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Truck: A Love Story

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  3,056 ratings  ·  493 reviews
Hilarious and heartfelt, Truck: A Love Story is the tale of a man struggling to grow his own garden, fix his old pickup, and resurrect a love life permanently impaired by Neil Diamond. In the process, he sets his hair on fire, is attacked by wild turkeys, and proposes marriage to a woman in New Orleans. The result is a surprisingly tender testament to love.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Harper
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Jon Miner The PS editions include extra content at the end, interviews and other insight about the book.

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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,056 ratings  ·  493 reviews

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Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Men who do their best and Women who want to understand us better.
This book resonated with me on too many levels to write.
I enjoyed Perry's self-depreciating wit and felt as though he found the story of a year in his life cathartic to pen. It seemed very personal and I appreciated his willingness to not only expose his faults and challenges, but to show confidence in his strengths and accomplishments.
It was inspiring to read about another man who isn't perfect either but honestly and truly tries to shore up his few shortcomings and face the world another day
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful exploration of the pleasures and challenges of rural Wisconsin life. The theme of rebuilding a 1951 International Harvester pick-up and building a new relationship as Perry approaches a balding forty provides a coherent framework for the year's worth of progress in monthly chapters full of "mini" essays full of homor and wisdom. He occasionally goes "over the top" with piled on metaphors, but it's all in good fun, with any tendency to preachiness balanced by his humility and self-de ...more
Maureen Alden
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Small-town Wisconsin life....written by a fellow UW Eau Claire grad who attended the same years I did. A rare combination of humor, romance, and a bit of history. And his romance began at the Fall Creek library....awwww, warms a librarian's heart! ...more
Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
I actually liked the parts that were NOT about the truck the best. I think it's cute the way he's not ashamed to reveal his softer side. He even admits he gets sentimental about old '80's songs you'd think were chick stuff!

Some random things I copied from the book while I was reading it:

"But what a repulsive thing to associate with food: willpower. As if one would parse out love or oxygen by the teaspoon."

"A gentle pox on yogis who insist on taking out ads in which they pose as human origami.
Amy John
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Perry's writing is like a warm blanket on a cold winter night. For the most part, the narrative is continually engaging, although I admit to having to reread a few paragraphs to get the imagery straight in my brain. There were some genuine laugh out loud moments - not a mere chuckle, but a guffaw - where I actually found myself putting the book down for a second to enjoy the moment. ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great book from an author I discovered only a month ago, Truck mines some of the same subject matter that made his earlier Population: 485 such an interesting read. The easygoing, conversational-style reflections on growing older in a small Midwestern town, all the while fixing up a battered '51 International Harvester pickup and possibly finding true love, had the right amount of humor and heart. But wait, there's even more - like gardening, hunting, family relationships - and Perry cov ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I never laugh out loud at books but this one got me many times. Very enjoyable and fun to read.
Sep 01, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a review of TRUCK, A LOVE STORY by Michael Perry.

Don't you think the title of this book TRUCK, A LOVE STORY seems a little hokey, maybe even manipulative? It's as if its author — or more likely, the book's editor/publisher, who most often does the naming — wanted to broaden the book's market appeal. How many women would read a book titled TRUCK? How many men would read A LOVE STORY (setting aside that old romance novel by Eric Segal, which was made into a movie)? However, I guess it coul
Valerie Kyriosity
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My book group is meeting next Tuesday (that's four days from now) and I haven't started either of the two books we're supposed to discuss. One of them I have; the other I'll need to borrow. Which rebuked me into finishing up the last one I borrowed, which we discussed a couple of months ago when I was about a chapter and a half from the end: Truck: A Love Story Yeah...two months for a chapter and a half...I deserve that tsk, tsk you're thinking at me.

Michael Perry can write. In particular, he's
Sep 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book so much. The writing is so thoroughly entertaining and engaging, it makes activities completely outside my sphere of interest (deer hunting and automotive restoration, among other things) seem compelling and almost noble. And Perry has a gift for capturing everyday experiences in a way that is both thought-provoking and hilarious.

