Written by Jon Hassler
Peel: A week in the life of a thirty-five year old male teacher in Minnesota.
This is a very slow moving, amusing, readable, and re-readable piece. Through Hassler’s lovely prose and storytelling prowess, the book reels you in until you simply can’t put it down. Not only do the characters have excellent names, like Beverly Bingham, they’re also well-developed and interesting. Hassler did a fantastic job in creating the protagonist bachelor teacher, who has serious faults but is still likable and realistic. Hassler also does an excellent job in making the mundane memorable and exciting. The plot itself urges one to think about ethics and education. For example, how emotionally close can a student be to a teacher before it becomes unacceptable?
This was written in the seventies, and it vaguely shows with some sexism and references to the American Indian Movement. Though the ending wasn’t surprising, it still felt like it came out of left field as it just didn’t mesh with the rest of the novel.
Nibble: “Mrs. Bingham raised chickens for sale, and if she sold you a fryer or a roasting hen for Sunday dinner she would call at your house on Monday (it was said) to retrieve the skeleton and feed it to the chicken she would sell you next week.”
I would heavily recommend this book to anyone with patience.
My Rating: 9 out of 10 apples just plucked from the tree