Sunday, March 25, 2012
Review: A Moose and A Lobster Walk into A Bar: Tales from Maine
A Moose and A Lobster Walk into A Bar: Tales from Maine by John McDonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I spent four years in Maine going to college at the University of Maine at Farmington. In that time, I observed quite a bit about the state and its residents, and I even got to learn some of the in-jokes. This book did a lot to bring me back to that time, and to fill me in on the parts I didn't get to see of the people I interacted with. After all, one can learn a lot about people by the stories they tell, and how they tell them.
The first section of the book is jokes, Maine-style. Several of them are recognizable as jokes heard around the internet, with a regional slant. There are a few surprises, though.
The next several sections are essays on local politics, transplants (most notably from Massachusetts), black flies, tourism, yard sales, and what makes Maine what it is. This part gets repetitive in places, but, while I don't always agree with the author's position, I have to agree that he's fairly representative of the Maine natives I've known.
If you're looking for a few stories from Maine to give you insight about how the residents think and what they find funny, this is a good book to pick up. If you think they're generally more open and friendly than what you see during tourist season, though, you may want to skip this and keep to your illusions.
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