Friday, November 03, 2006

Booknote: Hey Ranger!

Title: Hey Ranger!: True Tales of Humor and Misadventure from America's National Parks
Author: Jim Burnett
Publication Information: Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2005
ISBN: 1-58979-191-6
Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: travel, humor, anecdotes

During his long career as a National Parks ranger, Jim Burnett has seen a lot, and a lot of it has been funny. Lucky for us, he was taking notes. Hey Ranger! is a collection of funny, at times hilarious, at other times gentle, stories of mishaps and humor. From dumb criminals to teens trying to impress a girl with less than stellar results, Burnett catches the humor as he tells the tales, in the process giving the readers an appreciation of what the job of a ranger entails. And no, it is not just living in the woods in a log cabin enjoying the wilderness, though there are days when the ranger does enjoy the beauty of his surroundings, at least until he hears "Hey Ranger!" We learn that the expression can be anything from a greeting, "Hey Ranger! How are you?" to "Hey Ranger! You ought to check that out" to "Hey Ranger! Help!!!!" The book is very easy reading, and Burnett always sets the scene for each park where the stories take place. Those little introductions provide a nice description of the park, and he always includes contact information, just in case you get the urge to visit one of these great places. I recommend this for readers who like anecdotes and humor as well as those wanting to see the lighter side of working as a National Park ranger.

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