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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
The Saga of Chief Barking Loincloth: Book One - In Search of a Hero by Larry Sargeant is the somewhat embellished quasi-memoir of the author, written to entertain as his life is reenacted across the pages by its new protagonist, Alan Bentley. The book begins with Alan's description of a life not quite up to the financial standards of other kids he knew, but neither so low down that he's wearing feedbags like Edna Ryan (although homemade skis aren't a far cry). Alan dreams of being a hero. What kind of hero? That's not terribly important, so long as he becomes one. As a young adult he joins the Army, which he's sure is ripe with hero potential. As the quest continues, Alan bumbles through acts which are heroic, even in their hilarity, that only appear to be known to the reader and not Alan himself.
The Saga of Chief Barking Loincloth by Larry Sargeant blends the awkwardness and nostalgia of growing up in a time when playgrounds weren't made out of biodegradable plastic to the excitement of newly minted adulthood. "They had told me to come to the stage door, knock, and ask for them by name. ... Had I attained any of the hero status I claimed to seek, I might have been able to summon the courage to knock on the door." Sargeant's writing is tight and witty, and his ability to tell a story (his, Alan's, or a sublime blend of both) is top-notch. I really enjoyed his literal jump into skydiving, at which he ends up being remarkably skilled. I'd recommend this book to those who enjoy a great story with a side of prolonged belly laughs.