How I Got This Way by Patrick McManus

How I Got This WayPatrick McManus has a strange sense of humor: part redneck, part clown with a dash of subtlety. Yeah, if you haven’t read McManus, you probably don’t understand how a redneck can be subtle…. McManus pulls it off with style.

McManus writes predominantly about hunting, fishing, and his own life as a bumbling hick. It is his character’s approach to life that makes McManus worth reading. His “artificial life,” as seen through his writings, refuses to acknowledge that normal people view him as insane. He blithely sails through life with the assumption that everyone sees him the same way he views himself. He exemplifies this approach in his story about wounding his hand. Supposedly everyone loves to hear about how people got their wounds. So, McManus pops into the tavern and begins to tell everyone his story. Everytime he comes up for air, one audience member asks another about his latest fishing exploits (a la Anton Chekhov in the Cherry Orchard). McManus sees this as proof that they are interested in his story…..

Right about now, you might be saying to yourself, “Self, I am done with this review. There’s no way I am interested in reading a book by an ‘outdoors humorist.'” Well, hear me out for just a few more lines.

It is my opinion that everyone should read McManus for the following reasons. First, he writes in short stories that are convenient for those times when you only have five or ten minutes to read.

Second, McManus’ approach to writing humor is unique and must be read to be appreciated. While Patrick McManus and Bill Cosby have their own unique styles, most comedians don’t; they copy each other with short witty “one-liners.” So, as a connoisseur of literature, you should read McManus to see a different approach to writing.

Third, McManus writes clean humor. You won’t find objectionable content (might be a tiny bit crass, but of the junior high style crass) and you will laugh (I hope). Give him a try; your library will have at least one of his books, I’m certain, but you can get a taste of this book here.


6 thoughts on “How I Got This Way by Patrick McManus

  1. Acutally, I’ve read several “redneck” books that were subtly funny (Richard Peck is the first name to come to mind, but now I have to find McManus’ works). The term generally refers to people who live a farming-hunting oriented life, and if the popularity of country radio is any indication, that’s a big chunk of the population.

    Interestingly, most “redneck” culture as told in books and songs is predominantly Christian and Conservative (and, by consequence, clean). 🙂

  2. novels in short-story format, mostly about 20th century Americans, and just about every book has what I would call “redneck” flavor, in that conservative, smalltown, earthy way. They’re technically for little kids. Technically 😀

  3. Great catch Sherry! I hadn’t even noticed. It happens to everyone Matt: the back of a book I read recently spelled “Author” “Auther”. 🙂

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