cover image Into the Twilight, Endlessly Grousing

Into the Twilight, Endlessly Grousing

Patrick F. McManus. Simon & Schuster, $20 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-684-84440-4

Few have extracted more humor from the out-of-doors than McManus (The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw), who here presents his 13th collection of columns, most of them reprinted from Outdoor Life. His humor recalls Thurber's dictum about scenes of chaos and confusion that are remembered in moments of calm. There are wild tales of an injured associate strapped to a stretcher whose carriers took to the trees when a grizzly appeared; a July 4th when the young McManus dropped an outsize but unlit firecracker down his stepfather's waders; his brother-in-law's electric huckleberry-picking machine that came to grief at a critical juncture; and his uncle's beard, which got caught in the belt of the rather proper town librarian as she was leaving the movies. Also included are parodies of the private-eye genre and a profusion of pithy one-liners, such as ""Eighty-seven percent of all conversations between friends are based on shared ignorance.... That's the reason so many friendships last a lifetime."" With laughs throughout, this is a dandy anthology. (Oct.)