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Letters From Wheatfield

Letters From Wheatfield

5.0 4
by Patrick Shannon
Do Montanans Tell Big Fat Lies? The Truth Revealed In Witty New Book,Letters From Wheatfield

Outskirts Press author Patrick Shannon does it again, this time for the grownups, in a delightful treatment of small town quirkiness.

Montanans have a reputation for telling tall tales. Some cheerless individuals accuse them of downright lying. Sad to say, that is


Do Montanans Tell Big Fat Lies? The Truth Revealed In Witty New Book,Letters From Wheatfield

Outskirts Press author Patrick Shannon does it again, this time for the grownups, in a delightful treatment of small town quirkiness.

Montanans have a reputation for telling tall tales. Some cheerless individuals accuse them of downright lying. Sad to say, that is just the attitude of people who place no value on whimsy. Folks in Montana do spin imaginative yarns, but the author draws attention to an element that must be considered: the line between their fabrications and the truths that inspired them is, indeed, often a tenuous one. Sometimes, as the hilarious tales in Letters From Wheatfield reveal, the facts of small town life in Montana rival the fancy of their outlandish stories. Which parts are real, and which parts are fibs? The reader will have great fun trying to decide.

The fictitious town of Wheatfield, Montana is a tiny island in a vast sea of wheat fields and cattle ranges. Its nearest neighboring towns, similarly small, are well over the horizon. But its isolation has no effect on the spirit of its inhabitants. Theirs is a society of mirthful, blithe, spritely wags - a condition abetted by the presence of not a few eccentric individuals. In Letters From Wheatfield, two transplants from Manhattan write to a cousin back home about the remarkable community that has assimilated and transmuted them - much to their amazement and great pleasure.

The stories provide a rich buffet from which one may select repeatedly as one's taste-du-jour bids: The level of sophistication required to really meddle in other people's business; The "Dirty Bomb" incident at the Fill-Ups gas station; The 4H project that produced a mutant Brussels Sprout, and why it did not make it into the Wheatfield Book Of World Record Vegetables; The Senior Citizen outing with hell-raising bikers; The World's Greatest April Fool joke - with a touch of treachery; The scandal of Reverend Sycamore's fall from grace and his redeeming revelations; Albert Einstein's shocking plagiarism of a Montana boy's work. These are but a small sampling of the tantalizing victuals.

Patrick Shannon's first book, Viva Cisco, was written for young readers. It is gratifying to see that his deft humor has survived this transition to a book to which adults will enjoy returning again and again.

About the Author: Patrick Shannon, author of the young reader's book, Viva Cisco, currently resides in Conrad, Montana. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, he worked thirty-three years for a major oil company, bringing him rich experiences from traveling in Asia, the Middle East and the U.S. Born and raised in Southern California, Shannon attended East Carolina and Oklahoma Universities and UCLA. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi scholarship society.

