A lengthy meditation on the meaning of one man’s life from debut author Droppo.
Why do cities need to write so many parking tickets when there are much bigger crimes taking place? Why do people put so much time and effort into religion when their prayers never seem to be answered? How does a yellow Labrador retriever make its way to being a controlling influence in a family even though it’s just a dog? Having lived some 60 years, the author has decided to tackle these and many other questions. The author tracks his development through his school years, adulthood and second marriage and shares a variety of his observations, embarrassments, triumphs and things that just bother him. As he states time and again, “Some things are just too wrong!!!” A fan of both bold print and exclamation points, Droppo eschews subtlety. The author—clinging to no particular ideology or stereotype—riffs on whatever occurs to him in a process that flows with surprising smoothness. He’s not a fan of books (“I’m not an accomplished, experienced writer or journalist. As a matter of fact, I haven’t even read a book since public school!”), but he’s a confirmed letter writer. In fact, his book is essentially an open letter to the world that blends rant, memoir and philosophical ramblings. The book’s nearly 600 pages meander through funny and touching personal reflections on family and friends, although many sentences seem slapdash: “She mentioned something about using a forty thousand dollar SUV for a bait wagon, and McGivering this and McGivering that, and then several other unrelated things that seemed to be of immediate interest to her all of a sudden.” However, few will complain that the author has an agenda outside of telling his own story, no matter how flawed or convoluted its presentation.
Maintains a charming folksiness, but readers must tolerate an excess of exclamation points, stories about the family dog and complaints about the difficulty of crossing the Canadian–American border.