Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Letters from Wheatfield 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 just the more » 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.
My Thoughts:
Ok...this may be a ficticious book....but it hits amazingly close to reality! Having grown up in a town even smaller than the mythical Wheatfield, I found many of the stories, histories and information vastly eerily similar to past experiences. I think Patrick Shannon has done an amusing job of showing what small town life can be with all its quirky benefits. Yes, there are some definate parts that aren't so amusing...such as everyone knowing everyone else's business, but that is part and parcel of the small town life. I laughed and laughed throughout this book. I would give it a 4/5. If you come across it...definately get it and read it!

Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book. I recieved this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine

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