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The Bear in the Attic

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  688 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
The beloved humorist and bestselling author returns with his most riotous collection of essays to date

Starting 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 do
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Holt Paperbacks (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mar 17, 2012 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started listening to the audiobook, and while there was nothing wrong with the stories I just couldn't stand the narrator. He just sounded cranky with me, and I couldn't handle the guilt. I'd recommend the book if you want to read it.
Aug 14, 2008 Judy rated it really liked it
Enjoyable collection of essays about the outdoors. Reminds me of the everyday absurdies that surround us.
Jan 29, 2009 Florence rated it it was amazing
So far, so good! I love Patrick McManus' books, they are so funny and enjoyable for a quick read before bed, I always end up laughing out loud and waking Brent!
Oct 04, 2015 Bookista rated it it was amazing

2015: JOY. Just JOY!
Jan 14, 2017 Heather rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, after not picking up a McManus for a decade. A collection of humorous short tales did not disappoint. McManus' unique voice is 1 part tall tales, 1 part slap-stick humor, and 1 part dad-jokes, all with a regional and outdoors overlay. You may not find this funny if you've never been lost on a mountain, experienced a few stages of hypothermia, or worked to land a particularly devious trout. But if you have, his humor is likely to resonate: "'Back East' being a geog ...more
Oct 27, 2016 Jes rated it it was amazing
Slow start, but the stories got funnier as I kept reading.
Apr 23, 2008 Everett rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
This is a great companion read (to have around to pick up for a few minutes or a half hour)-especially if you have any affinity for the outdoors. This collection of essays/short stories covers a wide range of life experiences exaggerated expertly as only McManus can. The trade review mentions Dave Barry and Garrison Kiellor which I believe to be pretty accurate associative comparisons and some pretty heady company. If you enjoy a good laugh and the warmth of a well-told story, give it some time.
April Hochstrasser
Oct 31, 2011 April Hochstrasser rated it really liked it
This is a book of short stories about hunting and fishing. I listened on CD. The reader truly has a gift and I saw the action in my mind. I loved the first short story about the bear in the attic. Later short stories got a little repetitive, but individually they were funny. Taken as a whole, I had to take a break and get back to them. There are only so many fish stories I can take in one sitting.
Nov 25, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved the first story and listened to the c.d. 3 times. I even had my son listen to the story too. Everytime I hear the name "Chucky" and imagine the bear growling "Maaa...maaa!" it just makes me laugh. I have to give the narrator, Norman Dietz, a hand. He was spectacular.

