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And Now We Shall Do Manly Things: Discovering My Manhood Through the Great (and Not-So-Great) American Hunt Paperback – October 30, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006219786X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062197863
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Heimbuch, whose Chasing Oliver Hazard Perry (2010) chronicled his journey to rediscover a (mostly) forgotten piece of American history that had captivated him since he was a child, here continues his exploration of his family and his own place in it. A suburban version of the Midwestern Man (note the author’s capitalization there), Heimbuch, searching for a way to become, well, manlier, decides to take up hunting. After all, his father and his relatives are hunters, and they hold an annual pheasant hunt, so it seems an apt choice. The author, a journalist by trade, seems to have approached it like a writing project, beginning with preliminary research (determining what his prey will be, attending an NRA convention to get the right cultural background) and moving on to practical concerns (obtaining a hunting license, learning to shoot, and, of course, actually hunting something). Lighthearted but with a serious message—it’s never too late to reconnect with your family—the book isn’t about hunting so much as it is about a man’s fumbling attempts to redesign himself according to his mind’s image of what sort of man he should be. --David Pitt

Review

“Entertaining seriocomic search for selfhood . . . well-illustrated lessons about the unexpected benefits of stepping outside comfortable workaday routines to get a clearer perspective on one’s potential as a human being.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Sometimes funny, sometimes bittersweet, and always well-paced adventures.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A hilarious perspective on the culture of American hunting which would make Bill Bryson proud . . . enjoyable to hunting enthusiasts and those who have never ventured off the paved path.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Poole on December 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this book. Really. Mainly because my own journey into the hunting world very closely parallels the author's. i grew up around hunting, but never hunted. I know what its like to take my hunters education class at the age of 35 along with a room of 12 year old boys and their dads. I even live in the same suburban Cincinnati area as the author. Still, even after so many parallels with the author's experience, I just couldn't connect with him. I felt like I was trudging through the book hoping it would end.

The author just comes off like a skinny-jean wearing hipster trying to milk a made-up pseudo-adventure into a book contract. I skimmed and skipped page after page of filler fluff hoping to get to the interesting parts of every chapter.

Another reviewer sums it up the best when he calls it "judgmental commentary disguised as humorous self discovery".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
The author very clearly attempted to write a self-deprecating tale of self discovery in the style of Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods." What he wrote, though, is a thinly-veiled diatribe of judgmental drivel. His extended family is shown to be the iconic, hardworking Midwestern ideal, full of love and no-BS practicality. However, most everyone else from rural America is portrayed as coarse, uneducated and backward. They are characterized in turn as dirty, trailer-trashy, uneducated and meth-addicted. And this is just in the first third of the book.

The author wants his audience to identify with him as he relates his journey to becoming "a man." Instead I found him offensive and self-centered. Bryson was dryly introspective; this author, while not sparing himself the lash, just comes off as righteous.

This book may be suitable for the author's fellow urbanites, those who pass judgment on other viewpoints based on articles in the Times and trendy reality shows. For anyone who wants an honest look into middle America, the hunting culture, or life in general outside the city, I suggest you look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rob Slaven on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book came to me because my fiancee won it in a GoodReads giveaway. I was stuck one weekend with nothing of my own stack of review titles to read and so I dug my hooks into one of hers. Despite the fact that it was free, I will give my candid opinions below.

In this rather short and readable bit of macerated tree pieces our narrator feels like a wienie and therefore devotes himself for a year to learning to go into the woods and shoot animals. I'm sure that my readers will never doubt for a moment that his efforts are eventually successful and because of this that bit of information cannot begin to be considered a spoiler. Our intrepid adventurer goes to the required classes, obtains a license, buys a firearm and marches manfully into the forest and returns victorious and maybe even a teeny bit more manly.

Looking at this book for some great and deeper meanings, I see a few. Our author, after his vivid self portrayal, really does seem to be quite a spineless schlep. I wouldn't say this has anything to do with his failure to hunt so much as his persistent refusal to stand up for himself or what he believes in. He doesn't exactly do his wife any favors in his depiction of her either. I'm not sure what the larger truth is in any of that but it's worth noting.

If anything is to be drawn from this book at all then it's probably the rather the rather obvious idea that the manly men who go out and hunt, though they be intimidating to the spineless and "feminized" men of the world, are just normal guys out for a good time. The hunters in Heimbuch's book come across as wonderful people that you might just want to hang out with. At least in part this is no doubt due to the fact that most of said hunters are the author's own family, however.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Sorensen on December 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Mr. Heimbuck's book is a look at how he becomes a man. This memoir presents the author's humorous journey from wimp-hood to manhood as he learns how the join the family tradition: becoming a hunter. And Heimbuck also does a great job shilling for L L Bean.

Mr. Heimbuch comes from a family of hunters, most of whom live in Iowa. After his Father calls him into his parents study, Dad gives him a shotgun. Now, equipped with a gun the author decides to learn what it takes to become a hunter and thus securing his manhood. Heimbuch knows how to shoot, having been raised with a family of gun enthusiasts but has to take a gun safety course, learn about types of game and how to clean them and buy everything else he needs. Then we follow his quest to kill the sacred pheasant.

We also get to view his journey as newly married through his employment history and how he comes to write this book. Heimbuch grows up a passive non-confrontational so his journey into the hunting culture has often humorous results.

I didn't know what to expect from this book, not being a hunter myself, but found the reader does not need to enjoy hunting in order to enjoy this book. If you enjoy a peek into the lives of strangers, this book is a very fun read.
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