"Never Sniff a Gift Fish" is not one of Patrick McManus' best efforts. If this is the only one of his books you have read, try "A Fine and Pleasant Misery", ""The Grasshopper Trap", "How I Got This Way" or most of the rest of his earlier books. They are hilarious ...ALL the way through!!
One reason I like McManus is that you can actually share his stories with all members of a family - they aren't restricted to those with a crass sense of humor.
Hilarious, at first. Then gradually the reader realizes that no matter how many absurd things happen, the narrator will always assume that others are adulating his extreme skill and hyper-intelligence rather than nearly passing out with laughter or panic when his latest escapade has resulted in nearly getting himself killed – or at least getting run over with his own homemade airplane full of fishing gear. The side characters (Retch Sweeny, Rancid Crabtree, Bun, and Crazy Eddie) are all funny in their way too, but like the narrator, begin to get predictable as the episodes continue. I’ll give the book five stars for the first third (the homemade canon, thoughts on fishing philosophy and empty gas tanks, and burglar incident are all pretty funny) but fewer as it proceeds -- though there are a couple of unrelated chapters near the end that approach the heights of the beginning.
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