Patrick F. McManus' outdoor humor

(1978-2007)
Patrick F. McManus

If you consider yourself an outdoorsperson or know someone who loves hunting, fishing, camping or outdoor gear, you will likely enjoy the humor of Patrick F. McManus. His life stories and musings are a mix of truth and exaggeration featuring many memorable characters, like mountain-man-old-timer Rancid Crabtree, and Crazy Eddie Muldoon: a great child-inventor who always had a new, 'good idea' of how to 'surprise' his parents. ("And guess what, Pat! You get to test the deep sea diving outfit! Don't that sound fun?!")

Listening to these stories on audiobook makes for even greater hilarity. Look for McManus's titles read by Norman Dietz* -- they are exemplary in execution and perfect for road trips; you'll laugh yourself to tears. The titles that follow fall into McManus' outdoor humor collection; I have listed my favorite stories from each publication. These books can be read in any order.

1.  A Fine and Pleasant Misery (1978)... Further Teachings of Rancid Crabtree; The Great Cow Plot; The Mountain Man.

2.  They Shoot Canoes, Don't They? (1981)... Skunk Dog; The Hunter's Dictionary; Tenner Shoes.

3.* Never Sniff a Gift Fish (1983)... Blowing Smoke; Running on Empty; The Mountain Car; The Bush Pilots; Backseats I Have Known.

4.* The Grasshopper Trap (1985)... Trailer Trials; The Grasshopper Trap; First Knife; Stone Soup; Gunrunning.

5.  Rubber Legs and White Tail-Hairs (1987)... The Mountain; Not Long For This Whirl; A Really Nice Blizzard; Rubber Legs and White Tail-Hairs; Nude, With Other Wildlife; What's in a Name, Moonbeam?; Throwing Stuff.

6.  The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw (1989)... Kid Brothers and Their Practical Application; Garage-Sale Hype; The Tin Horn; Never Cry "Arp!".

7.* Real Ponies Don't Go Oink! (1991)... A Good Deed Goes Wrong; A Good Night’s Sleep; Teenagers From Hell; Secret Places; Real Ponies Don’t Go Oink!; Crash Dive!; The Road Hunter.

8.* The Good Samaritan Strikes Again (1992)... Ah, Sweet Poverty!; Mean Gifts; The Kelly Irregulars Learn to Cry.

9.  How I Got This Way (1994)... The Blue Dress; Warped Camshaft; Another Boring Day.

10.  Into the Twilight, Endlessly Grousing (1997)... Mountain Men; Work and Other Horrors; Faint Heart; Cereal Crime.

11.* The Bear in the Attic (2002)... The Bear in the Attic; Culinary Magic; Just Like Old Times; Leakage; The Last Honest Man.

12.  Kerplunk (2007; unfortunately, this audiobook reader is very difficult to enjoy)... Silent But Deadly; The Ideal Life.

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