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Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living Kindle Edition
|Length: 353 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
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If you like Ron Swanson. Don't get this book. This is not "Parks and Rec: The novel". This is an autobiography. I think 90% of the complaints are from people who expected this book to be an extension of Ron Swanson character - talking about eating lots of meat and complaining about Tammy 2. Instead, they got a book about an actors rather ideal life in middle America, his entry into the theater world and his struggle to finding acting jobs in LA.
The books is however, HILARIOUS. Nick talks about his life in a very open and honest manner, going over both mistakes and victories. He is middle of the line political person, but also has strong views and yes, a pretty libertarian stance. He pulls no punches making fun of folks who are dependant on technology - since ALOT of folks are depenant, I'm sure many of the complaints here are from folks who were likely irked by his constant ribbing of folks who can't line with Instagram, a GPS and would die with two hours if left alone in the wilderness.
If your an open-minded person (which most people are not) then this is a VERY helpful book. He has alot of earthy advice on everything from drug use, to dating, to sex, to eating right, work ethic, etc. NICK OFFERMAN IS NOT RON SWANSON. Nor does he claim to be. Ron Swanson is an over-the-top version of Nick Offerman, written by writers who knew Nick. Nick Offerman does enjoy fishing, immensely. He doesn't not perfer hunting, tho understands many do. Nick Offerman eat's salad and veggies, but won't turn away a nice steak. Nick Offerman likes to hit the bong and watch Twin Peaks, as opposed to Ron Swanson who would mostly be found carving 1/110th 18th Century Spanish Gallon from a fallen tree near his cabin with nothing but a pen knife. He does not even mention Ron Swanson until the very last chapter.
If you are a hardcore, totalitarian conservative, Nick will probably say something to irk you. If you are a hardcore, bleeding liberal Nick will probably say something to irk you. He's not doing it on purpose - he's just in the middle of the political spectrum and is making his views clear, usually with some humor attached.
IF you are Ron Swanson/Parks and Rec fan you need to do this: Before you buy this book, then scream to high heaven and post a nasty review of it because it doesn't have things like "Ron Swanson's chart of needs" - think for a second. Look up Nick Offerman. Yes. N-I-C-K O-F-F-E-R-M-AN. Watch an interview with him on Conan O'Brien or something on Youtube. Realize that this is a person's autobiography and not a joke book.
Then once you do that, then you can ease into the tranquil warmth of what is Nick Offerman's sage-like advice and story telling.
ou probably know Nick Offerman from his highly-popular role as the mustachioed Ron Swanson on NBC’s hit comedy: Parks and Recreation. Having never seen the show myself, I had no real idea who the man was. (I don’t watch a lot of television, but don’t worry: I’m working on that!) So, what am I doing reading the memoirs of a person I was nary aware of? I’m not sure: Someone mentioned it to me, the cover looked cool, and the summary sounded funny. I’m glad I read it, as now I count myself among Nick Offerman’s fans (and I started watching Parks and Rec).
At first I feared this book would be some sort of celebration of clichéd masculinity, a sort of literary representation of Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor’s signature grunt. My fears, however, were unwarranted. Paddle Your Own Canoe reveals the man behind the mustache, and exposes him as a man of sensitivity, passion, and a remarkable work ethic. Sure, there’s a bit of machismo sprinkled in, but oftentimes it’s ironic or, at least, sarcastic. The entire book is laced with comedy and self-deprecation. What stuck with me the most was Offerman’s humility: this is a man that doesn’t take his success for granted, nor does he allow it to transform him away from his roots as a hard-working boy from rural Illinois.
There were two things I admired most while reading this book:
First, Offerman has a lot to say about the virtue of hard work. He goes to great (and entertaining) lengths to imbue the importance of accomplishment, of fixing and creating. He recounts the time when he moved in with his now-wife and star from the popular sitcom Will and Grace, Megan Mullally. By the time he and Megan purchased a home together, she was already substantially successful. He found himself dumbstruck one day, with the fleeting realization that he “made it”. He was a “well-off dude living in the Hollywood Hills like a king!” He quickly realized that being lazy in the lap of luxury wasn't the life for him, and he got to work continuing to build a successful career for himself.
The second thing I admired about Offerman was the way he spoke of his wife and their relationship. They had been married a decade by the time Paddle Your Own Canoe was published, and yet he still speaks of her as if they were still on their honeymoon. Both working hard in a demanding industry, they made a pact to never accept a job that would have them apart for more than two weeks. His admiration for Megan melts the heart. Of course someone will go out of their way to paint a beautiful picture of their spouse and love-life when writing about it for a large audience, but it is clear to me that Offerman was very careful with his descriptions of their life and I’m confident that their love is as genuine as he portrays it in this book.
So, I guess I’ve become a bit smitten with Nick Offerman. I found his stories interesting, hilarious, and motivating. What I thought was going to be a quick comedy–a time-killer, really–turned out to be an inspiration: a book that has me re-thinking my own philosophies.
A fair warning: this book has some colorful language, some sexually-explicit scenes, and takes some swipes at organized religion.
My Rating: 4.5/5 – Inspiring, humorous, and surprising; an added benefit of providing a look into the world of professional acting and the path of a successful career.