Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Fine and Pleasant Misery

A Fine and Pleasant Misery by Patrick F. McManus 

Is a collection of short stories by Patrick McManus that originally appeared in Outdoor Life and Field and Stream magazines.

In fact, that is exactly how I first encountered this marvelous American humorist – doctor’s waiting room, flipping through Outdoor Life, found an article at the very back with a funny title: They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?

And I’ve been hooked ever since. McManus’ stories are all about his many misadventures in the Great Outdoors. He is self-effacing, droll, sarcastic, dry, and very funny.  

This particular collection is the first published of at least 14 collections, and introduces several of his recurring characters: Ma and Gramms, sister known affectionately as The Troll, dog Strange, and most importantly the curmudgeonly mountain man and mentor from Patrick’s youth Rancid Crabtree (Crazy Eddie Muldoon does not yet appear).

The stories with titles such as: The Modified Stationary Panic, Kid Camping, or How to Fish a Crick are ridiculous – and yet – there is something painfully relatable to any outdoorsman in most of these stories.

Just good clean fun. One of the few authors who has made me actually laugh out loud while reading. I used to read them out loud to my father and brothers, and sometimes we’d all be laughing so hard we’d be crying.

I just learned today, that Patrick McManus passed away just three months ago, April 11, 2018, age 84. Thanks Patrick for the laughs.



  1. Oh, Wow! Another McManus fan. He's the only author I wrote a fan letter to and he answered me back! I have all of his books except the ones written recently.

    1. He's definitely an under appreciated talent. I have an autographed version of Real Ponies Don't Go Oink. My brother interviewed McManus years ago for college radio, and got me his autograph. I didn't expect I'd find others via this blog post, so glad to hear from another fan.


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