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had to flee Los Angeles, s.o.s, Disgruntled state of Dystopia as the kids say
May 24
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APRIL 23, 2012 9:56AM

Mathew Paust's, if the Woodsman is Late

Rate: 27 Flag

My longtime OS buddy, Matt Paust, had gone and written a book about guns, was my impression. After flipping through the book before settling in with it, I saw too that there were essays about sports. Football, to be more exact. More closer inspection made me see that there was so much more here than that.


The forward to the book does not lie when it says,

"If you like the way I tell stories but don't like guns there's plenty for you here."

There was also a vast and literate assortment  of  essays and fiction pieces about death, urination masterization, and all sorts of exciting peeks into the life of someone I have been curious about.  By book’s end I learned about BMG’s, Guttmans, and got to read about the life of a man with a love of writing and an uncanny ability for   getting out of scrapes in  local or exotic locales. I sat rapt as I learned about his father and mother and friends and tried to master his mantra," Be still. Be patient. Be brave. Abide. Forgive. Love."


His mediation on this recently discovered chinese fortune cookie  wisdom was one  of my favorites.  Though this piece was labeled as fiction I supsected that it was thinly veiled non fiction and so found it even more personal and interesting.


I’d already had the pleasure or reading some of these stories since they were posted on Open Salon. But, there were plenty more that were completely new to me. And, each one provided some fine writing and interesting antecdotes from an interesting and  adventure rich life .


Guns and football are things that I’ve heard about but have no personal experience with.

I have never owned a gun or watched a single game of football. This might change after reading his book of essays, IF THE WOODSMAN IS LATE.


With guns, I can now  see the arguments, if not the allure. Matt, clearly a man of olfactory proclivities makes me want to own and shoot one just to award  my  half dead nostrils,  such a supposedly exciting smell as gunpowder.

 now know that wolves can come at your door and take you away . Even before reading this, I began to viscerally understand the need for a gun or the want for a gun . The cover image really was inspired.mattpbookcover

What if Red Riding Hood was armed. What if all fictional victim characters were packing heat?

It strikes me as uniquue--  a first hand account, of one man’s relationship to guns and gun ownership in America. I, at least, am not aware of any book on this subject.

I’d seen and even held guns, belonging to my soldier cousins, in Israel, but that is different. The American does not fear existential annihiliation if not armed , and so the gun debate will rage on indefinately.

I'd never discussed guns with anyone . To read about Matt's experiences and love of guns from early childhood, then  in the Army, and overseas ,and then as a reporter was a treat.

We get to learn about how Matt, out of righteous indignation, signed up for the army, rather than succumb to the allures of Nepotism, promised by his well connected father. His mother, Gert, goes to battle herself, in this very interesting chapter. " I don't think so, Mr Guttman."

This act of integrity led to years of learning hard to learn langauges , and being present in such locales as Germany and almost even Libya(You'd have to read the book to understand.)  Matt is also persona non grata in Ibiza. Not everyone can say that.


Matt has not only traveled the world but has gone on strange unsolicited LSD trips, and then had the presence of mind still to watch the races and drive home and try to get his editor to agree to a scheme!

To have a clue as to  what that was about and why Matt Paust had to flee to Majorca, you'll need to order a copy at:

Guns play a pivotal role in Mattie and then Matt Paust's life.  It starts in small town Wisconsin(as he enjoys the cops and robbers type play with his friend, Mark) and comes a horrible full circle when we learn that an unarmed Mark, and his wife, were to be murdered by guns, in a distant future.

Though Matt speaks of being slight of build(To my surprise. I thought he was a big  and burly fella!) ,  this book is full of testosterone.  Nary an ovary can be sensed, except in a very few stories.   But it is not only manly men who will enjoy it.

Womanly ladies  and boyish girls , and a whole spectrum of  gender ambiguities, will find much here too, I promise.



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Excellent review, fernsy. I have his book too, but accidently left it with my daughter when I was visiting. I'm waiting for her to return it--even more anxiously now.
Jlsathre: Thank you. I am finding this reviewing business to be very HARD. My brain is not working well so ...One more and you'll find me dead in my bed. I also misplaced it for awhile, and regret the belatedness . I hope Matt forgives abides etc.
"Matt has not only traveled the world but has gone on strange unsolicited LST trips, and then had the presence of mind still to watch the races and drive home and try to get his editor to agree to a scheme!"

