Truck: a Love Story
by Michael Perry
Harper Perennial, 320 pages
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Several days ago in this blog, I mentioned that I had an “author crush” on Michael Perry. I’m currently reading his most recent book, Coop which will be reviewed over at All Things Girl, but I wanted to make sure I talked about the last book of his that I read: Truck: a Love Story.
If the title of the book isn’t enough of a hook, consider that this book really is a love story. Actually it’s three love stories. One, is of the teenage Mike’s love of the fictional character Irma Harding, who was created to be the face of International Harvester, in the 1950s. The second, and the one that provides the continuity in this book, is the author’s love of a vintage International Harvester pickup truck, and his journey through its restoration. The third, most poignant, is of his relationship and eventual marriage to his wife Anneleise, and his fatherly love for her young daughter, Amy.
As usual, Michael Perry tells his story with a lot of warmth and an equal measure of humor. He may be a guy who grew up in rural Wisconsin, but he’s also incredibly bright. Much of the humor is self deprecating – he’s sort of power-tool impaired, for example – but some of it comes from the juxtaposition of a green tea drinking, NPR- and jazz listening writer who is also a fire fighter and amateur farmer.
Because this is a memoir, there really isn’t a plot, but Perry does an excellent job of condensing several events into a coherent narrative.
In short, his memoirs ride the fine line of being candid and creative nonfiction.
And I can’t get enough of them.