Population: 485 : Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time

Population Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time Here the local vigilante is a farmer s wife armed with a pistol and a Bible the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex wives both of wh

  • Title: Population: 485 : Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time
  • Author: MichaelPerry
  • ISBN: 9780060958077
  • Page: 105
  • Format: Paperback
  • Here the local vigilante is a farmer s wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex wives both of whom work at the only gas station in town , and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers Michael Perry loves this place He grew up here, and now afHere the local vigilante is a farmer s wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex wives both of whom work at the only gas station in town , and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers Michael Perry loves this place He grew up here, and now after a decade away he has returned Unable to polka or repair his own pickup, his farm boy hands gone soft after years of writing, Mike figures the best way to regain his credibility is to join the volunteer fire department Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, he tells a frequently comic tale leavened with moments of heartbreaking delicacy and searing tragedy.

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    About “MichaelPerry

    • MichaelPerry

      Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.Perry s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wound up writing by happy accident He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an amateur pig farmer He hosts the nationally syndicated Tent Show Radio, performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues, is currently finishing his first young adult novel, and can be found online at sneezingcow.Perry s essays and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Backpacker, Outside, Runner s World, Salon, and he is a contributing editor to Men s Health magazine His writing assignments have taken him to the top of Mt Rainier with Iraq War veterans, into the same room as the frozen head of Ted Williams, across the United States with truckers and country music singers, and once buck naked into a spray tan booth.In the essay collection Off Main Street, Perry wrote of how his nursing education prepared him to become a writer by training him in human assessment, and he credits singer songwriters like Steve Earle and John Prine with helping him understand that art need not wear fancy clothes Above all, he gives credit to his parents, of whom he says, Anything good is because of them, everything else is simply not their fault His mother taught him to read and filled the house with books his father taught him how to clean calf pens, of which Perry has written, a childhood spent slinging manure the metaphorical basis for a writing career Perry has recently been involved in several musical collaborations, including as lyricist for Grammy nominated jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer, and as co writer with Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon of the liner notes for the John Prine tribute album Broken Hearts Dirty Windows Perry also collaborated with Vernon and Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne on a project that began when Vernon approached Perry and said, Say, you re a nurse The results were bloody, but then that was the point.Of all his experiences, Perry says the single most meaningful thing he has ever done is serving 12 years beside his neighbors on the New Auburn Area Fire Department.Mike says If I had to sum up my career in one word, it would be gratitude I get to write and tell stories all around the country, then come home to be with my family and hang out at the local feed mill complaining about the price of feeder hogs It s a good life and I m lucky to have it.

    588 thoughts on “Population: 485 : Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time

    • WARNING: Possibly ill-advised, slightly intoxicated soap-boxing lies ahead. Proceed at your own risk.The title of this book is slightly misleading in that it implies Michael Perry will introduce the reader to a rich, quirky swath of characters who inhabit a very small town. While there are a few folks who shine through, such as Beagle the cock-eyed firefighter, [i]Population: 485[/i] is mostly a detailed account of what goes into being a volunteer firefighter. For that, I appreciated it as this [...]

    • Oh my goodness. I have found my new favorite writer. I wish I had read this book before "Truck", as it prefaces a lot of events in that one, but what do you do.Michael Perry's ability to put into words the people, situations and feelings he encounters is beautiful. I love the area he's from, and it reminds me of the time I spent in Warroad, Minnesota. My favorite paragraph describes his predicament of being a dyed-in-the-wool hick from a small town, but also having the heart and mind of a writer [...]

    • I read the sequel to this book first, Truck: A Love Story, when it came across the counter at the library. I loved it and sought out any other books by the author Michael Perry.And I loved Population: 485 too! Writers that can hold a conversation with you, make you laugh, and bring on a tear or two are rarefied in my mind. He's very relate-able, and I think even if I wasn't from a rural small town I'd still identify with his portrayal of people and the way he weaves the everyday with musings abo [...]

    • A memoir, with distracted focus between life in rural America, working on a small town's volunteer fire department, bachelorhood, and death.The book lacks a focus. Even a memoir has some kind of focus but this tried to do too much. The humor was strained. Things that I thought ought to be laugh-out-loud funny were only slightly amusing. He didn't seem to know how to set up his jokes efficiently and humorously.Mostly I found this a bit depressing. So many of the experiences that he writes about s [...]

    • Population 485 is Perry’s attempt to communicate what it is like to live in a small town in 21st century America. New Auburn, Wisconsin is the place in question. Perry focuses on his experiences as a volunteer fireman. He was native to the town, had been away for many years, but returned to the roots he knew. His methodology is to relate his personal tales of town life, how his volunteering proved to be a mechanism to further anchor his roots in the community, allowing him to interact with a l [...]

