A Peck of Trouble:
Mr. Teve's Tall Tales
Steven P. Locke (iUniverse, 2013, Trade Paperback) 218 pages, $17.95 cover price
One never knows what one is quite getting one's self into when an approach for review is presented by an independently published author. The odds are mightily stacked against an enjoyable reading experience – usually a writer goes the indy route after accumulating a fine stack of tearable firestarters in the form of rejection slips from major, mid-market and regional publishing houses. That grim experience is usually followed by a swelling of the pride and an equally rash-coloured inflation of opinion as the intrepid typist proclaims to the inebriate on the next bar stool, 'I am a great writer! Those corporate bastards just can;t see it!' You know them. They're your old friends from university with a poster of Jack Kerouac on the bathroom wall and they drop the names Buckowski and Proust into conversation even if you're talking about mid-season call-ups from the minors by the Chicago Cubs.
However, we reviewers are kind and generous folk and we have just bought new bookshelves that require filling, so now and again we respond, 'Oh what the hell, send me the book.' And every now and again, we get a bit of fun out of the deal. Thank Christ this was one of those experiences.
Steven P. Locke is a History teacher and writer from Granville, Ohio. He is also one of those rarest of human species: the guy who take the personal stories he has used ti entertain friends and family gatherings with for years and make them readable too. I laughed my head off at A Peck of Trouble, and trust me, I am usually a lousy audience for comedy.
Whether it is Locke's tales of his former Vice-Principal Jawain Nu Deck (John Nudeck), Army basic training, or a Grade Seven field trip, Locke makes the anecdotes, real, identifiable and dead funny. This is a great book for the summer cottage and he has reinforced my belief in indy writer-kind. Cheers!