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VINE VOICEon May 1, 2000
The concept, in and of itself defies explanation -a work of art devoted to boxelder bugs.
As a child, I despied boxelder bugs. Their beady red eyes, their sleek black bodies, and their ability to fly, were too much for a four-year-old to bear. The bugs hung in massive colonies onto the green siding of our St. Paul home and frequently flew around my head and into my hair.
Bill Holm's book gave me an appreciation for this bug that I never could have imagined having before. The short volume is filled with witty poetry, stories, artwork, and essays that made me laugh-out-loud.
It will be the most unusual book that sits on your bookshelf, but you won't be disappointed.
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on December 14, 2012
What an amazing book! This book takes a seemingly common and small thing - the boxelder bug - and weaves a complex tapestry of musical, philosophical, political, and sociological meditations all revolving around that one idea. I never expected to read an explanation of the variation form and Bach and Beethoven's contributions to the genre in a book of poems about a bug. Yet this book contains one of the most succinct and understandable explanations I've ever read.

This book contains poems, short essays/meditations, and musical compositions (fugues!) related in some way to the boxelder bug. In fact, this book is basically Bill Holm's Goldberg Variations in words and music. It is amazing to see how he twists and cajoles so many meaningful thoughts and insights out of the small boxelder bug.

I had never heard of Bill Holm before reading this book. Based on this book, Bill Holm deserves more recognition as a first-class American poet than he currently has received. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy bugs, poems, or music.
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VINE VOICEon June 1, 2002
Bill Holm, of Minneota, Minnesota creatively tackles the subject of the Boxelder bug. This thin volume includes cleverly written poetry, essays and music on the theme of the Boxelder Bug.
Example...from p. 26
The Minnesota UnderTaker, Thinking Perhaps of Future Business, Looks Me Square in the Eye During Men's Night at the Golf Course, And Says:
I thought of you last night as I flicked a boxelder bug off my lapel.
At times humorous, at times contemplative, and at times downright weird, Holm has created a truly unique book filled with off-the-wall poetry and prose.
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on May 17, 2014
If you have box elder, soapberry or golden rain tree bugs, this is a book for you! You see, they are all one and the same bug! Very mysterious little creatures that seemingly do nothing, eat nothing and just walk around. They actually help your garden by eating the tree seeds that fall and they keep them from sprouting up all over the place. Give them a little area with some broken up concrete and they will be happy as larks. Sheet music in here too.
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