Visiting Tom

  • by Michael Perry
  • Narrated by Michael Perry
  • 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What can we learn about life, love, and artillery from an 82-year-old man whose favorite hobby is firing his homemade cannons? Visit by visit - often with his young daughters in tow - author Michael Perry is about to find out.
Toiling in a shop Perry describes as "an antique store stocked by Rube Goldberg, curated by Hunter Thompson, and rearranged by a small earthquake", Tom Hartwig makes gag shovel handles, parts for quarter-million-dollar farm equipment, and - now and then - batches of potentially "extralegal" explosives. As he approaches his 60th wedding anniversary with his wife, Arlene, Tom, famous for driving a team of oxen in local parades, has an endless reservoir of stories dating back to days of his prize Model A, and an anti-authoritarian streak refreshed daily by the four-lane interstate that was shoved through his front yard in 1965 and now dumps over eight million vehicles past his kitchen window every year. And yet Visiting Tom is dominated by the elderly man's equanimity and ultimately - when he and Perry converse over the kitchen table as husbands and as the fathers of daughters - unvarnished tenderness.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I've listened to it four times!

It made me laugh, made me sigh and even.... well you get the picture. It's great.
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- Richard A. Myers

Perry doesn't disappoint

Michael Perry is great. If you don't want to read this, go read any of his other books (including Coop, Population 485, Truck, Off Main Street).

This latest book, like all his books, focuses on life in small-town Wisconsin. It is helpful to his writing that Perry talks to interesting people, but more important is Perry's point of view. His writing is pleasant and funny and you appreciate his perspective and way of explaining the situation.

Though the story is ostensible about Perry's visits with Tom, my favorite parts were those where Perry talks about his own troubles with the roads commission and about his approach to parenting. There are the occasional sad or touching bits too, and that makes the books "human."

Perry narrates and this is reason enough to get the audiobook instead of the book, though I read all the other books on paper. Perry is able to perfectly nail the small-town Wisconsin accent and ways of speaking. You can "hear" this on paper, at least if you've lived in WI, but it's nice to hear it for real in the audiobook.
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- Rachel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-28-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios