Monday, July 12, 2010
Truck: a Love Story by Michael Perry
This book is proof positive that I will and I do read anything. Truck: a Love Story is an account of one year of the author's life, the year that he restored his 1951 International L-120 series pick-up truck. I read the book because I had to read it for my book club. But I'm glad I did.
First off, let me say that the book isn't just a memoir about restoring an old truck (and I must admit that I sped-read through some of the sections where it was about said restoration) it is also about relationships, gardening, and a lot about life in rural Wisconsin where the author lives. As I started reading the book I found myself laughing out loud more than once. Perhaps I find Perry so funny because I live with a husband who grew up in rural eastern Oregon and I relate to Perry's stories through Don. He uses quite a few colloquialisms that I find charming: "Gonna hafta puller" in reference to removing anything mechanical; "I'm not skeered" in reference to his up-coming marriage. In fact, I started thinking that Bill Bryson and Jeff Foxworthy must have collaborated with Perry on the book since it was so full of folksy humor. And his whimsy, Scandinavian stoicism, and "voice" for telling a good tale are very reminiscent of Garrison Keillor.
I debated with myself if I should even include my review of this book in my blog since the book was not written for my intended audience. Obviously, I decided to go ahead. I don't only read YA fiction and a large percentage of my readers are adults, so why not? As a I made my way through the book I immediately started thinking of people who might like it. One such person is the sister of a friend from high school. Sharon lives in rural Wisconsin and I bet she and her husband would get a kick out of the book. A teacher friend always tells stories about hunting, gardening, and raising cattle to slaughter. He talks as though he has never left "the country" even though we teach in a very suburban school. My mom is a registered nurse, so is Michael Perry. Another friend is a firefighter, Perry is a volunteer firefighter/EMT. A neighbor can repair anything. Would he find the book as entertaining as I did? Even if your vocabulary isn't full of folksy colloquialisms, you don't live on a farm, have never planted a garden of vegetables from seeds, and can't relate to old pick-up trucks---let alone restoring them, I still think you'll enjoy this book. I did.
Read a few excerpts from the book posted here....
Check out Michael Perry's website, Sneezing Cow, while you are at it.
Finally, if you want to know what a 1951 International Pick-up truck looks like, since the one on the cover is dusted with snow, I had some success at Google Images.