Never Cry "Arp!" is a lively collection of twelve stories about young Pat's misadventures in the Great American Wilderness.
All the McManus regulars are here: Crazy Eddie Muldoon, the best friend everybody wishes they had (and everybody's mother wishes they didn't); Rancid Crabtree, the good-hearted, if gamey, woodsman; Pat's skunk dog, Strange, who lives up to his name; and Pat's pal, Retch Sweeney, who does, too.
This is a book for kids who love to start fishing at 4am (at least they say they do) or for those who prefer to experience the mighty outdoors in the safety of their homes.
"Everybody should read Patrick McManus," said the New York Times. Now, everybody can.
Overflowing with his trademark outdoorsman's wit, Patrick F. McManus's newest collection ponders the strange allure of the RV, the existential implications of being lost, the baffling tendency of animals to outsmart those who wish to hunt them, and the singular pleasure of doubling the size of every fish one doesn't actually catch.
Combining the curmudgeonly voice of Dave Barry and the sly humor of Garrison Keillor, McManus brilliantly captures the everyday absurdities that comprise our existence. Alongside his humor, McManus's inimitable vision consistently evokes a childlike wonder at the natural world. Even if we are running low on food, the compass is broken, and we are fairly certain we have just spotted a family of Sasquatches frolicking in the treetops, The Bear in the Attic makes the outdoors seem irresistible.
In this, the tenth hilarious collection of his adventures, wry observations, and curmudgeonly calls for bigger and bigger fish stories, McManus takes on everything from an Idaho crime wave to his friend Dolph's atomic-powered huckleberry picker to the uncertain joys of standing waist-deep in icy water, watching the fish go by.
Sheriff Bo Tully is the kind of western lawman who's as good with the ladies as he is with his guns, and he never lets a death threat get in the way of a good barbecue. He's a man with a sense of humor, which comes in handy when trying to establish order in Blight County.
In this latest tale, Tully pursues a seventy-five-year-old missing persons case in which a pair of gold miners (a two-man drilling team known as a double-jack) mysteriously disappeared just as they hit the mother lode in a remote part of Blight County. Meanwhile, a second, more threatening case looms large. After serving only two months of a life sentence, a mentally unstable murderer named Kincaid—a nasty piece of work if there ever was one—manages to escape prison, setting his sights on killing the man who put him behind bars: one Sheriff Bo Tully. In an effort to lead his would-be killer into the open, and also to do a little gold prospecting and fishing while he's at it, Tully heads north with his ex-sheriff father, Pap, and his friend and expert tracker, Dave.
As the two cases play themselves out, Sheriff Tully finds himself hunting down one murderer who's probably long dead, and being hunted by another who's very much alive. A fast-moving tale of murder, mayhem, and mining, The Double-Jack Murders is Patrick F. McManus's darkest, most entertaining mystery yet.
Gathering together twenty-four of his hilarious essays—originally published in such magazines as Outdoor Life—this volume features not only McManus’s follies with Mother Nature, but those of human nature as he shares such funny moments of his life as his first kiss, his public relations career, his less than helpful attempt to be a good Samaritan to an injured motorist, and so much more.
When the call comes in that Mike Wilson, the unlikable owner of West Branch Lodge, has gone missing, Sheriff Tully is delighted. This is an excellent opportunity for Tully, his tracker pal Dave, and his retired sheriff father, Pap, to enjoy a few evenings of hot tubs and single-malt scotch at the luxurious lodge while working the case. However, visions of R & R vanish in a flash on the drive up, when Tully and Pap suddenly realize an avalanche is thundering down the mountain, straight toward them.
Tully manages to outrun the crush of snow, but the road behind is blocked, and there's no telling for how long. Tully's stranded at the lodge with a motley group of vacationers and locals: a sassy co-ed, a group of rambunctious fraternity boys, a shadowy group of what looks like ex-cons, the missing owner's wife, a suspiciously good-looking bartender, and worst (or perhaps best) of all, Tully's old flame, who shows up with her dogsled and naughty intentions.
Both vacationers and locals start to look like suspects when Tully discovers startling evidence proving that the avalanche was no accident of nature. But why would anybody want him dead? And then the missing persons case turns into a murder case when Mike Wilson's body turns up in the river a couple of days later. But who killed him, and how? Furthermore, when another murder in Blight City is reported that week, the only suspect who makes sense...is the dead guy, Mike Wilson. But how could that have happened? It's up to Tully to figure it all out in this comic romp through the wilds of Blight County, from bestselling author Patrick McManus.
In these tall tales, McManus and his buddies learn how not to net a fish, why you should never get your hair cut by someone who's mad at you, what to do when a deer wanders into camp but your sleeping bag has frozen shut, and how to avoid bird-dog flatulence.
