Michael Perry narrates this audiobook which adds to the entertainment, as he is a humorous and thoughtful speaker. I've read and enjoyed all of Perry's previous books on rural life in northwestern Wisconsin. He can be described as a redneck intellectual, and his stories of hunting, farming, plowing, and sawing are filled with detailed reflections on the joys and frustrations of working outdoors in the company of family and friends. Tom is Perry's 82 year old neighbor, and although the book centers around him, it is just as much about Perry's home and family.
There is not a lot of action in this book, or any of Perry's books, yet their folksy stories and humor provide many memorable moments. His tale of woe as he tries to prevent the highway commission from changing the road near his home to a configuration that would make it more dangerous mirrors Tom's past struggles with the state when they built a noisy highway through his property. This back story runs throughout the book and highlights a changing world where the values of the two men are somewhat antiquated. Like the Little House series, those Midwestern classics, Perry's focuses on the importance of place, being neighborly, the conflict between the old ways and modernization, and finding comfort in the outdoors. Listening to Perry is like a visit at the kitchen table with an old friend.