Swygert

Growing Up in the Middle of Nowhere in a Little Town Nobody Ever Heard Of

Non-Fiction - Humor/Comedy
208 Pages
Reviewed on 06/01/2012
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Author Biography

Growing up in a tiny rural town may not be appealing to everyone, but in this collection of short stories, author Jeffrey Harold Utterback shows that he can at least laugh about it. Each chapter is a stand-alone tale that provides a whimsical look at what life was like for a small-town boy growing up in the middle of nowhere.

Utterback is a natural story teller. He welcomes the reader into his unusual world as his boyhood adventures and misadventures are brought to life on the page. The agricultural backdrop provides a unique canvas as the author lovingly uses the quirks and idiosyncrasies of his friends and family members to paint a picture of the big experiences he enjoyed in his little town.

Peppered throughout are fond recollections of the features in his home-town which were a mischievous attraction during his childhood. Utterback describes from a boy's point of view—the details of the doghouse, the secrets of the cemetery, the routine of the railroad, the goings-on at the grain elevator, the etiquette at the elementary school, the formality of the 4-H Club, the art of bicycle maintenance, the science of burning garbage, and the complete desirability continuum of those highly valuable telephone pole insulators.

Enjoy the ride as Utterback invites you along for a reality-inspired journey into his small-town boyhood of the 1970s.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers' Favorite

Wow! The memories of growing up in a town where there are only a few houses scattered around, a cemetery, a church and maybe a country story or a junkyard? Well, author Jeffrey Utterback grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere in Swygert, Illinois, a small town where the population was under one hundred. Can you imagine going to a school with only twenty-two students in all, from Kindergarten to sixth grade? That could be really good, or it could be really bad. In his book “Swygert,” Jeffrey Utterback gives us a taste of what it was like growing up in his small town. And he does it in a collection of stories about things that happened in his life. If you grew up in a small community, you will laugh and cry at the heartwarming memories this author brings to life.

Having grown up in a small town, I loved reading this book because it brought back so many memories. Jeffrey Utterback is a gifted story teller and you will find yourself amazed at the way he takes us on a journey back to his childhood years. Like burning trash outside? Kids today would cringe at that. Along with the 'Garbage' story, my other favorites were the 'Christmas Junkie and Roasting Weenies', and of course the 'Red Neck 4H club'. I highly recommend this book for just a good, fun and clean read. Sometimes it is great to find a book like this to read that will cause you to forget about the fast pace of life for just a little while. Why not grab a copy and enjoy?