Monday, January 9, 2012

The Pint Man by Steve Rushin

This site is generally home to children’s book recommendations, but occasionally a grown-up book comes along that deserves a mention. I have been a fan of Steve Rushin’s writing since his early days with Sports Illustrated and was curious to see if his style would translate to a novel.

The answer, without a doubt, is yes. The Pint Man is funny and clever and filled with Rushin-isms. And while the book is not for children, it is most definitely a book for certain grown-ups, including people who:

  • have spent regular time at a local watering hole, preferably an Irish establishment.
  • have ever admired a public restroom.
  • enjoy a pint of Guinness. Or Harp. Or Fosters.
  • think it’s funny that a bar has booths made from salvaged church pews, above which hangs a sign quoting Mark 2:16. “When the scribes and Pharisees saw him, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?”
  • also think it’s funny that the bar’s resident bulldogs (one, sadly, deceased) are named Edith and Drinketh.
  • are personally offended by the general public’s inability to correctly use apostrophes.
  • keep random reference books on hand to settle trivial disputes.
  • spend time on Wednesday afternoons watching the English Premier League or wish their schedule would allow it.
  • think pollen and swollen ought to rhyme, like main character Rodney, and “not just because they look alike. They were partners in crime. One led to the other.”
  • appreciate wordplay, the sort employed by Carnac the Magnificent. (Answer: “Sis boom bah.” Question: “What is the sound made when sheep explode?”)
  • keep every book they read.
  • find connections between life and literature.
The list could continue, but we’ll stop there. Suffice it to say, if you see yourself (or another reader) in the above criteria - if not perfectly, at least partially - then Rodney’s tale of losing employment, nourishing a relationship, sheltering an injured friend, and pursuing a refreshing beverage just might be for you.

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