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I Was a White Knight... Once: An Uncommon Memoir

I Was a White Knight... Once: An Uncommon Memoir

4.7 20
by Nathan Timmel, KLSP Publishing Staff (Editor)

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What causes a man to stand on a cold and sometimes unforgiving stage, telling jokes and looking for the approval of strangers? For Nathan, the answer lies in his upbringing: ten cities, ten schools, and ten sets of friends within the first decade of his life. Parents whose volatile marriage sparked more than one horrific memory, including his mother's ride on the


What causes a man to stand on a cold and sometimes unforgiving stage, telling jokes and looking for the approval of strangers? For Nathan, the answer lies in his upbringing: ten cities, ten schools, and ten sets of friends within the first decade of his life. Parents whose volatile marriage sparked more than one horrific memory, including his mother's ride on the hood of the family car to keep her estranged husband from taking the kids. Stories like these usually end with damaged children doomed to become damaged adults. Fortunately, Nathan turned his inner mayhem into a profession. It would be years before he understood what drew him to stand-up comedy, but once Nathan found the spotlight, the pieces fell into place.

This memoir follows Nathan's life through blissful childhood ignorance, self-loathing, overcompensation, and absolution. He takes the reader across the U.S. and into Iraq and Afghanistan, where he performed for American troops stationed far from home, had shows cancelled by incoming mortars, and heard applause punctuated by explosions. Funny, poignant and at times uplifting, Nathan's story of personal downfall and redemption is at once universal and a unique glimpse into someone still looking for the approval of strangers.

Product Details

KLSP Publishing
Publication date:
I Was a White Knight... Once Series
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.53(d)

Meet the Author

Nathan has been writing since he could scribble using crayons. He has 2 CDs in rotation on Sirius/XM radio, and has appeared on The Bob & Tom Show. Nathan currently lives in Iowa with his wife, two kitties (one female, one gender-confused) and his doggy (named "Kitty"). He is an avid fan of Billy and the Boingers, and enjoys a fine pair of pants. This is Nathan's first novel.

