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This guy is great, his book is great, I can only give him 4 stars as he's not Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, or Megan (his own dear wife) great. But that's not his fault, he tried. You gotta admire a man who tries.
Full review at: http://keepontrekkin.com/2016/01/13/review-paddle-your-own-canoe/
ou probably know Nick Offerman from his highly-popular role as the mustachioed Ron Swanson on NBC’s hit comedy: Parks and Recreation. Having never seen the show myself, I had no real idea who the man was. (I don’t watch a lot of television, but don’t worry: I’m working on that!) So, what am I doing reading the memoirs of a person I was nary aware of? I’m not sure: Someone mentioned it to me, the cover looked cool, and the summary sounded funny. I’m glad I read it, as now I count myself among Nick Offerman’s fans (and I started watching Parks and Rec).
At first I feared this book would be some sort of celebration of clichéd masculinity, a sort of literary representation of Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor’s signature grunt. My fears, however, were unwarranted. Paddle Your Own Canoe reveals the man behind the mustache, and exposes him as a man of sensitivity, passion, and a remarkable work ethic. Sure, there’s a bit of machismo sprinkled in, but oftentimes it’s ironic or, at least, sarcastic. The entire book is laced with comedy and self-deprecation. What stuck with me the most was Offerman’s humility: this is a man that doesn’t take his success for granted, nor does he allow it to transform him away from his roots as a hard-working boy from rural Illinois.
There were two things I admired most while reading this book:
First, Offerman has a lot to say about the virtue of hard work. He goes to great (and entertaining) lengths to imbue the importance of accomplishment, of fixing and creating. He recounts the time when he moved in with his now-wife and star from the popular sitcom Will and Grace, Megan Mullally. By the time he and Megan purchased a home together, she was already substantially successful. He found himself dumbstruck one day, with the fleeting realization that he “made it”. He was a “well-off dude living in the Hollywood Hills like a king!” He quickly realized that being lazy in the lap of luxury wasn't the life for him, and he got to work continuing to build a successful career for himself.
The second thing I admired about Offerman was the way he spoke of his wife and their relationship. They had been married a decade by the time Paddle Your Own Canoe was published, and yet he still speaks of her as if they were still on their honeymoon. Both working hard in a demanding industry, they made a pact to never accept a job that would have them apart for more than two weeks. His admiration for Megan melts the heart. Of course someone will go out of their way to paint a beautiful picture of their spouse and love-life when writing about it for a large audience, but it is clear to me that Offerman was very careful with his descriptions of their life and I’m confident that their love is as genuine as he portrays it in this book.
So, I guess I’ve become a bit smitten with Nick Offerman. I found his stories interesting, hilarious, and motivating. What I thought was going to be a quick comedy–a time-killer, really–turned out to be an inspiration: a book that has me re-thinking my own philosophies.
A fair warning: this book has some colorful language, some sexually-explicit scenes, and takes some swipes at organized religion.
My Rating: 4.5/5 – Inspiring, humorous, and surprising; an added benefit of providing a look into the world of professional acting and the path of a successful career.
It was interesting to dive into Nick Offerman and to see what parts of him mirror his Ron Swanson character vs. who he is in real life. Interesting stories as would be expected. Biggest complaint was that the storytelling was very choppy and a little maddening at that; it jumped back and forth from the past, to the present, to random asides, to philosophical meanderings, to rants and more asides, and eventually the story being told. Nick is well read, a grammar freak, and respectful of proper sentence structure and diction; its just a little sad that the story structure was so haphazard.
Offerman writes in an off the cuff manner, humorous irreverent and he really likes profanity ( maybe that's just part of the act) I have not watched Parks and Rec, but I like the core message, be your own person, be happy by realizing that only, really, you are responsible for that happening. Paddle your own canoe indeed.
Having grown up 10 miles north and 30 years previous to where Nick did made this book a treasure. Sitting alone reading with a smile on my face and sometimes a laugh out loud was just a pleasure. I have told all my friends (especially those from small towns) that they simply must read this book.
I haven't fully finished the book yet, but I am finding it enjoyable about 75% of the way though. The writing style and dry humor are entertaining and I find myself understanding where he is coming from with his examples. I thought it would be an easy and fun read and it is, but I did find on occasion I had to re-read a paragraph or two here and there as it sort of lost me in complexity of explanation. I am happy with the book though and will try another.
I'm only half way through Nick Offermans "Paddle Your Own Canoe" and I'm pleasantly surprised. This is NOT the Ron Swanson guide to life, but it is the memoir of a smart, opinionated guy with a self deprecating, dead pan style like no other.
Its a good book, well written and funny. Its very explicit and vulgar, but that's expected from Nick Offerman. It's an interesting read and you're guaranteed to not agree with everything he says, but I still think its worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.