    • I love everything Michael Perry writes. He makes me laugh. Hard. A lot. I cannot read his books before I go to sleep any more, because my attempts not to laugh out loud thereby waking the husband lead to my shoulders jumping and wake him up, whereupon he thinks Wisconsin has been hit with an earthquake.This is the story of the little town of New Auburn, Wisconsin's volunteer fire department. The population, as you can tell, is a whopping 485. Born and raised in the small town, Perry had left yea [...]

    • If you want to read a literary book on firefighting or small town living then this is the book. Population: 485 is a hilarious and moving collection of essays written about New Auburn, Wisconsin; a town of, yes, you guessed it—485 people. Not only is Michael Perry a skilled writer, he is also a volunteer firefighter/emt, and he captures the chaos and insanity of this world beautifully. Not many firefighters are dedicated to the literary tradition of writing, so it isn’t easy to find such a t [...]

    • This book is kind of a hybrid. There are plenty of wonderful literary works written on the "essence of small-town American life", both past and present. There are also plenty of gut-wrenching, heart-pumping Fire and EMS books for the adrenaline-junkie who doesn't care to put in a semester at the local JC for an EMT license or Firefighter-I academy (if you want a couple references check out Rescue 471 or Firefighters: Their Lives in Their Own Words, or perhaps the new one coming out soon by Shawn [...]

    • Perry recounts how he moved back to his very small Wisconsin hometown and reintegrated himself into the community by becoming a volunteer firefighter and first responder. This is an amazing book. The stories Perry tells contain dozens of moments that are both hilarious and heart-wrenching—often within sentences of each other. The details about firefighting and working as an EMT are fascinating, as are the portraits Perry draws of various figures in the community—and of the community itself. [...]

    • I can't believe I've missed this author until now. It's personal history, family dynamics, small-town character, philosophy and humor. Perry writes poetically about his life after returning to his home town. The chapter on "Structure Fire" included several of the passages that struck me in this book: ". is anything but brutish. It is light-footed and shamanic, dancing between the visible and invisible, undoing matter one collapsed molecule at a time, wreaking utter destruction with a touch softe [...]

    • What a treasure to find this little gem-- quite by accident, I might add, while paging through a sample issue of local magazine that was sent to me.Perry's thoughtful nature, observations and stories left me laughing out loud (literally), crying and walking away from the finished book with a different view of being "stuck" in Wisconsin. Simply noticing more and enjoying the vast array of people who are here in this cold climate with me.

    • I took this book on my holidays but couldn't get very far into it. It is o.kbut far from compelling.It sounded so interesting and I really wanted to like it but just couldn't stay with it. I left it on the boat for someone else to maybe enjoy.

    • I love Perry's work, and this is, imo, one of his best. Truck: A Love Story might be even better though. Btw, those of you looking for quirky or amusing would do better to start with something like Roughneck Grace: Farmer Yoga, Creeping Codgerism, Apple Golf, and Other Brief Essays from on and off the Back Forty maybe.But then you have to bear in mind that (almost) all of Mike's books, together, reference his own (and family's & friends') progression(s) through life and are best understood i [...]

    • Although numerous people have told me that Truck: A Love Story is the better of these books, I was charmed by Population: 485. It's small-town Wisconsin with all the quirks and tragedies and some laugh-out-loud moments I needed right now.

    • This little gem of a book is about New Auburn, in the north-western corner of Wisconsin, land where farms alternate with forests and lakes, where people coexist with deer and the occasional bear. Garrison Keillor's "Lake Wobegon" is a humorous reflection on such a community, and New Auburn is indeed just across the state line from St. Paul, Minnesota. This book, however, is about the real thing. Michael Perry's words are clear, terse, factual and unpretentious, yet he is also a poet, so his book [...]

    • At first glance, the concept of reading the tales of a volunteer firefighter in rural Wisconsin seemed an odd choice of reading material for me. However, I decided to give Population: 485 a shot and I was thrilled with the experience. Michael Perry does an excellent job of presenting a cross-section of small-town life through vivid characters and an attention to detail and perspective that I rarely find in modern authors.Perry's light-hearted humor, self-deprecation, and appreciation of time, pl [...]

    • Having read his book Truck: a Love Story, I was interested in reading more. This book actually was written before Truck and contains chapters about his work both as an EMS and as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of New Auburn, Wisconsin. Perry puts it all out there, including the sad, happy, embarrassing, and comic. He talks about working with his brothers and mother, how his work as a firefighter linked him back to his community, and shows a variety of personalities in both his coworker [...]

