Friday, January 26, 2007

Book Review #3

Population: 485 by Michael Perry
4/5 Stars

"Whatdya think of that?" asked my Dearest O, gesturing toward the book I was reading as we waited for Leon Redbone to appear at the Barrymore Theater last week. Risking getting kicked out of Wisconsin for badmouthing her Golden Boy Author, my reply was "eh" or something similarly tepid.

I'd been reading Population:485 for a few days and couldn't really get into it. I reckoned that my disappointment was because I'd read and heard great things about the book and its author, leading me to expect the next Hemingway. Also, I had been trying to read it in less than ideal situations, such as trying on my breaks at work (yeah, right) and while waiting at the dentist's office. So, I kept plugging away, reading in my nice cozy home in my nice comfy pajamas.

I'm glad that I gave it a chance. Perry weaves together stories of his and his fellow volunteer firefighters'/first responders' emergency runs with tidbits of small town life. At times, he appears to go off on a tangent, but he always manages to make a full circle, coming back to the main story and artfully tying all his digressions together in a neat package.

Well done. Highly recommended.

Thank goodness, I can stay in Wisconsin.

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