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King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiographyby Chris Crutcher
Synopses & Reviews
Do You Know:
A good reason to be phobic about oysters and olives?
That you can step inside a roaring coal furnace and feet cool?
That Jesus had an older brother?
How shutting your mouth can help you avoid brain surgery?
How to avoid cow-pies during your baptism?
How to survive in the winter wilderness with only a fishing pole and a sausage?
Chris Crutcher knows the answers to these things and more.
And once you have read about Chris Crutcher's life as a dateless, broken-toothed, scabbed-over, God-fearing dweeb, and once you have contemplated his ascension to the buckskin-upholstered throne of the King of the Mild Frontier, you will close this book, close your eyes, and hold it to your chest, and say, "I, too, can be an author."
Hell, anyone can.
"In this funny, bittersweet and brutally honest autobiography, Crutcher recounts his journey from a boyhood misspent in remote Cascade, Idaho ('The information highway was a single-lane logging road winding through steep mountains, dead ending at some nameless "crick"') to his present life as a writer. The author displays the same impeccable comedic timing that characterizes his young adult novels. Among the many laugh-out-loud episodes he recalls are his older brother's knack for always gaining the upper hand (he talks young Chris into peeing down the heat-register in the living room and convinces him that Jesus had an 'older, smarter brother' named 'Esus'), plus the author's penchant for 'perty girls,' which lost him his front teeth when he tried to impress a girl while playing softball. Nothing tops his misadventures in small-town sports ('If you didn't show up for football practice on the first day of your freshman year, they simply came and got you'), including his days as a terrified 123-pound freshman ('with all the muscle definition of a chalk outline') and his initiation as a letterman (involving oysters, an olive and a large dose of humiliation). It is precisely this sense of humility that allows readers to laugh with young Chris, rather than at him. Crutcher can also turn from hilarity to heartache, as when he discusses his mother's alcoholism or his own legendary temper (which plagued him in his childhood but which he attributes to the compassion he brings to his work as a family therapist). Readers will clasp this hard-to-put-down book to their hearts even as they laugh sympathetically. Ages 13-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[F]ull of heartbreak, poignancy, and hilarity....This honest, insightful, revealing autobiography is a joy to read. Crutcher's fans will relish this intimate glimpse of the author, and the book may win some new readers for his fiction." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Chris Crutcher...says that some of the nutty, cruel and unusual stuff in his books really happened. At least it did to him. And that is the fun and the tender heart of an entertaining and not at all ill-advised memoir." Tom Bodett, The New York Times Book Review
"What might have been just a volume of funny or unsettling anecdotes becomes a candid take on lessons learned, with a clear adult perspective. This is a good read and a deeply moral and philosophical work with important messages..." Kirkus Reviews
"In telling his own story, Crutcher entertains readers, challenges them, and touches their hearts. This is a biography that will be read — not skimmed — and loved." VOYA
Whether trying to impress members of the girls' softball team — with disastrous dental results — or enduring the humiliation of his high school athletic club initiation, Crutcher's memoir of the tricky road to adulthood is peppered with hilarious, heartbreaking, and unforgettable events.
<p> Do you know: </p> <p> <ul> <li>A good reason to be phobic about oysters and olives? </li> </p> <p> <li>How shutting your mouth can help you avoid brain surgery?</li> </p> <p> <li>How to survive in the winter wilderness with only a fishing pole and a sausage?</li> </ul> </p>
< p> Do you know: < /p> < p> < ul> < li> A good reason to be phobic about oysters and olives? < /li> < /p> < p> < li> How shutting your mouth can help you avoid brain surgery?< /li> < /p> < p> < li> How to survive in the winter wilderness with only a fishing pole and a sausage?< /li> < /ul> < /p>
About the Author
Chris Crutcher grew up in Cascade, Idaho, and now lives in Spokane, Washington. He is the critically acclaimed author of six novels and a collection of short stories for teenagers, all chosen as ALA Best Books. In 2000, he was awarded the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Award, honoring his lifetime contribution in writing for teens. Drawing on his experience as an athlete, teacher, family therapist, and child protection specialist, he unflinchingly writes about real and often-ignored issues that face teenagers today.
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