Oddly enough, I was surprised to discover that Truck: A Love Story is, in fact, a love story (as opposed to a st
Christine Keleny
Oct 23, 2013 rated it liked it
"All I wanted to do was fix my old pickup truck," says Michael Perry. "That, and plant my garden. Then I met this woman. . . ." Truck: A Love Story recounts a year in which Perry struggles to grow his own food ("Seed catalogs are responsible for more unfulfilled fantasies than Enron and Penthouse combined"), live peaceably with his neighbors (one test-fires his black powder rifle in the alley), and sort out his love life. But along the way, he sets his hair on fire, is attacked by wild turkeys, ...more
Nov 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This one should probably be more like 3 and a half stars, but I guess I'll round up. As someone who went to college in a rural midwestern town, I appreciated the nice reflections on life in a similar setting. The best parts of the book are when the writing has a certain stripped down emotional clarity about it that sneaks up and really gets to you and which reminded me a little of Scott Carrier's writing, which can have a very similar quality of profound simplicity (or maybe simple profundity?). ...more
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: radio-show-picks
I really wanted to like this book better. I read it as part of April's radio show theme of "An emerging genre - books where the author chronicles an experience or goal for a year in the tradition of A Year in Provence or Animal Vegetable Miracle" -- I can't say I was all that impressed. Perry's theme of taking a year to fix up his old International truck, is what intrigued me at first. I liked the idea of a project book about using your hands. However, the book ended up being more of a journal o ...more
Review Part 1: I have to confess, I skimmed the last half. Maybe if I had more time I'd have stuck with it, but it was overdue at the library, I had another book I needed to finish for my book club, and, frankly, this one was just not holding my attention. I usually enjoy books like this, and it got off to a good start - e.g., writing about the allure of seed catalogs - but after a while it started to feel like reading someone's moderately amusing blog. Perhaps you need to be a guy to appreciate ...more
Kellie Williams
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
About a year ago I went to a reading by Michael Perry and something he said stuck with me. He said that people who have never lived in Wisconsin find the things we do here very exotic and interesting. Having a fiancé who's originally from Texas and is still experiencing some culture shock, I had a good laugh at Perry's observation. After reading this novel, I see how Perry has used our weird Wisconsinite quirks to make what we consider normal everyday life interesting. Perry tells the story of w ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed his book about living in a small community "Population 485", and I found this one even more enjoyable. In it he alternates between two stories: the restoration of his International Harvester truck and developing his relationship with a new woman in his life. Without spoiling it, I will say that both threads are compelling - wanting to see how the truck came out and also wanting to find out if the last bachelor of his family finally has met "the one". Less compelling are the passages wh ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Awesome and hilarious! To be fair - I had a LOT in common with the author so I found myself particularly endeared. The book discusses writing, cooking, gardening, fixing up his ol' truck, friendships that change through the ages, coping with things that don't work out the way we want and celebrating the successes of things that do. I thought this was well written and entertaining. My only note is it had a LOT of words I did not know. Had to keep a notebook and look them up at the end of the day, ...more
I read a few pages and couldn’t stand this book – the exact type of humor I do not like. I then noticed that the back cover compared Perry with Bill Bryson and that settled it; I am one of the few who does not like Bryson. Then I left for a 10 day trip out East and began to question my decision. I really needed to read beyond page xii before giving up. So upon return, I gave Truck a second chance. Moving on beyond p xii, I found a lot to enjoy, especially his discussions on the history of his 19 ...more
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing Population 485, from the same author, I immediately checked out this book from the library. I wanted a continuation of the laugh-out-loud descriptions of quirky, but real, small-town folk, mixed in with Perry's profound thoughts. So, mid-way through this book, I felt a bit let down. No sooner had this idea formed in my head, though, I was completely taken in by the month by month retelling of a truck's renovation and a developing love story. Perry has such honesty and sweetness a ...more
Mar 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Paula by: Marilyn
Somewhat reminiscent of Lake Woebegon tales, I enjoyed this humorous memoir about life in rural Wisconsin. Written by a man who talks discursively about day-to-day life over the course of a year, the book reminded me of my own Wisconsin upbringing, which is what really captured my attention. I was more interested in his family, friends and romantic relationship and cared less about his restoration of an old International Harvester truck which provided the context in which his stories were told. ...more
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Michael Perry is one of the more gifted, erudite, charming, homey writers out there.

His original plan was to write a "year in the life" story about his two greatest loves -- gardening ("Seed catalogs are responsible for more unfulfilled fantasies than Enron and Penthouse combined") and his truck (a 1951 International Harvester that he's decided to repair, after it's been sitting on his lawn for far too long).

In that year, though, he met a woman... so it's a love story in a wide variety of ways.
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it
After reading Perry's first book, Population: 485, about his return to his hometown of New Auburn, WI and joining the volunteer fire department I was eager to read the next two. I blasted through Truck: A Love Story, which alternates between an account of the restoration of Perry's beloved vintage International Harvester pick-up truck and his courtship of his future wife. The writing is very good, frequently hilarious, moving … and has the added bonus of being about this beleaguered state that I ...more
Apr 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Being from the same area where Michael Perry is from (we played New Auburn in sports) and also growing up on a farm, there are so many things in his book that I relate to. The thing that stands out the most is the way he can write a sentence and you can immediately envision exactly what he's talking about. He's a mix of an "aw shucks" country boy but throws beautiful and majestic words in there to add a more polished touch. So good! ...more
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Melissa
Shelves: memoir
This is a heart-warming book about love -- love for a truck that represents your past, love for a significant other, love for family and friends, love for gardening, love for small-town people who look out for each other, love for life. In many ways, Perry seems to live the life of a trashy hick, yet he has the voice and thoughtfulness of a poet. And he's really, really funny. I laughed out loud so many times, and often found myself reading excerpts aloud to my husband. ...more
Suzie Quint
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Michael Perry is a word-smith. That's why I read him. He also makes me laugh, as he did with the opening of this book:

I am a stranger in a strange town, and the man standing beside me has just removed his pants. There are mitigating factors—he is well-kempt, we are in a laundromat, and as a registered nurse, I have seen this sort of thing before—but they fail to completely dissipate the tension inherent in sharing close quarters with a pantless stranger.
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I found myself laughing out loud and reading sections to my husband, friends, and co-workers. I identified with Michael Perry's writing on a number of levels....seed catalogs and gardening, cooking, workbenches, feeding squirrels, old pickups, surprises from your siblings who you thought you knew inside and out, the local characters found in every small town, and finding love. A lovely, warm, humorous read. One of my favorites. ...more
Dec 29, 2008 rated it liked it
This isn't exactly accurate by putting it under the "read" column. But ... that's the peril of the Riley dog. I was far enough that I consider it close enough to call. Nothing wrong with this book, but nothing even close to approaching Population 485. ...more
Jun 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a splendid book. I have been a fan of Michael Perry's since I read Population:485. Basically I laughed my way through this book. The writing was brilliant and I cannot say enough good things about Michael Perry. I highy recommend this book. ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
Incredibly charmed by Perry's writing and insight to everyday Midwestern living. Had some incredibly relevant thoughts re: straddling the line of an NPR listening, "educated" writer who grew up in a red country. Appreciative for the perspective! ...more
Sep 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: also for people who dont love trucks
Best non fiction book ive read in a long time.
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Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.

Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom. Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wound up writing by happy accident. He lives with his wife and two da

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