Would you enjoy listening for five hours to a Wisconsin volunteer fireman discoursing on a sixteenth-century French essayist? You bet. Michael Perry is a contemporary equivalent of the traditional American humorist exemplified by Mark Twain and Finley Peter Dunne’s “Mr. Dooley”–a faux rube who balances common sense with a droll, biting wit. Far from the wise yokels of old, Perry possess a voice and delivery that could easily fit the anchor’s chair of any major news network. He is funny and engaging, and he knows his stuff. These few hours really do tell you a great deal about Montaigne, and literature and philosophy, and firefighting, and a whole lot more that you wouldn’t think would be relevant or funny–but is.
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