501 Minutes to Christ
By Poe Ballantine
(Hawthorne Books, Paperback, 9780976631194, 240pp.)
Publication Date: September 2007
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Poe Ballantine’s second collection of personal essays follows, and expands on, his acclaimed Things I Like About America. Ballantine’s world is a crazy quilt of odd jobs, eccentric characters, boarding houses, buses, and beer, rendered in the author’s by turns absurd and poignant voice. The Irving” briskly details the author’s diabolic plan to punch John Irving in the nose after opening for him before an audience of 2,000 people at the prestigious Wordstock Festival. Wide-Eyed in the Gaudy Shop” takes readers on a wild ride through Mexico as Ballantine meets and marries his wife Christina. Blessed Meadows for Minor Poets” offers a devastating take on the author’s life as his years of struggle to secure a major contract for a short story collection end in catastrophe. The writer the Seattle Times called part Huck Finn, part Hunter S. Thompson” brings a blistering wit and shrewd observation to this composite portrait of an unconventional life.