Monday, December 24, 2018

Mishegas: A Concrete Tale of Family Quicksand by Harley Dresner

I recently listened to Mishegas: A Concrete Tale of Family Quicksand by Harley Dresner. This is great book to listen to if you're having a bad day or need a laugh. Regardless of your background, upbringing, religious views, etc. there is sure to be a story in the book that will have you laughing out loud. Full review below...

Stories everyone can relate & laugh out loud to!

Mishegas: A Concrete Tale of Family Quicksand by Harley Dresner is a fun, laugh out loud, don’t eat or drink when listening kind of book. 4 ½ solid stars. The book contains stories everyone can relate to or at least can say “I know someone like that” (and if you find yourself saying I don’t have someone like that in my family, it just might be you).

The book is filled with various stories told from Harley’s point of view on outings or dealings with his parents, Gerry and Sydelle, and his uncle Bern. There is a good variety, ranging from his younger days to adult days. By the end, you’re left wanting a little more (in a good way) and it’s bittersweet.
The narrator has potential and was easy to listen to with only a couple hiccups throughout the book. I would listen to another one of his narrations no problem.

Some of quotes I enjoyed:
(In reference to Bern) "I never tired of hearing them. His stories were repeated often but they never got old. I miss those stories terribly. I would give anything to hear them one more time." Bern is someone everyone should have in their lives. His stories helped to make the book as great as it is, especially “The Gouche” incidents. If the author decides to write another book, I hope it is on Bern.
"Mishegas may change, but it never goes away."

The things I didn’t care for: At times, a couple of the stories were long-winded. The narrator use a few voices I could’ve went without (two very small parts). These things did not ruin the book by any means, but were enough for me to deduct a half a star. 

Overall, I recommend the book. Do yourself a favor and listen to this book, especially if you’re having a bad day. 

Parental warnings/trigger advisory: a couple words such as bastard or slurs due to religion or ethnicity (dirty Jew, no good drunk Irishman, etc.- told during two of the Bern stories), two fights resulting from the slurs, cancer, death, brief mention of Korean War (Bern served), the author siding with doctors, and upper nudity of male at doctor’s office. 

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book!

Where to purchase:
Barnes & Noble

More personal thoughts on the book not included in review:
The author says "Mishegas may change, but it never goes away." I couldn't help but think how it changes with each generation, yet the stories will be told to the new generations and live on (especially if you are into genealogy). We all need mishegas in our lives and don't realize how much until it's gone.

I feel for Sydelle (I hope I'm spelling her name correctly- I apologize if I didn't) and her Raynaud’s- it’s a horrible disease. I may have to try her trick of heating up apples.

A little note for the author: it’s easy to side with other medical providers until you have experienced what it’s like to be a patient on the other end, then it’s a life-changing experience and not in a good way generally (speaking from experience). I recall hearing patients horror stories, but you never fully understand until it happens to you. For those wondering why I put author siding with doctors as a trigger warning, this is why. I will not say more other than having a bad doctor or multiple bad visits can be a traumatic experience.

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