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Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time (2002)

de Michael Perry

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
8203919,806 (3.97)16
After a 12-year absence, a real-life prodigal seeks to serve his hometown -- New Auburn, Wisconsin, population: 485 -- by joining the volunteer fire and rescue department. In a place where men post claims of manhood on bug deflectors, where the local vigilante is a farmer's wife with a pistol and a Bible, and where the most senior firefighter is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), writer Michael Perry sets out "to meet my neighbors at the invitation of the fire siren." This audio also includes eight wise and witty essays selected from Perry's new book, Off Main Street. Whether fighting fires, playing nurse to a murderer, hitting the road with a truck driver, or meditating on Elvis and osmosis, Perry shows us that his small-town roots have not limited his worldview -- in fact, they've enlarged it in some of the subtlest, most observant and memorable ways possible. This collection is a diverse and generous survey of the author's talents as a journalist, penetrating observer and rural-bred storyteller of Wisconsin.… (més)
Afegit fa poc perSuper_Nova, DebbyeC, biblioteca privada, cantrell678, sslyham, daltonlp, octothorp, HamiltonPorter, deanna52

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Es mostren 1-5 de 38 (següent | mostra-les totes)
As a native of a small town and frequent reader, I've rarely found any writer that both covers rural issues and is so highly skilled (the Fellowses are skilled, but they are really journalists), so it turns out Perry is the one I'd been seeking. This was one of his earlier titles about his hometown/current home of New Auburn, Wisconsin, and introduces you to the place through the many calls he responds to as a volunteer firefighter.

The narrative is easy to follow but also frankly honest about the place, not skipping over the drug abuse or infidelity if it's relevant to the story, but also covering the skill and camaraderie of his fellow first responders. And while some of the chapters started as individual essays, they have been stitched together into a coherent story. ( )
  jonerthon | Jul 12, 2020 |
Great portrait of person, place and just plain old being. Not a slow book by any means — a lot happens, and you learn a lot of things — but throughout everything there is a great sense of rumination and peace. I bawled once, and almost cried another time. Michael Perry has instantly earned my loyalty — an introspective man unafraid to acknowledge the pain of the world and his own flaws, but never forgetting the good things. ( )
  schufman | Jul 20, 2019 |
Overall, I enjoyed Perry's meandering stories of fire and rescue in rural Wisconsin. At times, it made me laugh out loud; at times, it was very sad. It was slow and dragged a little in parts, but that probably gives the best insight into life in a tiny, rural township. ( )
  jtdancer | Jun 30, 2018 |
https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/160295487663/population-485-meeting-your-neighbor...

My first introduction to Michael Perry’s work was his latest publication, [b:Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy|34217513|Montaigne in Barn Boots An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy|Michael Perry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1491691011s/34217513.jpg|55268410]. After reading that fine book I decided to go back to the beginning and chronologically read all the full-length memoirs Perry has written. Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time afforded him some well-deserved attention. But honestly, as popular as the book appears to now be, I was expecting much more. From the very beginning I found myself a little disappointed. For some reason I was not expecting so much about him being an emergency medical technician and volunteer fireman. But by Chapter 7 Perry had gotten me again with his simple take on community in the chapter My People. He speaks about humility and the assumptions writers sometimes have that they are better than what they are. How that same vanity can cause problems in relationships. But the fire department provided a point of access for him in meeting his neighbors more authentically. He admits, at this point of his writing career, to having written nothing of “considerable reputation.” And when asked at a reading, “What’s the secret to making a living as a writer?” he answers that he discovered the secret years ago while cleaning his father’s calf pens. A childhood spent slinging manure taught him that you just keep shoveling until you’ve got a pile so big, someone has to notice. I really admired his answer, and maybe it applies to all of us if we just keep working hard at piling up our body of work.

By the two-thirds mark I have matured in my thinking and wholeheartedly accept this memoir on its own terms. That of a brother and son, an emergency worker, a fireman, and serviceman to his county and community. Not exactly what I had in mind for the book that got Perry “in” and on the literary map. Thought it would be more about the quirky small town and its people, and it is, just not exactly. This entertaining and educational book is more about service and what that entails. It is the intimacy involved in getting to know death, disease, and destruction on a personal level sooner than most of us who generally carry on until the end comes instead to meet us. Perry confronts death straight on, and almost every day. Or what potentially could result in his own end, but certainly not without the instruction and details that accumulate in order for Perry’s benevolence to grow. It feels endearing to be in his company, and his character being one that will certainly last and predictably thrive through all the fated adversity to come. And this very good book was more than just a touching memoir. It has heart. And life. And hope emanating from a gifted and fascinating personality.

…Captive of my heart and feet, I’m a wandering fool, but I’ve got the sense to keep returning. ( )
  MSarki | Jan 7, 2018 |
EMS and writing. ( )
  cookierooks | Nov 16, 2016 |
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After a 12-year absence, a real-life prodigal seeks to serve his hometown -- New Auburn, Wisconsin, population: 485 -- by joining the volunteer fire and rescue department. In a place where men post claims of manhood on bug deflectors, where the local vigilante is a farmer's wife with a pistol and a Bible, and where the most senior firefighter is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), writer Michael Perry sets out "to meet my neighbors at the invitation of the fire siren." This audio also includes eight wise and witty essays selected from Perry's new book, Off Main Street. Whether fighting fires, playing nurse to a murderer, hitting the road with a truck driver, or meditating on Elvis and osmosis, Perry shows us that his small-town roots have not limited his worldview -- in fact, they've enlarged it in some of the subtlest, most observant and memorable ways possible. This collection is a diverse and generous survey of the author's talents as a journalist, penetrating observer and rural-bred storyteller of Wisconsin.

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