Another wonderful hardcover book by famous Maine author John Gould. "All fictional characters in this book are real people, whether living or dead."
That's a fair warning from the Down East humorist who, in the words of the NY Times, "take's one's mind off practically everything else." And the many readers of those outrageously entertaining collections, The Shag Bag, Twelve Grindstones, and The Jonesport Raffle, all agree-John Gould is the most disarming and literate leg-pullers ever slipped between hard covers.
Who else but John Gould could have "an ancient uncle who never amounted to much and never had anything noteworthy happen to him except one time he was arrested in Chicago for murdering seven children with a baseball bat"? (Mistaken identity: nobody's perfect.) Who else could have a friend named Hakemouth? (Actually, a nickname he received because he used hakemouth potheads in his lobster traps. But what is a hakemouth pothead?) Where else can you find a writer who so diligently extols the glory of the "nothing board"? And who else could spin a long yarn about a gudgeon or a sixty mile-an-hour tale about the Maine bootlegger's favorite brougham, the old, heavy Hudson?
This book contains some 45 of Gould's best "conversation pieces," ranging from laugh-aloud funny to lump-in-the-throat to galloping tall tale. Sometimes winding back to the original point and sometimes not, with jokes smuggled in at every turn, each story blends wit, nostalgia, Yankee skepticism, and Pine Tree State folklore into a form which John Gould has made completely his own. He lives in Friendship, Maine, and without the slightest hesitation will launch into a pleasant discussion of chess in ancient China, how to dry-pick a rooster, the lamination of plywood, the Ethics of Aristotle, the range of the European Eel, the nine note compass of the Scottish bagpipe, the names of the Minor Prophets, and simple things like that.