Lummox: The Evolution of a Man

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9780060193720: Lummox: The Evolution of a Man

In the slapstick tradition of A Confederacy of Dunces comes Lummox -- part farce, part treatise on what it mean to be a man in America, part true-life tale of a twenty-something man stumbling through the Reagan years, all of it funny in a way that will warm your heart.

The lummox is Mike Magnuson, your friendly neighborhood big guy with a foul mouth, a spare tire around his midsection, and a tender heart, and these are his years working in factories, hanging out in taverns, befriending reprobates, going to college, having troubles with the law, and living with crazy jazz musicians and with lesbian separatists. When a mysterious phantom enters his life, he sets himself on a quest to discover the true meaning of lummoxness, and what he learns along the way is both shocking and hilarious.

Written with honesty and selfeffacing wry humor, Lummox is an exceptional story of manhood at a time of its redefinition, a book that will leave you laughing out loud in recognition and cheering for lummoxes everywhere.

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Review:

Mike Magnuson's Lummox: The Evolution of a Man is a highly entertaining memoir of a bright twentysomething guy floating through life in small-town Wisconsin. The character Mike Magnuson (the book is written in the third person) sees light at the end of the tunnel but is in no hurry to get there. And why not? He has no worries so long as he has a job, beer, drinking buddies, and women to help pass the time. Magnuson climbs the dwelling-space ladder (if only a few rungs) from living at home, to crashing in a closed school's music room that he rents to practice drumming (but mostly holds parties for underage girls), to renting a basement space from the main lesbian power base at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, to shacking up with a long-term girlfriend. In addition to changes in his living situation, Magnuson changes menial jobs, friends, and--after an amusing incident lands him in jail for a holiday weekend--his philosophy and outlook on life, at least for a short while. Magnuson writes an easygoing memoir with wit, hilarity, a liberal dose of scatology, and self-deprecation that never turns to self-pity. You can't help but like this Lummox. --Michael Ferch

About the Author:

Mike Magnuson is the author of The Right Man for the Job and The Fire Gospels. He teaches creative writing at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

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