Hurry Walter, There is a Possum in the Hen House: What a Mess Down on the Farm

Cricket Webb

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 130 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9781532095610 Reviewed: April, 2021 Author Website: Visit »

In her cover notes, author Cricket Webb writes that it’s time for a humorous book about real people and their funny (and true) stories. To that end, she has penned this collection of 125 tales about four generations of her rural Missouri family.

All families have funny stories about each other. Webb’s family, though, seems to be exceptionally entertaining. The stories are short and lightweight. One fishing trip with her father ends early when he sneezes so hard his dentures fly off into the lake. An aunt and uncle decide to unclog a basement sewer by pumping a flammable substance into it; it ignites and sends flames dancing around the basement. The family dog develops explosive diarrhea on a Florida beach, sending beach-goers scurrying.

Throw in Webb’s open-door policy toward mischievous grandchildren and strays—dogs, cats, possums, skunks and more—and there’s plenty of fodder for fun. Not every story is meant to be funny, though, and some tales are more commonplace than captivating. For the most part, however, Webb’s storytelling skills are solid.

Unfortunately, her writing style can be problematic. Unneeded capitalization, spelling errors and a barrage of unnecessary commas can make for a choppy read. Sentences run on, taking odd twists and turns: “The closest registered tomcat we could find as a sire in the area we had to drive almost an hour to get him to come to visit our little princess was a beautiful boy with allergies.” A pet’s name will change from sentence to sentence, and stories about her grandsons too often involve baby talk. When these nettlesome distractions come in rapid succession, the book suffers.

Such writing issues will likely deter many readers. But those willing to overlook the grammatical glitches will find largely entertaining tales of everyday country life.

Also available as an ebook.

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