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I Was a White Knight... Once: An Uncommon Memoir 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Jesaki More than 1 year ago
Nathan keeps you engaged with his great story telling. His book is sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but always honest and entertaining. I encourage others to read the book. You won't be sorry.
The_Diva More than 1 year ago
From start to finish, you feel completely engaged, and feel a true connection to Nathan Timmel. Nathan is an amazing storyteller that paints scenery you can visualize, then throws a curve ball, displaying his somewhat dark sense of humor. This book makes you cry and smile, and at times, you just want to seek him out and give him a great big hug. I highly recommend this book, and wish I could put how much I enjoyed it more eloquently!
la_fonner More than 1 year ago
An amazingly honest read.. This book is a look into the depths of one person's life, that we can all relate to, whether it be the humor, or the dysfunction that seems so raw and uninhibited. Nathan engages the mind and the soul throughout the entire affair, reminding the reader that regardless of how singular we may feel, we are not alone. His views of his personal experiences, mixed with comedy, remind us all that no matter what curve balls life may hand us, there is hope. Nathan provides his personal glimpse of that hope, and allows us all to share it with him.
Sherrypw More than 1 year ago
This was a great read. The author had great insight and was very honest about how his life shaped him to be a stand up comedian. In reading this book I was amazed at some of the similar experiences or perceptions I had about high school and high school reunions. He was able to tell his story and make it so interesting you did not want to stop reading it. His experiences when entertaining the troops are sad, some humorous but always informative and perhaps those in charge of the military should be required to read. I would recommend this book as it was a great read. I did win this book from Goodreads and hope to purchase some of the authors CD's and maybe be lucky enough to hear his comedy in person.
LF3 More than 1 year ago
My favorite thing about this book is how Nathan relates his childhood experiences. He doesn't drown his prose in negativity and pretend to remember what he was feeling at age 5 (who could actually remember that with any detail?). Instead, he tells you the facts, and allows you to make up your own mind about what he must have felt. It tugs at your heartstrings, moreso I think than it would have if he'd spelled out everything for the reader. It reminds me of Jeannette Walls (Glass Castle author) and the way she retells her abusive childhood. This really is a tale of redemption, in the end. I think most of us are doomed to repeat our parents' mistakes, unless we go to a lot of trouble (and therapy) not to. Nathan's like most of us in that he tries to "fix" his parents' relationship after the fact, but ends up hurting himself. It's hard to watch a man fall apart, especially one you've grown to like as the book progresses. But it's a journey well worth taking, because you get to ride the ups and downs right alongside him. A great book from a first-time author. Looking forward to his next effort.
nycheddarhead More than 1 year ago
I caught Nathan's show at a comedy club in Wisconsin a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed his show and since I already have enough t-shirts to choke a horse I bought the book as a show of support instead. Little did I realize at the time that I would enjoy the book every bit as much as his comedic routine! His memoir was funny at times, sad at times and entertaining throughout. I laughed, I cried but mostly I enjoyed it cover to cover. I have two nephews serving in the military, one a Marine the other Army. I appreciate Nathan's anecdotes regarding his time entertaining the troops overseas and I appreciate him as well as all the comedians and entertainers who put themselves in harms way to support our men and women serving in the armed forces. Keep up the great work on and off the stage Nathan!
uffdabaybee More than 1 year ago
My Husband & I went on Valentines Day night 2012, to a special comedy show in Rochester MN @ Goonies Comedy club. Nathan was the Headliner, and we laughed the whole show! Also highly reccomend seeing him. After the show we bought a signed copy from him. And all I can say was he is (if possible) even better in this book! He is painfully honest about himself and those in HIS life,(including himself) from his vantage point. He doesn't whine or moan, he just states how things were. This is a smart guy (it just didn't seem like he always knew it-as it is w/all of us). This book makes you think, he has incredible insights, and blew us away. I often read while my Husband is driving and at times will read to him (when something really strikes me!), well with this book I ended up reading almost the whole book to him. I have will read the whole book again in the next week or two, and will probably read it outloud to my Husband again! I look forward to the next book and the book after that. Thank you for this opportunity to say as well as I can to how much I enjoyed and will continue to enjoy this book and Nathan Timmmel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first met the author in 1987, he was to say the least, different. How could someone be reserved and yet grandiose at the same time? Nathan pulled it off. Whether he was scaling a tree to avoid a social interaction or helping take care of challenged adults he was, and no doubt still is, quite an enigma. Because I was lucky enough to see a few of the events spoken of in his book, and to hear of other events prior to this writing, I knew his was a story that I wanted to read. Nathan has the gift of brilliant clarity when it comes to the written word. His exceptional wit and intelligence shines through even (and perhaps especially) when he is being self-depreciating. Nathan’s book rings true and honest; it depicts the demons which many of us face but do not share. His is a story of us all...he relives many of the pains and triumphs in his life and expresses them openly and occasionally with retrospective insight. Nathan is not some huge Hollywood star or even a household name. He is one of us. He’s your brother, your friend...he’s the guy who lives below you in some crappy apartment. He takes the reader along on his journey of self-discovery and does so in explicit detail leaving nothing out and not coloring the story to make himself out as the hero...or the victim. Knowing the man is not a prerequisite for one to enjoy his story. His story is one which is shared by all of us; it’s a story of what we feel and yet hide from the world. His writing invites us to take a look at who we are and to understand how much of our own lives we tuck away and hide. Seeing into the personal thoughts and actions of another individual who has made mistakes and has had hard times, reminds us of how much we too protect ourselves behind false fronts and stoic faces. Nathan’s book is fresh and well written with interesting historical perspective throughout. It is an honest look into the life of another human being...not someone all that different than you or I...but chances are he tells his story better than we could tell our own (or would allow it to be told).
