Synopses & Reviews
The author of Population: 485
returns, delivering a truckload of humor, heart, and...gardening tips? Think Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
, complete with stock cars, sexy vegetables, and a laugh track.
"All I wanted to do was fix my old pickup truck," says Michael Perry. "That, and plant my garden. Then I met this woman." Truck: A Love Story recounts a year in which Perry struggles to grow his own food (Seed catalogs are responsible for more unfulfilled fantasies than Enron and Penthouse combined), live peaceably with his neighbors (one test-fires his black powder rifle in the alley; another's best Sunday shirt reads 100 PERCENT WHUP-ASS), and sort out his love life. But along the way, he sets his hair on fire, is attacked by wild turkeys, takes a date to the fire department chicken dinner, and proposes marriage to a woman in New Orleans. As with Population: 485, much of the spirit of Truck: A Love Story may be found in the characters Perry meets: a one-eyed land surveyor, a paraplegic biker who rigs a sidecar so that his quadriplegic pal can ride along, a bartender who refuses to sell light beer, an enchanting woman who never existed, and half the staff of National Public Radio.
By turns hilarious and heartfelt, a tale that begins on a pile of sheep manure, detours to the Whitney Museum of American Art, and returns to the deer-hunting swamps of northern Wisconsin, Truck: A Love Story becomes a testament to the surprising and unintended consequences of love.
"A part-time emergency medical technician, Perry delivers the latest account of his somewhat idiosyncratic life and times in a small Wisconsin town ('I am happy to live in a place where I can chuck a washing machine out my back door and no one judges my behavior unusual'). Here, he focuses on two main events over the course of a year: fixing up a 1951 International Harvester pickup truck and developing a romance with a local woman after a long stretch of failed relationships. Never cloying, Perry is a wry observer of how success in both areas 'is the result of a modest accumulation of lucky breaks and the kindness of others,' and displays the storytelling and observational skills that made his first book, Population: 485, such a success. One of his most memorable descriptions is of an ex-patient, Ozzie, a motorcycle-loving ventilator-dependent quadriplegic, who gets to ride again after his wheelchair is hooked up to the cycle of his paraplegic friend Pat 'You haven't really explored the outer limits of health care until you've watched a Hell's Angel suction a tracheotomy tube.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Perry writes about fixing his truck as if he was resurrecting it, but in fact, he may more accurately be said to have been resurrecting himself." Booklist
"A reminder...to celebrate small-town life and to treasure human relationships." Kirkus Reviews
As with his popular Population: 485, Perry delivers a truckload of humor, heart, and gardening tips in this chronicle of a year in which he grows his own food, seeks to live peaceably with his neighbors, and sort out his love life.
About the Author
Michael Perry is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling memoir Population: 485 in addition to the essay collection Off Main Street. He lives in Wisconsin.