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With the Wisdom of Owls Paperback – August 20, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Max Yoho has established himself as a witty writer from America's Heartland. A growing list of fans enjoy his off-beat sense of humor and mind boggling leaps of logic--often leaving readers laughing out loud. Max is a lifelong Kansan. He was born in Colony, Kansas, in 1934, and became a writer after 38 years as a machinist. Yoho's writing is laugh-out-loud funny.
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Beautifully written, Max, and keep up the great work!
As Baby Harry is conceived, an owl circles overhead, almost as a harbinger of an unprecedented event. Sure enough, Harry's parents swear he looks exactly like an owl but hope he will grow out of it. What they don't realize is that Harry also thinks like an owl, talks like an owl, and speaks many owl dialects flawlessly. In fact, the owls who visit him daily make more sense to Harry than his parents, grandparents, or the adults who populate his world. The three semi-wise owls who mentor Harry's first year of life are:
* Wyatt, Harry's godfather, a Heath bar loving, homily spouting owl who gets high on reading the book of Isaiah;
* Shy Clayton, a soft spoken owl who finesses his fellow owls and Harry through awkward situations;
* Metcalf, the brains and brawn of the group.
According to Harry, being a human baby is the most boring job in the world. When his owl mentors aren't visiting, Harry entertains himself with the humans around him. He soon discovers that adults aren't completely useless and can even be amusing if properly trained. The adults in Harry's world include:
* Sweetheart, Harry's mother, perhaps the most perfect human who ever lived, the devoted provider of food and comfort. Harry spends most of his waking hours wishing he were back in his warm, quiet Old Home Place - Sweetheart's womb;
* Daddy Dung Beetle, Harry's somewhat befuddled father who is prone to fits of temper and cussing as he shepherds his odd assortment of relatives through life;
* Grandma Area Code 512, a beer swilling Texan and proud of it, who delights in throwing beer bottles and tormenting Daddy Dung Beetle;
* Grandpa Area Code 512, divorced from Grandma and tried to hang himself from a tree shorter than he was, thus giving him the distinction of being the only living suicide victim in Texas;
Thanks to his owl mentors, Harry is smarter than the average baby. He assures readers that the wisdom of discovery can be wonderful but is often cruel. The bane of his young existence is Violet, the evil octopus who teases him telepathically as she busily redecorates the Old Home Place. And one awful day he discovers that the same s.o.b. who circumcised him after birth also removed the stump of his belly button. Harry's first few months of life are full of such discoveries and he generously shares each new tidbit of knowledge with us so we'll understand that a baby's life is not as simple as it seems.
As life wears on, some adults lose their sense of fun and adventure. Financial worries, job stress, and daily trials dull our imagination. Max Yoho has not lost his fun-loving spirit or imagination. Through Harry and his owl mentors, the author takes readers on a humorous journey that reveals, at last, what babies think. Thanks for the laughs, Max!
OWLS is the story of life viewed totally from the crib of our protagonist: a unique, owl-faced child named Harry. Now there's a reason for that owl-face. He acquired it under mysterious circumstances. A trio of owls visit Harry on a regular basis after his birth and speak to him in 'owl-speak', a language that is gratefully translated into English by Mr. Yoho. One owl is his godfather, Wyatt and the others are his `owlcles' - Shy Clayton and Metcalf. They are a very entertaining and somewhat ethereal part of the tale. Wyatt often sports a toothpick in his beak which is something you may take note of on the book's cover. With their appearance comes the major question posed by the book - will Harry become an owl or stay a human baby? The problem here is that Harry would rather do neither. He wants to crawl back into the womb!
And who can blame him? He's surrounded by human characters whom he can describe in sordid detail because although he's a baby, he has the mouth, the wit and the wisdom of Max Yoho behind him. He speaks his mind....all the time. Here's a quick sample when Harry experiences first love in the crib with Sweet Little Girl who is placed next to him. They both react by spitting up on each other -
"Amid snickers of "They say love has to be messy to be good," Sweet Little Girl and I were stripped and scrubbed. And we lay naked, side by side without a tinge of embarrassment, as happy and sweetly innocent as were Adam and Eve on their first day in the garden.
At the first glimpse I was appalled. An abominable, even criminal act had been committed, and I was bearing witness. Her circumcision had been a disaster! While I had been allowed to retain at least a stump, my poor Sweet Little Girl was left with nothing at all. It was simply gone!"
This is a `dad-blamed' funny book (as Max might say) and every reader should be amused. Anything Max Yoho writes is worth reading so you must not miss this slim, new volume. Every page offers something unique, humorous and different and as with Max's other works, the reader will benefit from reading it more than once.
Now, do not expect the `fall down funny'-style of his previous THE REVIVAL or THE MOON BUTTER ROUTE, but let me just say that Max Yoho, Kansas' most talented writer has created something new and it's well worth reading.
- Bill Shaffer, humble critic
I loved one line in it so much that I put it on Facebook (but maybe only another writer will appreciate it): ". . . her beauty mark failed in the only thing ever asked of it." Max is brilliant at twisting words and creating images that stay with you.
Read this book for a little wit, a little wisdom and a lot of fun!