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As a playwright (Fear and Loving in Minneapolis), humorist, and commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Kling is well known for his ability to find comedy in whatever life sends his way, first a birth defect, then a motorcycle accident that has limited his use of both arms. The title piece in this debut collection refers to a fight between Kling's cat and dog that causes his voice-activated computer software to respond by typing "How, how, why, why." Many of these 29 autobiographical tales recount childhood escapades with his father as they flew model airplanes or traveled on family car trips. "Dad's Day" shares the mixed-up phrases a neighbor, Mr. Sloan, creates to dispense wisdom, e.g., "It ain't rocket surgery, for crying outside." With Kling's frequent childhood visits to the emergency room, his father offered this wise instruction as Kling went on wild go-cart rides: "Don't get killed just because you know how." The tales range from a long line of family members who have survived lightning strikes to a third-generation farmer who decides to plant a field of sunflowers because he knows he will never be able to afford a Van Gogh. Recommended for all Minnesota libraries and for literary collections in larger public libraries.-Joyce Sparrow, JWB Children's Services Council, Pinellas Park, FL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Having grown up in Minnesota, Kling can evoke frigid temperatures in a sentence or two; he's similarly skilled at emotional gear-shifting, drawing laughter just a few paragraphs before eliciting tears in essays like 'Prayer' and 'Rio.' Kling's collection will please any fan of his radio home, or of sister Public Radio programs 'This American Life' and 'A Prairie Home Companion'."--"Publishers Weekly" "His compelling stories can be just the jolt you need while waiting in traffic."--Minnesota Public Radio