    • Favorite quotes:"Summer here comes on like a zaftig hippie chick, jazzed on chlorophyll and flinging fistfuls of butterflies to the sun.""I tend to run at night. The idea of running in the morning is repulsive, and I retain strong reservations about anyone who launches their day with briskness of any sort, let alone an alacritous jog.""Commonalitis of spirit and pretension abound. The man in the Hooters cap and the woman with the NPR tote bag are not promoting restaurants and radio. NRA decals a [...]

    • Boorish. Too much historical information that doesn't really add to the stories. Little used words thrown in as if he is doing a word for the day calendar. Writer's descriptions of small town life and people seemed more like put downs that finding the humor. Read as long as I could. Life is just too short to finish reading.

    • I abandoned this book four chapters in. This kind of read like a poorly curated blog republishment. The chapters are too long, the anecdotes per chapter are too short and too scattered. Also: Mr. Perry, some of us in the Emergency Medical profession are sympathy heavers. Your smug pride about not being one was what finally made me put the book down.

    • If you only read two chapters from this book, "Death" and "Call" are absolutely incredible pieces of writing covering the emotional and psychological toll first responders are exposed to while still trying to lead a normal and happy life. I was surprisingly impressed by this book and the author's writing style, which weaved between poetic passages and backwoods one-liners like "Summer here comes like a zaftig hippie chick, jazzed on chlorophyll and flinging fistfuls of butterflies to the sun". P [...]

    • I burned (ha-ha) through this in four days. Yes, I liked it that much . . . The description makes the book sound like an episodic collision of TV's Twin Peaks and Emergency!. Really, it's a little deeper than that, with equal parts comedy / tragedy (there are some almost unbearably sad moments) and all the day-to-day happenings in between. Volunteer first responders, Midwestern small-town life, farming - Perry covers these things and more in a comfortable, conversational style for an adult audi [...]

    • This book will have you belly laughing with tears in your eyes. It give you a chance to look through the eyes of a small town volunteer firefighter/first responder and see the the joys and heartbreaks as if you were standing there. This book is an emotional roller coaster that you will want to read again and again.I would recommend this book to anybody.

    • Due to busy ness got a slow start but then read the majority in 2 nights. Very good. Wanted to see his one man show but was sold out.

    • I waffled between three and four stars. On one hand, I did quite enjoy this book. It is often funny and moving and sweet and nuanced and cute and kitschy and well-written. It's a thought-provoking reflection on small-town Midwestern life and EMS/firefighter experiences. But it was also overwritten and underedited. There was a lot of rather trite ruminating on the nature of fire and man's relation to it, and there was a lot of navel-gazing nonsense in it. And some parts felt a bit self-conscious [...]

    • The Basic Summary: Michael Perry is the only author in the tiny town of New Auburn, Wisconsin. He makes his living this way and gives back to his community via volunteer firefighting/EMT work. In this book, he reflects on life in such a small town, family, love, and being an firefighter/EMT.My Review: Okay, so I've been considering how to review this book for a while. On the one hand, there were some very hilarous parts, such as the tales of the rollerskating Amish who live near New Auburn. Ther [...]

    • Perry's book is a cross between memoir, essay and short story. His stories revolve around his move back to his hometown, New Auburn, Wisconsin, when he is 30. He has had a plethora of jobs, a degree in nursing, training as an EMT and as a firefighter. Along the way he has found his calling in writing and is determined to make a living at it. At the time of this book he is writing and volunteering as an EMT/firefighter. He uses the calls as a way to describe how he got to re-enter life in town an [...]

    • Mike Perry is an interesting cat. Ex-nurse turned part time volunteer firefighter and fulltime writer, living in his tiny hometown in Wisconsin farm country. He's one of those guys who make me embarrassed to be a guy, because hey, Perry's a firefighter, a medic, a hunter, a fisherman, a farmer, a backhoe driverd he frames all this manly crap he does by admitting he's the girliest of his family, which in turn embarrasses HIM.Anyway, framing each essay around his work as a firefighter is an intere [...]

    • Perry's a decent writer with a tendency to Big-Fish tales of his own heroics and ineptitudites--these moments are run of the mill and entertaining, and anyone with an interest in Heartland Americana or first responder stories will enjoy . He shines in his tender discussion of death. Much of the book is about his ability to fulfill typical masculine roles (being a good volunteer firefighter), or his [mostly humorous] failure in the effort (messing up while firefighting). But when he confronts dea [...]

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