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When the brash old men who hang out in front of the store become a nuisance to the female customers.. the new owner gives his son a lesson in couth by not tolerating the disrespect. I really enjoy listening to John Isaac Jones stories. All have a message about morals and a person's character.
The narration of this book is well done. This book does involve adult situations with some mild language. I requested this book in exchange for my honest review. I do recommend this and John's other book's.
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Set in a small town in the 1950s, the tale is told through a boy’s eyes as he eagerly helps out at his father’s store. It’s an old general store as we don’t see too many of these days. While this tale certainly had it’s share of quaintness to it, I found that it also had some depth. The goings-on witnessed by this lad over a span of years give him some life lessons to contemplate as an adult.
Mr. McAdams is the leader of this little group of 4 or 5 old retired men that like to hang around the store playing dominoes or checkers and swapping stories. They use questionable language from time to time and aren’t always the most congenial group. Mr. Hill is the meanest of the bunch despite having a wife and son in the area. Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Wiseman (spelling?) are some of the followers making small appearances in the tale.
The old men in and of themselves aren’t such an issue but they treat the general store like it was their own private club house (ash trays & spittoons – yuck!) and they don’t take kindly to those that try to barge in on their little fun. There’s talk of politics (1956 was an election year), cursing in front of the ladies, and guffawing at customers who inadvertently drop things on their heads while reaching up to that top shelf. While there are a few ladies that appear or are mentioned, I can’t recall any of them talking. Perhaps the school principal had a line and I know one of them gave an embarrassed cry. Still, it would have been nice to have at least one real female character.
I like how the store owner tries several approaches to working with the old men, who do buy from the store. He’s doing his best to walk that narrow path of making his customers happy but also keeping certain standards. His first appeal, to avoid naughty language in front of the ladies, is grudgingly acquiesced to. However, that turned out to be the first straw that would eventually break the camel’s back.
I really didn’t expect things to go as they did with the old men but I did like being surprised. The story ends with a little reflection from the now grown son and a little followup with one of the grumpy old men. All told, it’s an interesting little piece that shows off the author’s skill at character development through small scenes. I would totally back that store owner in his handling of those grumps!
I received a free copy of this book.
The Narration: Michael T. Downey was a good fit for this book. He had various voices for all the men, though I liked his grumpy Mr. Hill voice the best, it being laced with menace most of the time. For some reason, the F word (which is used once) was bleeped out while the N word (also used once) was said outright. Perhaps this was per the request of the author? Anyway, it came off as odd and the bleep was alarming, briefly making me wonder if I had a notification of some kind or if my battery was dying. Besides that, this was a really good narration.
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