I still remember Dave Mellander who used to read Patrick McManus stories to me while we car pooled to Smokey Point. I'm sure he's smiling down on me from heaven.
Jan 01, 2010 Donald rated it liked it
I've been reading McManus for 20 years now, at this point it is a given that I'll read anything he publishes. This collection includes several stories from his childhood, which tend to be my favorites. “Crazy Eddy” is back, along with Rancid Crabtree, “The Troll”, and others. McManus does tend to recycle some punchlines, but there is enough fresh material to make it worth reading, even if (like me) you have read everything he has written multiple times.
Sep 01, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it
McManus is one of my very favorite nonfiction writers and he doesn't disappoint in this collection of stories and essays.
Though I have a soft spot for his childhood reflections and I think they're his most entertaining pieces, his modern ruminations are equally hilarious.
The title story, about a draft-dodging cousin of McManus's, had me laughing out loud multiple times. If you're looking for a room that is easily broken into readable sections, here it is.
May 02, 2016 Sara rated it liked it
My first listen from the Shullsburg library! Perfect audiobook: entertaining and not too challenging. If you like curmudgeonly hunters and fishers (and oh, I do), you'll love this book. My mind wandered at moments, but that's little surprise considering the competition this audiobook had in this last week! I think the title story is the strongest, a nostalgic tale of growing up during World War II. I also smiled in recognition over his tales of "smart feet" and favorite shoes. Indeed.
Sep 02, 2008 Kelly rated it it was amazing
I love Patrick McManus's books! They are laugh out loud funny! I guess because I love the outdoors and I always went exploring as a kid. I think his stories are just so funny! These stories are great for the car because they are all short stories. Of course with all of his books some stories are better than others but definitely a must read for outdoor enthusiasts.
Mar 26, 2008 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Every one of Pat McManus's books are hilarious. They are short stories or essays that are especially fun to read in the car. And its nice that you can read them quick and don't have to commit to a huge whole story every time you pick up the book. We love them and always keep a couple in the car for trips or just for a quick laugh.
Jul 27, 2015 Colleen rated it really liked it
This book is full of laughs, especially about the author's (mis)adventures in the great outdoors. The humor is reminiscent of Keillor's Lake Wobegon series. The book wanders all over into different memories and stories and feels like a conversation with an old friend. I particularly enjoyed his story of the time machine.
Not my favorite of McManus' works. This seems to have a lot of rehashed stories told from a little different angle in it. His writing style seems a little tired as well. The early books are great though.
Nov 10, 2012 Connie rated it really liked it
A book full of essays about the author's life in Idaho. He is a terrific writer. I loved his style and laugh out loud stories. couldn't relate on some level because I don't fish or hunt, but I liked them and will try to find his first book.
Catherine Richmond
The Bear in the Attic is a collection of short, humorous essays about hunting, fishing, camping, and growing up in Idaho. Recommended for anyone who needs a good laugh, but especially men who enjoyed those pursuits.
Nov 06, 2009 Drew rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Any McManus book is worth a read. For a real treat listen to the book narrated by Norman Dietz. There is no way to listen to his narration and not laugh out loud. We take these on family car trips. Mom and Dad and the kids love them.
Nov 18, 2008 Millerbug rated it it was amazing
I love McManus's books! They are so funny! Especially if your in outdoorsmen (or woman). I love his stories about Crazy Eddie Muldoon from his childhood and his stories about Rancid Crabtree. This book was hysterical! I totally enjoyed it!
Dave Beebe
Sep 28, 2011 Dave Beebe rated it liked it
Having been raised on McManus since I was young, I had certain expectations about this collection of short (extremely short) stories. Not as witty as his earlier work, but still good for a chuckle or two. Nobody captures the humor of the outdoors quite like McManus.
Jan 27, 2009 Laurel rated it liked it
This isn't the best of Pat. A few of the stories are noteworthy, but overall the book really isn't anything super special. The title story was probably the least entertaining one in the book. Not a waste of time, but not a good choice.
Oct 07, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok
The book isn't a continuous read, really, more like a collection of short stories. It's as if the author is telling stories around the campfire. Some of the stories are better than others (like the first chapter, also named as the title of the book). :)
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Oct 22, 2015 Cindy Dyson Eitelman rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I didn't laughed my head off for this one because I'd just read the other McManus and knew what to expect. I snortled, chuckled and grinned instead. So it's just the usual--but the usual McManus is funnier than most people's best efforts.
Jennifer Hughes
Jul 19, 2008 Jennifer Hughes rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dave Barry, Garrison Keillor fans
Laugh-out-loud funny. I love Patrick McManus's low-key humor. Like all of his books, some stories are funnier than others, but they are all enjoyable.
Jul 08, 2011 Jim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
a storyteller along the lines of garrison keillor, jean shepherd and tom bodett. but read/listen to them instead.
Aug 16, 2008 Dave rated it really liked it
Pat McManus is hilarious, and this is a great collection of short stories! Really laugh-out-loud funny stuff in here.
Dec 15, 2014 AnnieM rated it liked it
Shelves: date-a-book
Entertaining, but I have to lay off the short stories. I liked it except for the narrator. If it makes me giggle I'm sure it's hilarious for others.
Carla Martz
Many humorous stories. I enjoyed it, but probably would be enjoyed more by a hunting and fishing enthusiest. Would read another, just not back-to-back.
Apr 22, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I absolutely love Patrick McManus' books. This one is no different. Not only was he a favorite author of my Grandpa's, but I imagine my future kids getting into similar antics. Great fun reading!
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Patrick F. McManus is an American outdoor humor writer. A humor columnist for Outdoor Life and other magazines, his columns have been collected in several books.

* Sheriff Bo Tully
More about Patrick F. McManus...

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“It's been a long, hard day, and bit by bit you have been transformed into a single, vertical, barely ambulatory ache. All that awaits you now is another long, lonely night on the hard, cold ground. "What am I doing out here?" you ask yourself. "I must be mad!" Indeed, you are mad. Otherwise right now you could be warm and cozy and stretched out in front of your beloved TV, munching popcorn and swigging down ice-cold brew, just like a civilized person. "Oh well," you sigh to yourself. "I'd better stop and get a fire going.” 11 likes
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