Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Deer Hunting With Jesus

Sometimes a snappy book title does just what it’s meant to do: makes you chuckle and then open the cover. Most of us will read the book jacket and then decide whether or not the book has potential merit. I’m a sucker for a catchy title myself, so I jumped at the chance to investigate further Joe Bageant’s story of growing up in rural West Virginia, Deer Hunting With Jesus. The present election cycle once again brings to the forefront America’s cultural distinctions, and this book could not be more timely though published last year. Joe is a great storyteller, but the book is also informative in the vein of Nickel and Dimed and What’s the Matter with Kansas. I love what the publication "Mother Jones" had to say about the book: “Bageant writes with the ghosts of Hunter S. Thompson, Will Rogers, and Frank Zappa kibitzing over his shoulder.” The great literary critic, Marshall McLuhan, suggested that you should choose your reading by turning to page 69 of a book and, if you like it, read it. This is what the author had to say about page 69 of his book: “Well, page 69 is one of the more low keyed pages in a rather gonzo book.” I would agree. The author recently achieved international fame when a Swiss-Italian TV station produced a 30-minute documentary titled, “Joe’s Winchester”. You can view the production on the author’s web page. Since Italian is my second language, I found it particularly enjoyable. However, even if you don't understand the language, the story is wonderfully told.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank you! You do your little thing for your Swiss-Italian audience, and end up getting positive feedback from...Ohio: what a pleasant surprise!

One little note: not only is Joe Bageant an extremely talented writer, he's also a wonderful person. We had a lot of fun working together, and we've become friends. I can't wait to read his next book.

Mille grazie, di nuovo!

Vasco Dones