|Plot Summary of Population 485|
|"After nineteen years away, writer/EMT Mike Perry returns to his hometown of New Auburn, Wisconsin (population: 485) and joins the volunteer fire department. Two of his brothers are also volunteers, their mother is an EMT, and the operation functions within such a small, tightly-knit community that nearly all emergency calls have some personal relevance to them.
Perry reflects on many of the town's traditions and characters, beginning with the history New Auburn, its inhabitants, and its fire department. He spends several chapters describing his sometimes hilarious, sometimes gruesome personal experiences as a nurse and urban ambulance worker before his eventual return home, as well as small town lawn ornamentation, vanishing family farms and businesses, and the difficulties of "belonging" in a town where, as he says, "working-class prejudice never quite shakes the idea of art as frivolity." The book concludes with Perry's retelling of an incident in which tragedy strikes his own family, and the book's theme of family and neighbors rescuing each other. "
Jacqueline West, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Population 485|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Period of greatest activity?
- small town
Subject of Biography
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Smarter than most other people
- very athletic
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 7 ()
Small town people:
- nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- explicit references to deaths
Is book humorous?
If humorous, kind of humor
Commentary on society?
- a lot of flashback and forwards
- a lot of stream of consciousness
Writer's slant towards subject:
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of set of events during life
How much dialogue in bio?
- significantly more descript than dialog
How much is philosophy rather than life story?
- 0-25% of book
Click here for more information about this book
Mike Perry Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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