How I Got This Way

How I Got This Way

4.0 8
by Patrick F. McManus
     
 

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Any alert reader will remember the stir Patrick McManus created with his close examination of metaphysics a few years back. Always the deep thinker, Pat concerns himself this time with situational ethics. Here's an example: While mountain climbing, your partner falls and is left hanging by a rope—the one you control. You can either save him or save yourself.… See more details below

Overview

Any alert reader will remember the stir Patrick McManus created with his close examination of metaphysics a few years back. Always the deep thinker, Pat concerns himself this time with situational ethics. Here's an example: While mountain climbing, your partner falls and is left hanging by a rope—the one you control. You can either save him or save yourself. Now here's the tricky part: How do you distract your partner as you prepare to cut the rope?... On the way through the woods, Pat pauses to explain several everyday facts of life. One is called the theory of convergence, and it explains, with a minimum of mathematics, why when a hunter goes one way, the elk always goes the other. Another fact of life deals with "disinformation" and the use of lies (the bigger the better) when it comes to explaining one's prowess as a hunter. When asked, "What's the longest shot you've ever made?" a good answer would be. "I'd guess about six hundred yards." (No need to add that you missed.) Pat also offers solid thoughts on the qualities that define leadership, beginning with the need to be tall. (A good head of hair won't hurt either.). We could go on, but it's enough to tell you that one of the treats of this hilarious collection is a two-part autobiographical piece that reveals Pat's tortuous trip along the writer's path.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
There's a smile or guffaw to be had on almost every page of McManus's ( The Good Samaritan Strikes Again ) collection of essays, some of which are original, others reprinted from Outdoor Life . Dealing primarily with growing up in rural Idaho, the pieces introduce boyhood friends such as Eddie Muldoon, with whom McManus dug a pit to catch wild animals that unfortunately caught Eddie's father and a skunk--simultaneously; the priest with a fear of birds who came to dinner before the McManuses had moved their spring crop of chicks to the henhouse; and Rancid Crabtree, who demolished a 400-pound pumpkin at the county fair with the author's monster-sized slingshot. Stories abound about hunting, fishing and arduous treks, including a piece about hiking with George Bush during the 1992 presidential campaign. There's entertainment aplenty here that even indoorsy folk should enjoy. (Sept.)
Library Journal
More humor from the author of The Good Samaritan Strikes Again.
School Library Journal
YA-The cover of this short-story collection features a face-front headshot of the author cheek to cheek with a large ape. The brief selections are of the type one might hear from a droll uncle/grandfather prefaced by the phrase, ``When I was a boy.'' They are mainly outdoor adventures, some of which masquerade as hunting trips, and celebrate life. All are laugh-out-loud funny. Teachers looking for one-to-two-minute fillers or examples of humorous essays may want to join their students in dipping into this delightful time warp.-Barbara Hawkins, Oakton High School, Fairfax, VA
John Mort
Gentle, ironic, self-deprecatory wit from the popular western humorist ("The Good Samaritan Strikes Again", 1992). There's some of Bill Nye here and more still of Mark Twain, as in McManus' account of his worthless dog, Strange, who evaded every responsibility and was mean, besides. McManus likens Strange to a man who, everyone agrees, is shiftless, dishonest, and abusive. Upon his death, however, people manage to remember something good about the man, so that eventually even his victims were concluding that he hadn't been such a bad sort after all, merely misunderstood. McManus avoids big, political targets, instead rambling on about subjects close to home, such as a kingfisher who regards the bridge McManus crosses daily as his home, and McManus as a trespasser; how hunters and fishermen lie about their exploits; and his own clumsiness and predilection for disaster in the wilderness of eastern Idaho. In his two-part How I Got This Way, he tells of his chaotic rural upbringing and the meaningful relationships he formed with chickens and, also, how he became a humor writer rather than a literary type concentrating on the Three D's of Death, Despair, and Delusion. "How I Got This Way" is upbeat and pleasant, a good choice for a quiet, bluesy weekend.
From the Publisher
"Patrick McManus is a treasure."—The Atlantic

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

"There's a smile or a guffaw to be had on almost every page."—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780830003426
Publisher:
Henry and Holt, Co., Incorporated
Publication date:
09/01/1994
Pages:
222

Meet the Author

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

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