So, as promised, My full review of ‘Should the Tent be Burning Like’ by Bill Heavey.
5 out of 5 Stars!!
I know… out of all the books I give THIS book 5 out of 5?! Well, you’ll just have to read it for yourself to realise why. This book was everything; Funny, emotional, interesting, dramatic, and full of amazing characters! I know that being a book supposedly about outdoors stuff like hunting and fishing people may think that the content just isn’t for them but… I’m pleading you, GIVE IT A CHANCE! I was a vegetarian for 13 years and now I have lived with a hunter for 10 years, so this book was the best of both worlds. Many things reminded me of my boyfriend,
“The hardest part for me is acknowledging that I own more hunting and fishing gear than anyone who has not already appeared on Hoarding: Buried Alive. It’s as if some minister told me at an early age, “We enter and exit this world with nothing. In between, a man’s spiritual salvation depends on getting as much of Cabela’s catalogue into his house as possible”
“I don’t own a single waterfowl decoy, but I do have a huge Primos decoy bag, a perfect place to store my thirty pounds of old tree-stand harnesses. Most are from the torso-only days, before we knew that hanging from your armpits kills you just a bit more slowly than hanging from your neck. The point is that there’s sixty yards of good nylon webbing and seat belt buckles in there. What is I suddenly need to make, say, a really secure canoe seat for a keg of beer? A man wants to be prepared for things like that.”
There were things that reminded me why I came to the conclusion that hunting isn’t as awful as I used to think it was (and is really better than what animals go through before they wind up in our grocery store… but, that’s another story)
“I flashed on the first buck I had killed with a bow. The euphoria of mastery, of besting a wild thing at its own game. I’d dipped a toe into the river that day, been initiated into the mystery and knowledge that all life feeds on other life. It had been both wonderful and terrible, humbling and pride inducing. I remembered being immensely relieved to discover that it hadn’t been wrong to kill.”
“But I had to admit that, like life, hunting was turning out to be a lot more complicated than I’d thought. Memory really doesn’t give a damn what you think. At the yard sale of the mind, memory is the whack job who shows up and ransacks every box-driving off the paying customers- and yelps in triumph at striking gold: an old VFW flyswatter bespattered with its kills. Memory has a mind of its own.”
But, It is a very emotional book as he tells about how an ordinary deer stand can somehow turn itself into a spiritually powerful place, where you can climb in complete strangers and come down hours later knowing things about each other that even your best friends don’t know, and he shares some of these poignant stories of loss.
There is something for everyone in this book and I thank Netgalley and Grove Atlantic, Atlantic Monthly Press for giving me and Advanced copy of this book in exchange for and hanest review. and, honestly, I LOVED IT!
Should the Tent be Burning Like That is Best Served With
Your Best Scotch
So, I chose an 18 yr Glenfiddich myself, which is smooth with notes of dried apricots, cinnamon, woods and toffee. Feel free to choose any scotch you please and do as you please with it. Some prefer a cube of ice or a few drops of water to open up the flavour, I don’t judge!
This is in honour of Bill Heavey’s friend, Jack Unruh, who was a best friend and hunting partner who always brought the best whiskey on their trips and, sadly, passed away of cancer. There was one of my absolute favourite quotes pertaining to him, so I haope you have your Scotch at hand and have made it this far,
“You never really understand why you love someone. Different as we were, each of us recognized something in the other- some spark, some sense of the divine absurdidty of life. We never spoke of this. The closest we ever came was once when having a cocktail on our motel beds after pheasant hunting in South Dakota. Jack always brought the best whiskey, so I saw to it that we drank his first, an I generally poured my drink taller than his. Being a gentleman, he waited years to say anything. “It’s because you’re an optimist and I’m a cynic,” I said airily. “When a cynic’s glass gets below half-full, it’s kind of critical. He’s worried that there might not be more coming. Whereas you’re pretty sure there will be.”