Product Details

Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

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Letters from Wheatfield 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
pitchingpencils More than 1 year ago
In Patrick Shannon's Letters from Wheatfield, a retired writer from Manhattan relates stories of his new hometown to a big city cousin. Wheatfield, a small Montana town, provides endless inspiration and enlightenment for Fred Moore and his wife. Whether it is the town's gossip "system" or the latest in city technology, they both find their new lives in the country to be congenial and entertaining. There may be some unexpected annoyances that they must overcome, but these inconveniences are certainly outweighed by the caring, supportive atmosphere of Wheatfield and its inhabitants. Through this series of fictional letters, Patrick Shannon explores the life and people of a small town with its particular customs and feel. Anyone who has lived in a similar town will find the stories familiar; each town has its own rumor mill, eccentric characters, and odd happenings. Although the letters are written from the perspective of a former New Yorker, they are not intended to humiliate the small town but rather look upon life there with a bit of humor and a good dose of affection. Indeed, much of the writing pokes fun at the writer and his wife as well; their reactions are often humorous to the extreme. A good hearty belly laugh is a common occurrence in reading Shannon's work. For those who enjoy stories of small town life, they will certainly delight in Patrick Shannon's Letters from Wheatfield.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
Jack Shannon in his LETTERS FROM WHEATFIELD walks that fine line between gentle humor and parody. And in this instance he comes out on the top of the heap. It is a delicate matter at times to write 'reports' about middle America: the risk is to make the people far away from the 'culture capitals' on the Coasts seem less than intelligent. Not so the case with Patrick Shannon. He bases his book in the form of letters form two Manhattanites who have move to the fictitious town of Wheatfield, Montana and send letters back to one Amelia Kashfloh (!) in New York City as material for a book on small towns. What results is a series of letters by chapter that outline events, attitudes, mores, gossip and the important things in life such as April Fool's jokes! We meet farmers and their idiosyncrasies of competition, old wives' tales of absurd proportions, the delivery of a fifteen pound baby boy by an inebriated veterinarian, religious scandals etc etc etc. The real pleasure of these stories/letters is that they never belittle anyone and while they are works of fiction they ring pretty true to some of the ways of people isolated from the rest of the world, successfully traversing a way of life that may be more primitive than the big city folks. It is this honest tenderness, the non-judgmental flow with which Shannon pulls off this delightful glance into the heart of this country. Smacks a bit of Mark Twain - humorous, tongue in cheek honest, and entertaining. Grady Harp
shmoore75 More than 1 year ago
While I have read multiple books by an author who is creating a series or at least developing a niche in one single genre, Shannon makes almost a complete departure in subject matter and intended audience from his first release to his sophomore effort. Practically the only attributes that Letters from Wheatfield and his initial offering, Viva Cisco, have in common are the high quality of the writing and the sharp use of humor. With great success, Patrick Shannon makes the transition from author of material for children to developing a satirical look at adults in small-town America. Letters from Wheatfield takes the form of a series of letters (hence the title!) sent from Fred Moore to his cousin Amelia back in New York City about the life he now shares in Montana with his wife Sarah. Through his correspondence, which is provided as research towards Amelia's desire to write a book about rural life in Montana, Fred reveals the eccentric personalities and quick-spreading gossip that give small towns their unique character. From terrorist threats being investigated by a sheriff who is not quite up to the task to a reverend who is photographed in a compromising position to the town uproar that can develop from a single letter to the editor, readers will discover that life is anything but dull in Wheatfield. Those who find their quiet reading time is frequently interrupted, as my moments with a book in hand are often accompanied by my two small children, will appreciate the formatting of Letters from Wheatfield. Each letter shares an amusing story, or at least one complete segment of a story that requires several pieces of mail to reveal all of the details, and can be read in a couple of minutes. Of course, readers likely will find that they are drawn to the vibrant community that Shannon creates and will continue to turn the pages to discover the next memorable moment in the life of Wheatfield. Shannon includes sharp dialogue and hilarious commentary that makes his work hard to put down. While Shannon may poke fun at the way in which privacy is a foreign concept for the residents of a small town and that there may be some naivete among certain members of the community when it comes to "big city" issues, he also displays great respect for the characters he creates. In many of the letters that Fred writes to his cousin, he reminds her that Wheatfield is filled with the nicest and most down-to-earth people you ever could hope to meet. Being a resident of Montana himself, it is obvious throughout the book that Shannon approaches his subject matter with respect and adoration. With the release of Letters from Wheatfield, I now can count myself a fan of Patrick Shannon's work in two genres. As someone who often makes the choice to bypass the interstate and instead take the roads that bring my travels through small towns across our country, I love the character and pride that exists in destinations that are marked only by small dots on our maps. Shannon does a great job of capturing the feel of these rural areas and the people who choose to make them home. Makes me want to jump in my car and discover a Wheatfield that undoubtedly exists near me.
DETERMINED-D More than 1 year ago
Patrick Shannon has written a real whopping, wailing winner with "Letters from Wheatfield". If you`re looking for a great laugh in an easy read, then this book is for you. I read this book rather quckly in the smallest room in my house. Where was I? I think this book was written with that in mind; of course this book is small and very portable so you can read it anywhere or anytime. I laughed at every turn of the page. Patrick writes in the form of Fred`s letters to his cousin, Amelia, who lives in the Big City, New York. She is writing a book about small town life, and he has offered to help her. Each letter is packed with side-splitting small, rural town events or tid bits of local color pertaining to Wheatfields` eccentric inhabitants. We are introduced to characters like Carla and Darla, a pair of nutty twins; Thelma, the terse barber; Ned, the whacked-out retired forest ranger and a slew of other oddest odd balls. Wheatfield`s town telegraph, or local gossip, is fondly known as ' The System'. Here is a good example...Fred gets a package in the mail from a company that publishes mathematical mind bender puzzle books. Within an hour he is labelled a math professor from Columbia University , or is it Colombia University. This is a must read howler of a book. Mr. Shannon, got a sequel coming up? I sure hope so.