Reluctantly, even shamefully, I will admit that often the book felt tiresome. Perry’s old self-deprecating humor however was skillfully interlaced between fits and starts of the author creating a working farm in midst of his learning to become a husband, father, and respected writer of the first rank. But you won’t find Perry bragging about any of his accomplishments, only the sometimes hilarious reporting of his daily grind at being the best he can muster on every front. Given that his previous memoir titled [b:Truck: A Love Story|73967|Truck A Love Story|Michael Perry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1386921704s/73967.jpg|71564] continued his elaboration on a life [a:Michael Perry|2772479|Michael Perry|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1231631186p2/2772479.jpg] has been documenting now for several years, the complete rebuilding of his favored International in that previous book interested me little as things mechanical are not my cup of tea. But his progressive story throughout that book remained for me quite interesting. And in [b:Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting|5633583|Coop A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting|Michael Perry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1347340530s/5633583.jpg|5805003] he manages again to record a life that novels are made of. He could not have made this story up. The tragedies that occur are monumental in his retelling of them. The gratitude he expresses for what he has is relentless. And that is what also feels a bit tiresome at times. How can a person be this good?
But when Perry writes for example of the surprise death of his brother Jed’s young son it all comes crashing in on me. The wrongfulness of my criticism becomes ridiculous. There has never been a novel or memoir that affected me as the specific Chapter Eight did. Immediately I was made an emotional wreck, even in the realization that my heart was still in good hands with Michael Perry guiding me. My attempts to convey to my wife just what I had read brought me almost to my knees with grief as I babbled on as a broken invalid in my caving-in and near destruction. And as much as I actually cried over his wonderful poetic prose the words were never sentimental in the disgusting degree we as readers are generally subjected to in regards to pain and loss. The words resound in their beauty and grace. I cannot get his prose from off my plate. And to swallow it whole would be courageous, but for me at least, that will have to wait. I am a chicken at best, running out of time, and still not the man I want to be.
Michael Perry’s personal story continues to unfold as the sometimes haphazard events occur among his friends and family. All the while, in the midst of it all, Perry writes and works toward a literary mastery rarely observed in what generally gets published today. Cheers again for Michael Perry.