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Truck: A Love Story (P.S.) Paperback – July 31, 2007
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“A reminder, by a talent of the hinterlands, to celebrate small-town life and to treasure human relationships.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The deer-hunting, truck-loving Michael Perry has the soul of a poet.” (Chicago Tribune Books)
About the Author
Michael Perry is a humorist, radio host, songwriter, and the New York Times bestselling author of several nonfiction books, including Visiting Tom and Population: 485, as well as a novel, The Jesus Cow. He lives in northern Wisconsin with his family and can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.
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"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.
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.