Traveling the highways and byways of the Pacific Northwest, the delightful backcountry characters of Kerplunk! understand how a life of hunting and fishing -- and its inherent potential for misadventure -- can resonate with larger meaning. McManus's characters know exactly why it costs $500 to make a fly lure that retails for $2; why installing a boat trailer hookup can lead to divorce; and, most important, why you should always listen for the sound of your fishing line hitting the water -- because in life as it is in fishing, you don't know you're in the water until you hear the kerplunk!
These wry, curmudgeonly tales appeal to real outdoorsmen and the armchair variety alike. Often nostalgic, occasionally philosophical, and always funny, the stories in Kerplunk! reaffirm Patrick F. McManus's reputation as an American classic.
Bo Tully, sheriff of Blight County, Idaho—and a fellow who dropped twenty pounds on Atkins—had been thinking about asking out Jan Whittle, his grade-school sweetheart. Problem is, he’s already promised to celebrate his dad’s seventy-fifth birthday with him. Thwarted romance proves to be the least of Bo’s problems, however, when a dead body turns up on Batim Scragg’s ranch. Forced to put on his sleuthing hat, Bo finds himself faced with a whole slew of possible suspects. And what quickly becomes apparent is that, while the sheriff’s investigative methods may not exactly be legal, they are, for better or worse, The Blight Way.
A bestselling author with more than two million books in print, the curmudgeonly wit Patrick F. McManus delivers a page-turning mystery filled with mirth and misadventure set in hook-and-bullet territory.
As the novel opens, Sheriff Tully is following up on one of his famous hunches: he suspects the murder of local retiree Orville Poulson by his ranch caretaker, Ray Crockett, a sociopath with a criminal record. The only problem is, Tully has no evidence or body to prove that a crime has been committed—supposedly Orville is alive and well and cashing his Social Security checks from Spokane.
Meanwhile, a far more alarming case emerges. Three young men have been shot, each in the back of the head, execution style, in a huckleberry patch on Scotchman Mountain, leaving behind no identification. With the help of confident and beautiful FBI agent Angela Phelps, Tully tries to connect the dots between Poulson’s disappearance, the sudden spate of murders occurring in Blight County, and a big white pickup truck with dual tires causing havoc and crime. As the few potential leads are either killed off or prove nearly impossible to track down, Tully must follow his instincts to piece together the puzzle of who is doing the killing, and why. His suspicions lead him straight into a haunted swamp, along with Agent Phelps, his womanizing ex-sheriff father, Pap, expert tracker and good friend Dave, and mountain man Poke. A twisty case packed with murder and mystery, The Huckleberry Murders is the most entertaining tale yet in this beloved series.
Gathered here for the reader’s edification are such treasures as the true but little known story of the discovery of the efficacy of live bait by Genghis Khan’s chef, an examination of the precarious and perhaps fanatical expertise required for ice fishing, and a consideration of the circumstances that can cause a deer to ride a bicycle.
Among additional topics explored are The Crouch Hop and Other Useful Outdoor Steps, The Sensuous Angler, and Psychic Powers for Outdoorsmen. Included, too, is The Hunter’s Dictionary, an invaluable lexicon that helps the novice sportsman understand such arcane terminology as “Ooooooeee-ah-ah-ah! (If there’s one thing I hate, it’s putting on cold, wet pants in the morning)” and “Baff mast pime ig bead feas mid miff pife! (That’s the last time I try to eat peas in the dark with my hunting knife!)”
The author’s appreciation of outdoor life began in his early boyhood, when he absorbed a wealth of improbable information imparted by the old woodsman Rancid Crabtree, “who bathed only on leap years.” Young McManus also enjoyed special adventures with his ill-remembered sidekick, Retch Sweeney, and another boon companion of days gone by, the loquacious family dog, Strange, whose exploits as a hunter were limited to assaulting stray chickens and on one memorable occasion a skunk.
“McManus here follows up A Fine and Pleasant Misery with a collection of sketches that launches him into the front ranks of outdoor humorists.”—Library Journal
The great outdoors have never been rendered as hysterically as in the reminiscences—true and exaggerated—of Patrick F. McManus. If you’re thinking about getting back to nature, the surreal adventures chronicled here will make you think twice about giving it all up for a life of camping, hiking, and hunting.
Patrick F. McManus’s hilarious and comic stories of camping and other nature-oriented activities reach ridiculous proportions in The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw. From teaching his stepfather the methods of madness behind farm work through his best friend’s grandmother’s fear of bears, McManus reveals that human behavior is even wilder than the wilderness.
A Fine And Pleasant Misery
They Shoot Canoes, Don't They?
Never Sniff A Gift Fish
The Grasshopper Trap
Rubber Legs And White Tail-hairs
The Night The Bear Ate Goombaw
Whatchagot Stew (with Patricia "The Troll" McManus Gass)
Real Ponies Don't Go Oink!
The Good Samaritan Strikes Again
How I Got This Way
These titles are available from Henry Holt and Company.