The Bear in the Attic

( 8 )

Overview

Patrick McManus's wry wit has made him an American classic, his trademark outdoorsman's humor endearing him not only to fellow wilderness enthusiasts, but to anyone who enjoys a good laugh. In his newest collection of hilarious essays, he ponders the strange allure of the RV, a thirtieth-century hunting trip, the art of wrestling toads, the existential implications of being lost, the baffling tendency of animals to outsmart hunters, the singular pleasure of doubling the size of every fish that gets away, and what...
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The Bear in the Attic

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Overview

Patrick McManus's wry wit has made him an American classic, his trademark outdoorsman's humor endearing him not only to fellow wilderness enthusiasts, but to anyone who enjoys a good laugh. In his newest collection of hilarious essays, he ponders the strange allure of the RV, a thirtieth-century hunting trip, the art of wrestling toads, the existential implications of being lost, the baffling tendency of animals to outsmart hunters, the singular pleasure of doubling the size of every fish that gets away, and what happens when a bear named Pooky decides to hibernate in the attic. Combining the curmudgeonly voice of Dave Barry and the clever insights of Garrison Keillor with his own keen sense of the absurd, McManus brilliantly captures the funny and strange in our everyday existence, while managing to evoke a childlike wonder at the natural world.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Prolific humorist Patrick McManus (The Deer on a Bicycle) offers another winsome collection of anecdotes and essays on fishing, camping, hunting and other outdoor activities and catastrophes. Childhood hijinks loom especially large in The Bear in the Attic: McManus recalls youthful culinary misadventures that culminated in a rock-hard loaf of bread useful only as a football; faking a cold so that he could finish an overdue book report only to take a disastrous impromptu fishing trip with the eccentric neighborhood woodsman; and other mischief-making. McManus also intersperses more recent tales of the sporting life as well as family life in his native North Idaho. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Fans of humorist McManus (I Fish Therefore I Am) will enjoy this latest compilation of stories and recollections about camping, fishing, and home life. Combining a knack for outdoorsy storytelling with a clever sense of humor that has a slight curmudgeonly edge, these witty anecdotes will please a broad range of readers. The title story is skillfully written as a yarn being spun for his granddaughter. The banter between her and McManus about how much she enjoys going to the library is good for a few bonus laughs. McManus also regales the reader with tales about growing up, including one titled "Sling Bleed" about the consequences of using a homemade slingshot. He shuttles back and forth between childhood and adulthood as he describes early attempts at culinary magic while camping, contrasted with the current state of roughing it while watching videos and eating canap s in a recreational vehicle. Successfully capturing the everyday foibles that make up our lives, McManus's latest is recommended for humor collections in public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/02.] Joe Accardi, William Rainey Harper Coll. Lib., Palatine, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After 15 collected frolics (Into the Twilight, Endlessly Grousing, 1997, etc.), McManus returns, still camping in territory as daunting as his own backyard. As usual, this is a comic backpack full of ineptitude in thick woods. With old reliable stock players like wife Bun, Retch Sweeney, Rancid Crabtree, and Crazy Eddie Muldoon, supported by Dicky Scroon Esq. and cousin Vile, McManus hikes past Starvation Flats to bivouac betwixt Mt. Horrible and Mt. Misery. In the author's blistered hands, the environs of Blight, Idaho, are as real as those of Lake Woebegon or Yoknapatawpha County. Blight County is where our woodland Münchhausen does some of his hunting and fishing and most of his talking. He discusses his considerable concern with fearsome bears and comments at length on his bewildered feet. But along with contemplation on matters ursine and podiatric, McManus also communes with nature, insects in particular. He offers one chapter comprised of two sentences nearly sufficient to compete in length, though not topic, with Molly Bloom's closing monologue in Ulysses. The Maupassant of Outdoor Life (where most of these pieces first appeared) presents stories in fine country style about mud, wiener stews, and Bob the celebrated wrestling toad of Blight County. In the personal-history department, we're told that young Pat learned to drive in a truck that had a first gear so low it "could almost climb trees, and occasionally made the attempt." Like many grown men, McManus has the psyche of a ten-year-old, and the tall tales of his youth when everything cost fifteen cents will evoke smiles. He is adept at baiting and playing out his pieces until he hooks readers. It's a game of catch and releasewith his audience. For the reader who once wore a mackinaw or grasped a shotgun shell or bamboo fishing pole, McManus once again offers a camp right at home-and real bucolic fun.
From the Publisher
"Patrick McManus is a treasure." —The Atlantic Monthly

"Everybody should read Patrick McManus". —The New York Times Books Review.

"A style that brings to mind Mark Twain, Art Buchwald, and Garrison Keillor." —People

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805072952
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 171,953
  • Product dimensions: 6.07 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick F. McManus has written twelve books and two plays. There are nearly two million copies of his book in print, including his bestselling The Shoot Canoes, Don't They?; The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw; and A Fine and Pleasant Misery. He divides his time between Spokane, Washington and Idaho.

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Read an Excerpt

Buck Kelly, a foreman at the logging camp, brought the orphaned bear cub into company headquarters and up to Uncle Charles's office.

"I thought I told you to get rid of it," Uncle Charles said.

"I couldn't do it," Buck said. "None of the men could either. So we figured we'd let you do it."

"Give it to me, then," Uncle Charles ordered. The foreman handed over the tiny bear and then stepped back. He said later he thought Uncle Charles might kill the bear right then and there, given his reputation as a very hard man.

Uncle Charles cupped the bear in once hand and examined it. "Don't even have its eyes open yet," he said. "It's a mighty cute littler bugger, though, I'll give it that. You know, Buck, many a critter's been saved for no other reason than the good luck of being cute. Not a few dumb and useless people, too, for that matter. My wife comes to mind."

The Atlantic Monthly

"Everybody should read Patrick McManus."

The New York Times Book Review

"A style that brings to mind Mark Twain, Art Buchwald, and Garrison Keillor."

People

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Table of Contents

The Bear in the Attic 1
The Magic Tree 28
'38 Pickup 35
Skinny in Traffic 41
The Gap 46
Incident at Fish Camp 52
Roughing It Over Easy 58
Culinary Magic 64
If I May Digress 69
Just Like Old Times 73
Comments I Could Do Without 80
Leakage 84
The Last Honest Man 90
Pockets 97
Ralston Comes Through 102
Trumped by a King 108
A Hunter's Breakfast 114
As the Ear Is Bent 119
Curly and Mo 122
Survivors of the Far Out 126
Bearness 132
The Shooting Lesson 137
Dumb Feet 143
Of Fire and the Night 148
The Snow Cave 153
The Unexplained 160
The Time Machine 166
Tin Boat 174
What's in a Name 180
Wrestling Toads 185
Sling Bleed 190
A Big Chill 195
In Judgment of Men 201
Pest Power 206
A Fish for Vile 210
Real Work 215
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2003

    Aother McManus Masterpiece

    If you're at all a fan of Mr McManus' work, then Bear in the Attic is a definite must-add to your collection. You really have to find out why there even was a bear in the attic.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Okay

    It was alright but he has written many better pieces

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2012

    Really good

    Patrick Mcmanus is awsome

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    I dare you not to laugh

    This is one of the funniest books I have ever read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted August 17, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2011

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    Posted December 21, 2009

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