Sunday, February 8, 2009

If You Didn't Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat : Misadventures in Hunting, Fishing, and the Wilds of Suburbia by Bill Heavey

To be fair about this, the reason I renewed with Field and Stream for the five year plan was Bill Heavey. I really like to read his stuff and I knew it when I bought this book. This a really easy read and was just about all I expected it to be. You know, you can find a good bit of this stuff online if you want to try it before you buy it. Check out this link. Good stuff.

If you find that you need more humor or just a new perspective on things this may be your book. Bill comes across as an ordinary guy who knows how to hunt and fish and wants to be a good dad all the time and works hard and hates it and... You know the drill. The American condition documented without judgement with a wink and a shared commiseration of the facts of modern life: You would hunt more if you could, you know enough to know you could always do it better, and we are all human underneath the trappings of the world.

It's a good read and, like the last few, is broken up into short essays making it a good one for bedtimes or broken periods of reading. From 'Stalking Walt Disney' to 'The Promised Land' the book is filled with stories that share experience and read like a note from a friend. It's worth the time to read it if you like this sort of thing. So to it then:
  • Readability - 5 of 5 - Two things to know here. Column guys know how to get in and get out so this makes it move fast and convey on the mark. Also, the nice thing about writing about life as a fellow traveler is that you never have to use works like flossynossynillpillification, synco, or ibid. No heavy language around the heavy concepts of life. Not dumb, just readable at all levels.

  • Editing - 5 of 5 - Not much to say here. It's as well done as the monthly columns and those are always solid.

  • Subject Matter - 4 of 5 - Only 4 of 5 because sometimes he talks about fishing. Fishing is like golf in my mind and is simply an excuse to be outside by water and drink....

  • Did I like the story - 5 of 5 - By discussing the hobby I love and wrapping a life around it in prose, I find that I able to smile and shake my head and grin when I think of this later in the day. I don't get that a lot, not even with Ruark. This is special.

I have to say that having a collection of works for an author I like at hand to read it just about my favorite things for the cold and dark months after Christmas and before Easter. Bill Heavey is one of those guys I would love to take deer hunting through the day and spend the evening discussing the day with. The natural quality of the everyman comes through loud and clear and the talent behind it glows.

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