Author: Lewis Grizzard
Info: Copyright 1982: Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers Limited
Where acquired: Thrift store find.
Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # # #
What it's about: The early 80's found Lewis Grizzard in need of heart surgery to correct a faulty aortic valve. The news sent him to his typewriter for not only a humorous account of the procedure and hospital stay, but a nostalgic look back at his childhood in Moreland, Georgia.
This is the book that introduced me to Grizzard's writings. My 8th grade English teacher, Mr. Godsdin gave us the choice between this book and Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor. Having never heard of either author, I chose Grizzard's tome solely based on the title.
Wait, you read this already. Does it count as a read then? Yes, it does. The last time I read this book was 30 years ago, which means I was 13 and didn't get nearly as much of the humor as I did this time.
"Here are some other phrases to be careful of the next time you go to the doctor or spend any time in the hospital....'This might pull a little.' They used to say the very same thing to enemies of the state just before they put them on the rack. If a doctor says, 'This might pull a little,' prepare for your kidneys to be yanked up to your throat. I'm no expert on the anatomy, but your kidneys have no business in your throat." - p. 30
"The Forth of July barbeque drew people from as far away as Newnan, LaGrange, and Hogansville. One year, a man from North Carolina was passing through and stopped in to partake. He asked for cole slaw. 'What for?' somebody asked, 'There's plenty of stew and light bread.' 'I want to put it on my barbecue,' the man from South Carolina said. I learned my first rule about barbeque that day. You don't put cole slaw on it. I think that's in Deuteronomy somewhere. Somebody pulled a knife on the man and he got back in his car and went back to North Carolina." - p. 46
"Nobody drinks just one beer. That's why they come in six packs." - p. 73
What I Liked:
- The humor, of course.
- Grizzard goes into just enough detail of his surgery without being morbid or too technical.
- Chapter 4 was a serious chapter about his parents. The story about his mother's teaching career was very touching.
To sum up: The fact that this book held my interest at a time when I didn't enjoy reading and has gotten better with time makes it a great read. Thank you Terry Godsdin, wherever you are.