For the reader who once wore a mackinaw or grasped a shotgun shell or bamboo fishing pole, McManus once again offers a camp...

THE BEAR IN THE ATTIC

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 release with 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.

Pub Date: June 3, 2002

ISBN: 0-8050-7078-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more