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on February 25, 2016
This is the first time that I have wanted to review a book. This is such a wonderful read that I felt compelled. Mr. Perry evokes the style of Rick Bragg and I am so glad to have discovered his writings. I grew up in a rural setting where much of what is discussed in this book harkens me back to home. I was especially taken by the author’s homage to the strong women in his life. It lifted me a little higher. His humor sneaks up on the reader and causes one to laugh out loud. In addition to the great read, thank you, Mr. Perry, for introducing me to the music of Patty Griffin.
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on September 3, 2009
Michael Perry is an author from northern Wisconsin who makes no apologies for being from northern Wisconsin. I like that - because when I think of northern Wisconsin, it being a bastion of literary talent is not what comes to mind, trust me. (I live in southern Wisconsin) While Perry has a new book out called Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting, which I haven't read yet, it's his previous book, Truck: A Love Story (P.S.) that is one of my all-time favorite reads.

"Truck" is a memoir of Perry restoring his beloved 1951 International Harvester L-120 truck, yes, but it's much more than that. It's also a love story. And it's a peek into what it's like to live in a small Midwestern town from a man that clearly loves and appreciates where his life has taken him.

The story is written in Perry's typical down to earth fashion. You feel like you're sitting with him on his front porch as he shares his funny neighbor stories and snippets from his past. You will smile, even laugh as he brilliantly weaves the story of restoring his beloved truck with stories of his struggles with gardening, his love of cooking and meeting his true love. Somehow he makes it all funny and entertaining to the point that you can't put the book down once you've started it. He introduces you to his friends and loving family, and the woman that is the love of his life.

As with everything I've read of Perry's, "Truck" made me laugh out loud and even shed a tear or two (happy tears). As someone who prefers the big city life to one in a small town, it always surprises me how much I love Michael Perry's stories. For me, "Truck" entertains because of Perry's quick wit, sharp intellect and an easy-going writing style. It reads like a letter from an old friend in northern Wisconsin.
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on April 12, 2018
I first purchased this book at a flea market for my elderly mother. My mother loved it, insisted my husband read it and he enjoyed it very much! We loaned out the original copy, and friends loved it so much that we didn't get it back and subsequently, I purchased another copy which my husband has already re-read. Michael Perry is a great author. Funny, engaging and I highly recommend his books!
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on October 8, 2008
I could go on and on about this book, but let's let the man speak for himself. "The amateur study of philosophy," Perry writes, "is like taking a few laps with a NASCAR driver. You're not qualified to do it on your own, you have no business behind the wheel, but for a few laps or paragraphs, you're right in there with 'em, and when it's all over, you've learned something. Or," he adds, "as my local fire chief once said, you've simply exasperated the situation."

Perry hasn't exasperated his situation, in this book a year during which he rebuilds his 1952 International Harvester pickup, plants a garden, and falls in love, in between tangential forays into brother-in-lawhood, deer hunting, being a professional author, sexism, and all the other bits and pieces that make up a whole life in rural America. At times a little wordy (you wish his editor had leaned on him a little more toward the end) mostly it's just one of the best word pictures of life today, funny, sad, smart. It's not given to everyone to be perceptive and a good writer. Perry is, and it is a pleasure to be along for, literally, the ride of his life.

Some of my favorite Perryisms:

"The world of American culture and commerce functions like a combination of sponge and sandpaper, absorbing everything and smoothing it down so it slides easily into a designer shopping bag." (For years I've been railing against the Pepsi-ization of America. Comrade!)

[describing the village junkman's trailer] "Fully loaded, it has the appearance of a postapocalyptic Costco on wheels." (I expect Mel Gibson as Raggedyman to come walking down the street right behind.)

[A man who has spent way too much time worrying about his hair says this of his do when he graduated from nursing school] "...mousse spikes on top, a mullet in back, and a moustache up front. The bad hair trifecta." (Kinda sorta want to see a picture of that.)

"...a rictus of dither."

"...an epic snit."

I could spend all day thumbing through Truck: A Love Story (P.S.) and coming up with these nuggets, but there's one on practically every page so better you read the book yourself. You'll feel like you've made a friend when you're done. And you'll have laughed a lot, and maybe even learned something, too.
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on March 28, 2016
I'm glad I bit on the author name and not just the unusual title. It's really good -- how to describe it? There are several major themes going ... the restoration of an old truck ... and his garden activities ... and a blooming relationship. Now that doesn't sound all that interesting on the surface, but there are laugh-out-loud bits and touching bits and just some amazing word-craft. I like to highlight passages in my ebooks, and I'm quite certain I did that many times per chapter! I really like this author and will be interested in more from him. (See also "Population: 465," which is not humorous but also very interesting.)
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on May 29, 2017
The words and pages disappear. Instead, moving images are invoked by Perry's writing. You can feel the weather in the air, taste the food he describes, and feel the dust from the work settle around you. One of the most sense-inducing non-fiction books around, doubly so if you're raised in the Midwest. Have already forced several friends to download this masterpiece, and loaded my cart up with 3 more Michael Perry books. You will feel like you're watching this story, not reading it.
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on February 4, 2011
Heard Michael on Whad'Ya Know years ago, usually like any book that Michael Feldman recommends. Bought the book intending to give it to my son because I thought he would enjoy it. Fell in love with Michael Perry and his stories, keep buying the book and giving it to friends who I know will relate to descriptions in it. Michael's honesty and insights will make you laugh and cry at the same time. His truck becomes a metaphor for life and the details in it's resurrection come out slowly and creatively along with interesting recipes from a cookbook that was written back in the day in the midst of the popularity of the vehicle. He has the ability to take you along with him in his journeys and leaves you with your own memories aligning with his. I lived in a small town in Northern Michigan for most of my adult years, my heart is still partly there, so his stories of caring for others and they for him resonated on the highest level. Once you have read this book, you will want/need his next one which you will then want/need to share as well.
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on March 26, 2017
To be honest, I didn't have very high expectations given the low price. But I was pleasantly surprised. It's a nice little story that keeps the reader entertained. If you're not a truck person, no worries - the truck is only incidental to the story. I was not disappointed.
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on April 27, 2009
I had not heard of Michael Perry until I knew he was coming to the Appleton Book Festival. I read Truck first because it appealed to me, having come from a small town in the U.P., fully knowing about the truck in the driveway that one intends to fix, although our driveways were gravel and not asphalt. Grass grew underneath rather than the truck sinking into. If you intend to read Population: 485, do it before this one. It sets the tone for events in Truck, and a major event happens at the end of Population that is referred to in Truck. I was surprised by Michael's style; I expected the redneck language I had grown up with, but even with my PhD education, on occasion I had to pull out my dictionary or wonder if a word he used was a real one. I love his insight and his philosophy and am looking forward to reading Coop. This book was a very pleasant surprise.
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on September 3, 2016
If you do, and I do, then you will enjoy this autobiography. The author is well-read, proudly antiestablishment,, self-deprecating, and grumpy. The old truck frames the story. The narrative could have used a bit of editing; I balked at the two incidents of bowls of spaghetti with pesto being eaten the same ugly but comfortable chair.
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