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Posted November 20, 2007
Novels are typically not on my 'to read' shelf. But I picked this one up because Apps' non-fiction has always been so much fun and chocked full of right-on memories for me. IN A PICKLE is about the time when I grew up - the 1950s - and about a place only half-a-county from where my family's farm was. This book is right up there as one of Apps' best, and it superbly captures the essence of the culture and the times. It tells an engaging story in a down-home and straightforward style that shows why Apps should be on everybody's list of really good storytellers. The book is a character-driven tale that's not only a fun read, but it will give you an effective insight into what small-farm life was really like half-a-century ago in middle America. After just the first couple of chapters of IN A PICKLE, I found it to be one of those few books that is so enjoyable that I forcibly and with difficulty limited myself to just a chapter or two a day - that way I knew I would get to enjoy it for a lot longer. The book has several layers to it: 1 - an enjoyable novel about the relationships of a cast of characters trying to get through tough times together, 2 - a chronicle of small farm families documenting some of the everyday realities of that life fifty years ago, 3 - a commentary on how progress in the big picture of things can impact the lives of the individual people being swept through those changes, and 4 - a depiction of how the modernization of technology can be a good thing, but how, whether it intends to or not, and for better or for worse, it can significantly disrupt the traditional order of things and much of what goes with that tradition. Those aspects can all be enjoyed on their own merits with IN A PICKLE. But the book also gives the reader a combined experience of all those things fitting together in one place and one period of the American landscape, an experience that back then was an indispensable part of our country's character. If you're old enough, IN A PICKLE jogs your memory about the old days and tickles your funny bone at the same time. If you're younger than that, the book takes you back in time to a part of your parents' world, and it does that in an entertaining way that leaves you appreciating some new things about that world your folks grew up in. In either case, you're apt to see some things in a way that you maybe hadn't considered before - until Jerry Apps let you know about it with IN A PICKLE.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 21, 2012
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