mortals feel like we aren’t entirely failures in our daily outdoorsman lives too.
     So in this nasty windy weather, when the brown dust mixes with the occasional sleet, it’s time to put on your fuzzy socks, warm up a warm drink of your choice, and enter the crazy world of Pat McManus.

- The Apprentice


  1. Oh, he's a great writer, as are you!

  2. Well, Thank you!
    -The Apprentice

  3. I agree with Grandma.