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Gumption Audiobook

Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers

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Publisher's Summary

The star of Parks and Recreation and author of the New York Times best seller Paddle Your Own Canoe returns with a second book that humorously highlights 21 figures from our nation's history, from her inception to present day - Nick's personal pantheon of "great Americans".

To millions of people, Nick Offerman is America. Both Nick and his character, Ron Swanson, are known for their humor and patriotism in equal measure.

After the great success of his autobiography Paddle Your Own Canoe, Offerman now focuses on the lives of those who inspired him. From George Washington to Willie Nelson, he describes 21 heroic figures and why they inspire in him such great meaning. He'll combine both serious history with light-hearted humor - comparing, say, George Washington's wooden teeth to his own experience as a woodworker. The subject matter will also allow Offerman to expound upon his favorite topics, which listeners love to hear - areas such as religion, politics, woodworking and handcrafting, agriculture, creativity, philosophy, fashion, and, of course, meat.

©2015 Nick Offerman (P)2015 Penguin Audio

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Skeggman 04/08/2015
    Skeggman 04/08/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "One for Offerman / Swanson fans."

    If you have read 'Paddle Your Own Canoe' or watched 'American Ham' and enjoyed them, this is one for you.

    Essentially, Nick takes us through a selection of his American heroes who have displayed Gumption in their achievements. This starts with some of the the usual suspects in a few historical greats which I found interesting as an Englishman with a limited knowledge of American history and then takes us on a journey of more contemporary or obscure individuals, many of whom you will feel the need to discover more about. I can absolutely say that as a result of this book, I have a hunger to learn more about Frederick Douglass - what a legend!

    I especially enjoyed Nick's reasons for choosing his subjects, not so much for what they achieved as how they achieved what they did.

    Overall, I enjoyed the book. I liked listening to something clearly aimed at Americans, but openly exploring some of the more shameful elements of American history and current affairs whilst openly celebrating those special things about the country and it's trailblazers. He has an honesty that I was not expecting and I found his writing quite refreshing.

    I'd recommend this to anyone who liked Nick before, I suspect that you will like him (and probably the USA) even more when you have finished the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 29/11/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    11
    2
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    "A matter of taste"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the first half of this book a lot, Offerman is funny and it's always enjoyable to hear an irreverent take on historical characters.

    My issue with the book is with the second half, where Offerman focuses on heroes from his own life. The humour is dropped almost entirely for an earnest homage to people who have been important in his life, mostly artists, writers and musicians and combined with a constant repetition of his somewhat cliche message that we should all live a simpler life.

    This is fine, and some people will enjoy it I'm sure, but it's not clear from the description that half the book is stories about a load of contemporary artists that I have never heard of (bar Yoko) and probably wouldn't like anyway. Combined with the not-as-clever-as-he-thinks-it-is lifestyle messaging it was enough to stop me finishing the book.

    One the plus side Offerman's narration is as excellent as you would expect and if the subject matter is to your taste you'll probably enjoy it a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard E. 17/07/2016
    Howard E. 17/07/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Brilliant"

    Brilliantly written and spoken by a true wordsmith, an insightful look into Nick's American heroes. Thoughtful as well as thought provoking....such an enjoyable listen that I feel saddened to have reached the epilogue...look forward to his next work...H

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ben 18/03/2016
    ben 18/03/2016 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent"

    Loved every minute. Was an interesting listen and educational as well as being not only entertaining but in parts, down right funny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • WriterlyWife
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    14/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Swagger and mirth"

    Nick Offerman sold me on this book when I read that it would feature Theodore Roosevelt, Carol Burnett and Jeff Tweedy. I like Offerman -- you know where you stand with guys like him, and you know where guys like him stand on issues.
    Each chapter details the lives and heroism of its subjects. Offerman makes strong cases for each person he picked, and uses their gumption as a springboard for his own views on politics, religion, comedy, the environment, and a host of other issues.

    Offerman is likable and his main points -- that we need to be people of courage and kindness -- are timely and poignant.
    What I didn't like about the book is that Offerman takes the opportunity in nearly every chapter to lay out his case about the same few topics. Certain types of religious folks, especially evangelical Christians, are the subject of many of these rants. The other thing that I struggled with is that his modern heroes are all his buddies or folks he already admired in some way. He wasn't moved by discovery very often, so the reader doesn't get the thrill of discovery with him. I agree with him that this type of book is "necessarily subjective," but the later chapters lack the freshness and enthusiasm as the earlier ones, simply because more research and discovery were involved.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Kevin
    23/07/15
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    Performance
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    "Inspirational"

    I am big fan of Nick Offerman and his works. Even more so now. I am not much of a reader, mainly because I find myself dozing off after a page or two of any book, so audio is definitely my favorite option. The author's voice is very pleasant I must say. -Nick, if things don't work out with Mr. Tweedy, I would gladly take his place. haha. However, I am also a heterosexual and married to and outstanding woman whom I still sometimes don't understand how I managed to land- While I cannot say I agree with 100% of his political views, I respect and can understand his opinions. And as I've learned, I feel the author would nod in approval. I enjoyed the bits of history and will be researching more about the lives of the people on his list.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in understanding the importance of progressing the "togetherness of humankind". From this book, and his last, I have grow in maturity and have truly come to know myself better; or at least now I have a better way to explain how I really feel about religion and the world.

    I rate this book a 5 across the board. Nick is a great story teller and I do hope he will be writing another soon.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas Cottrell
    02/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great series of short biographies."

    None of the subjects are delved into too deeply, but a breadth of great Americans are highlighted here in enough detail to make you look knowledgeable at a cocktail party, all delivered in Offerman's erudite style.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Chris Paplow
    23/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mirth all around"

    Nick's book is amazing and full of inspiration. I think it will take me years to peruse all of the tasty and delicious suggested reading and music recommendations within. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • J.C.
    19/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well Done"

    Nick Offerman combines quick wit, humbly gracious manners, and a lumberjacks work ethic. A funny and compelling tale of great Americans whose stories hopefully shape our own.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Joe
    08/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Buy it and listen, or buy it and don't. I recommend the former."

    Funny, informative, and at times, thought provoking. I love the comedy of Nick Offerman, and I could listen to him tell stories until he falls over with exhaustion.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    04/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Feels like a nice intelligent chat"

    Enjoyable and made me think
    Less humor more thought than first book but overall still a great listen

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Charles
    01/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best anything ever"

    While Nicks first book finally brought literacy as a pleasure into my life, this book has expanded exponentially my love of words and brought into light great aspirations of people that previously never conjured my mind as interesting or decent into whole new lights.

    16 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Michelle Sandlin
    Houston, TX
    17/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Excellent Mr. Offerman! You renewed my interest in American history and surprised me by our shared list of heroes (with the exception of one or two).

    Your ability to turn a carefully orchestrated phrase is enviable. You are a masterful storyteller and I hope that you will rank among those who inspire you. Your writing is most inspiring to me.

    Cheers!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Ciau
    17/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ron Swanson!"

    He knows what he wants and what he believes in. He shares a bunch of information that intrigues you with each person he is writing about.

    Great book!
    Hearing Nick Offerman's voice isn't bad either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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