I once read a farewell letter that said, “Goodbye my love. I’m starving and trapped in the mountains. I want to write you a longer letter, but now, out of desperation, I’m forced to eat my other arm. My only two regrets in life are that I couldn’t have spent my final moments with you, and that I am wearing my brother’s shirt right now and I’ve managed to get blood all over it. After they find my body, do you think you could have this shirt dry cleaned and return it to him? Well, I’ve got to go–it’s lunchtime. Now I wish I had taken Orafoura’s advice and kept packets of ketchup in my wallet at all times.”
Do you know who wrote that letter? My brother. (Yes, I did get my shirt back, and yes, the stains did come out).
Well, Scott Gandert’s book reminds me a lot of my brother, except his book doesn’t have shaggy blonde hair, a wooden leg, an eye patch, and a parrot on his shoulder. Wait, that was a generic description of a pirate, which is something my brother definitely did not look like. But if you could reverse-personify a person, and make that person into an inanimate object, my brother would have been like this book: Funny, sweet, and short (my brother was only 62 pages tall).
But after reading this book, I am convinced that Scott Gandert is the Steve McQueen of literature. This book has a hip, free-flowing style that makes “On The Road” feel like a series of speed bumps. And I have a confession to make. I actually don’t have a brother. But this book made me wish that I did have a brother, one like Scott, and that my memories were more like his memories. Real or imagined, his recollections serve to bring you closer to home, even if you never lived there.