Katherine Coble's Reviews > The Way I Heard It

The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe
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it was ok
bookshelves: library-checkout


I got this out of the library because I’d heard it was “like Paul Harvey”. Rowe even references Paul Harvey’s radio show in the intro.

I should confess that as a teenager in the 1980s I bought all of Paul Harvey’s TROTS paperbacks. They were the twist-ending stories from his radio show, compiled in book form. Each book had several stories, each 2-3k words or so. Most of them were very good. They all taught me a lot about life.

In Paul Harvey’s books the story was just there. Here’s a story about a man who failed at everything he tried. Until...the rest of the story...Harlan sanders opened a fried chicken restaurant.
Then it’s on to the next story. Great stuff!!

This book? Rowe grabs a short story, obscuring the real name of the person until the end and you find out that the brash young man was really Ronald Reagan or something. (Not a spoiler. Made up that example.) Instead of stopping right there with a well-told short story and leaving you to take away whatever you like, Rowe pivots. He adds a long story about _his own life_ that relates very tangentially to the Harveyesque story he just told. He uses that exercise to hit the reader over the head with the lesson he wants you to take away.

The PH books were always very instructive, but they trusted their readers. They were never didactic or patronizing. And they weren’t at all self-aggrandizing.

Unfortunately, Rowe’s book is all three of those things. It’s didactic and patronizing and very self aggrandizing. I returned it to the library after a few stories because I don’t like authors shoving me.

(Oh, I should also add that all the “twist ending” stories he featured were ones I’ve come across multiple times already. So he didn’t go out of his way to find material.)

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Reading Progress

March 29, 2020 – Started Reading
March 29, 2020 – Shelved
March 29, 2020 – Finished Reading
March 31, 2020 – Shelved as: library-checkout

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