Akhoff More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book from a fisrt time author! Can't wait for him to write a second one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JesFine More than 1 year ago
A compelling tale of what makes a person become a comedian and how the events, tragedies, and actions in their life help build their persona on stage. He shares with us personal stories of his proudest moments performing for troops overseas and let’s each of us into that world more than we would normally be permitted. There are points where the book is LOL funny to the point of embarrassing and another where it is downright disgusting but yet; you always wondered how that particular situation just might go for an individual experiencing it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait until he completes another!!!
KDG1987 More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read! The author combines raw humor and emotion in a perfect mix that made me want to keep on reading. As I began reading the book I started to feel sad for him. In the end, I looked back and thought, "WOW! I am so proud for him, and the life he has created for himself!" Reading this book made me realize that no matter what circumstances we are born into, our destiny is in our own hands. I am a true fan of Nathan's and I cannot help but look forward to more books from him!
churchy10 More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a sugar-coated opinion on experiences and thoughts on life, this book is not for you. But if you are looking for a truthful view, this is a must read! If you know Nathan or have ever been to one of his shows, you know he is going to tell it as it is, details and all. The book holds true to who the author is and gives you an inside look on why Nathan is who he is. Wonderful and fun read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JohnG63 More than 1 year ago
It seems to me that when publishing companies want to ramp up sales for a memoir they trot out one word before any other, "honest". People want to know the salacious nitty gritty of a life, famous or not. Rarely is the promise of honesty delivered to the extent that Timmel does in his "uncommon memoir". One might think, given Timmel's resume', that 250 pages would be easy to fill with glowing and glamourous achievements, making it easy to share only a small sampling of "honest" details. In the end, I was left wondering if there exists any raw detail tossed to the editing floor, and grateful it seemed not. With the doors of his life flung so wide, Timmel dares you, even double dares you with a cherry on top, to at least be honest with yourself about what lies behind your own doors. In this way, Timmel invites you on his 41 year adventure and, in so doing, moves you from guilty gawker to cathartic companion. The figurative language crafted by Timmel is fun, raw, and precise. You will never encounter similes and metaphors so deviantly innocent as his (or an author so pleased by some fancy alliteration). Nathan Timmel is a human being/husband/son/friend/boyfriend/comic/small woodland creature lover/Air Force pilot. It is fortunate for us that he prioritzed the telling of his life story in this "uncommon" way. In fact, I am sure he would say it is, indeed, the only way.
jclc314 More than 1 year ago
Nathan invites you to take a walk in his shoes, from childhood, teens, and a birds eye view of his most interesting adult life. Living as a Stand-Up Comedian he is able to travel and support our troops overseas, (which I found to be most interesting) his life in LA, and ultimately the road leading him to meet his lovely bride. Gotta love a story with a happy ending. =) Leslie C
Rock69 More than 1 year ago
Thank you for the great book! I really needed that down time and alternative way of thinking this weekend. I think your wife as I am sure you are too, are very lucky to have each other. I think what you do for the troops is more than OUTSTANDING! Being from the Midwest, it was easy to relate to some of your experiences; yet in my mind I thought good god what generation is he growing up in but the reality of it is, the Midwest still to this day is a little behind in beliefs and thoughts like many other states; especially when it comes to racism. The last two pages of the story, in regards to your mother apologizing and your response and your thoughts about your life, hit home.....my mother has apologized to me but I wasn't even able to respond, I think cause at that point, I was still anger trying to make sense of it all from the day I was born till 41 yrs later and when I seen how you looked at it.....you are dead on, we have nobody to blame! I hope I interpreted that right. Thank you for your honesty, comedy and opening up to the world.....looking forward to another and this time, I WON'T put it down for any interruptions!
MisterJ More than 1 year ago
Anyone with a pulse can relate to this book. The book is told from a first person perspective of that of the author, Nathan Timmel. From his years as a toddler growing up in the the Midwest all the way through where he is today. Anyone who grew up in a broken home, was shunned by the cool cliques in highschool, unsure what to do out of highschool, or for that matter anyone who has faced ups and downs of what we all call life will be enthrall from page to page.(Who hasn't?) It's a short read, but damn well written, you will have a difficult time putting it down. Too often did I find myself laughing out loud with some of the situations our dear author finds himself in. Though, that's not to say there isn't some melancholy among the chapters. Once read, you will feel to have a deep personal connection with the author even if you never even laid eyes on the fellow. Highly Recommended! You will not be disappointed in the least with this purchase.
EireRoze More than 1 year ago
Having been a long time e-friend/blog reader of Nathan Timmel and having had the opportunity to see him perform a few years ago, I was ecstatic to see a book released! I was not disappointed as his writing is genuine, authentic, unabashedly honest and replete with engaging imagery. Nathan delivers life's unpleasant periods in a palatable read as he leads you on his journey through childhood development, political unrest, crackpot adolescence, comedy, relationships... and war... while leaving you feeling a bit more appreciative of the experiences that shape us and what we've learned from them rather than being defined by them. When Nathan writes, you rarely know what to expect as mid-serious anecdote, he stealth-swipes you an interjection sure to well a few tears of laughter. His stories are easy to relate to and at times, invoke a bit of your own nostalgia. It was definitely worth my first Nook purchase, though I foresee buying the paperback, too. It is, without question, something I would read more than just once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was really disappointed to see that he claimed to have done some things that I know for a fact others did, as I went to school with him. I wonder if he takes credit for others' jokes as well.