Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Mighty Pen

Workingman's Ink by Dave Shiflett

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. 

Summary: A collection of journalism originally published by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Review, The American Spectator, The Los Angeles Times and other places. Subjects include alcohol hysteria, celebrities (Elvis, Fred Astaire, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, King Farouk and many others), military deployment, remembering a family slave, trial lawyers, gambling, scapegoating, sex, marriage among the very rich, deer hunting, the demise of country music, bluegrass and old time music festivals, Apollo 11 and the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl.

Review: An eclectic collection of stories about country music, Fred Astaire, alcohol, the Apollo astronauts, and hunting.

Some of the stories I enjoyed, some I didn’t enjoy too well, and some just weren’t for me. While I don’t always agree with what Dave Shiflett has to say about certain topics, he does manage to make funny and humorous remarks. His stories are sometimes funny and sometimes sad, but almost all have a strain of irreverent humor running through them.

The most touching story was the story about Shiflett’s son. I cannot imagine what it is like to have a son or daughter or spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend in the military. Shiflett does mention the worry that he has about his son being overseas, but focuses on the importance of the job that his son is doing. I wholeheartedly agree that people who are so quick to put support the troops stickers on their cars probably do very little supporting. (Yes, I do know there are exceptions).

While I didn’t know or wasn’t too familiar with the celebrities Shiflett mentions, the stories did manage to keep me entertained. I also enjoyed the hunting stories even though I have never hunted nor do I ever want to. The stories I couldn’t get into were the ones about country music since I am not a country music fan at all.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy nonfiction stories about popular topics.

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