Beloved American storyteller Philip Gulley evokes a time when life revolved around the front porch, where friends gathered, stories were told, and small moments took on large meaning. In today's hurry-up world, Gulley's observations are frank and funny, reminding us of the world we once shared, and can again.
With poignancy and humor, Gulley writes about small-town life, things he thinks about while sitting in his Quaker meeting, and why Donald Trump should pay more taxes. Porch Talk is a tribute to common folk, including Charlie the hardware priest, the Bettys at the newspaper, and other paragons of decency not many people know, but should.
It is no insult to this occasionally moralizing humorist and Quaker pastor to say that he is a smalltown raconteur who writes tales tailor-made for readers who would never dream of living in one. In the compilation of anecdotes, recollections, riffs and barely disguised homilies that constitute his 14th book, Gulley, best known for his Harmony novels as well as theological ruminations like If Grace Is True, skillfully mines his personal history and that of his neighbors for inspirational morsels. Family, friends, faith, community and even current events figure in meditations that span such topics as the architecture of his home, the virtues of intellectual inconsistency, his wife's passion for exercise and healthy eating, and whether it is indeed possible to have too many friends. While not afraid to be provocative on controversial subjects like creationism or politics, Gulley's general tone is straightforward, whimsical and irenic. One often wishes that he would spend more time with a particular topic, instead of giving it glancing attention before moving on. But urban readers who imbibe their literature with their lattes will find him as refreshing as do those who actually create the tapestry of homespun life Gulley so unpretentiously chronicles. (June)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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June 30, 2007
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