Larry: Sorry. LSD. Fixed it. LST could be some valid acronym, I'm guessing.
Sounds like an interesting chap. I will have to check out his blog. Thanks for the heads-up. I enjoyed the review. R
I didn't know if LST was something else.
You can delete my comments if you want.
Thanks for the review. So proud of any Oser who publishes a book. Good job Matt.
Great review Fernsy, But I doubt it would make me want to buy a gun. The book yes./r
Great review. Love the cover and title. So much talent here on OS.
Wonderful review, my friend. I confess I am a gun owner (don't think you knew that), so am curious to what he has to say on said subject, among other things. Sounds like a terrific book!
Book marked to buy a copy.
Larry: I would never delete you. End of story.
Gerald Anderson: Very interesting chap and a good man too. Thanks.
Zanelle: Yeah, it's a tough thing to do. Kudos to Matt and a thank you to you.
ChristineGeery: Owning a gun seemed so foreign to me as a jewish new yorker, but now I get how it can make a lot of sense. Sad statement but sometimes you just learn things you never wanted to learn. Thank you.
SarahC: Yep, so many talented and interesting people here. You included.

Erica: You are right. Did not know that.I never planned to mess with you but now even less so. Would love to hear the story behind that. Matt has a lot of interesting things to say.
Matt: I'll take your mwah and send one back. Mwah!
AndeBliss: Great. Thanks.
My friend & mentor Matt has led a most interesting life, it seems!
A sort of cross between Hemingway & Hunter Thompson,
as you hint...
Yeah, i thought he was burly & manly, too.
Leaking testosterone out of his ears, I believe it!
That cover, by the way, has made an impressive entrance
to my Top 100 Favorite Images of all time., at number 67 &

As a sensitive milquetoast kinda bookwormy guy,
I have high hopes for this book to buck my Y-chromosome up.
Also I hope to learn alot of cool stuff about my pally boy.
Matt has an original style and an intriguing descriptive imagination. That makes what he writes interesting and fun. All the best to you Maestro Matt. Great post, fernsy. R
Missed this post... excellent review.
What a delightful review! And it makes me want to read this clearly delightful book even more than I did already. I spent money on books in the US like they were going out of style, so I now have to get my finances - and myself - together - but I plan to put Matt's book in my next wave of purchases.
What a wonderful review, Fernsy.
James: out the ears is right. Out the ears! Dripping onto his manly huge sideburns.
As a womanly chap you will not feel alienated when reading. As a matronly milquetoast you will find much of interest too.
Toth! Good to see you. Yes, everything you said is true.
Jmac: I await the day I can discover your blog. Thanks.
Alysa: I'm sure Matt will be patient as you pull you sweet self up back to prosperity.
Miguela: Thanks. It's not easy to try to express.... so much... I appreciate your kind words.
A fun review, Fernsy. He reveals himself to be more a character than I already suspected. And not burly? I, too, am surprised.

Plus, sweetie, you look ravishing in blue.
Thank you for alerting me to a side of Matt that I wasn't aware of-R-
I have no interest in guns either, but I enjoyed Matt's book. Guns are not the only subject, of course, and it's not a simple pro-Second Amendment screed. It's a nuanced look at the use of guns and the part it has played in his life. Maybe he would have gotten more sales if it was a Second Amendment screed, but it wouldn't have been as enjoyable a read.
Thanks Fernsy. Enjoyed your review. I grew up with guns and have always viewed them for what they are... tools. Like any tool they can be misused by fools...i.e. banging in a nail with staple gun. Thanks again
I bought a copy for my neighbor and he really enjoyed it.
You said the reviewing was hard, but boy, you sure do it well. I find I read little any more, mostly here. My life is type. If I am not typing my work, I am typing my poems of heart. But this is a book I want to read. Guns have always been in my life, Pops, his brothers, and our boys were all big, strappin' hunters and fishermen, and they are just commonplace to me. I was given a magnificent S&W ivory bird-handled .38, and I found from the outset that I was a deadnuts shot with it. Surprised me. I shot my first birds at 16 with a little Savage .22, and swore I would never fire a gun again. But when I was given the .38, it just - fit me. It was hard to imagine any man wanting to own this gun, it was so obviously designed for a woman. The book I have, Armed and Female, by Ex-Secret Servicewoman Paxton Quigley, is an excellent read, but very technical and written with a lot of legalese. So..Matt's my next read on the subject, as it sounds like a real romp! Good show, Matt! And great job, Fernsy!
Thanks for the review, Fernsy. I love the cover!! As with Bea's book, I'm going to request that our local library buy a copy -- they're pretty good about getting whatever a patron puts on the list. Then a lot of people will be introduced to Matt.
Thank you again, Fernsy. You made my day - my week - with this wonderful review, and thanks to all of you who have commented with kind words for Fernsy and me. And, Bell, I'm indebted to you again (as I am every time I read one of your amazing posts). I tried to get my local library to stock copies of mine and Amy's but they wanted me to donate the books. I might at some point but at the time I needed all the ones of mine I had.
OMg your good and thanks so much for writing this and supporting MP!