Book Review | On Admiration
Author: W.D. Wetherell
On Admiration is a neat little book. It’s hard to describe better than the author does (No book quite like this one has ever been attempted before.”), but I can tell you this: It’s different, it’s well-written, it’s nostalgic, it’s heart-warming.
The author (correctly, probably) thinks his life is too ordinary, too uneventful to be the subject of an autobiography. However, when it’s weaved into vignettes about his heroes, it works. It works really well.
Wetherell opens with Dwight D. Eisenhower and recounts his fascination, admiration (hence the title), and love for the former president. It’s charming.
Personally, the segment about Mickey Mantle was the most endearing. It’s hard not to fall in love with a man’s memories of his childhood when it is wrapped up in baseball — a fond remembrance of the very first baseball game he went to with his father, of becoming enamored with The Mick (an unlikely hero, being a Yankee…but the Dodgers had abandoned him by that point), of how Mantle became the epitome of courage for a generation that didn’t have “heroes,” per se.
Rosa Parks, Robert Frost, Tom Paxton, and Herman Melville are among those whose stories are weaved with Wetherell’s. But the epilogue recounts a moving, emotional moment between Wetherell and his teenaged son, when they went to see Senator Barack Obama speak. What a great addition to an already meaningful book about people who have done extraordinary things and exemplified the best of humanity. But it’s not just a telling of these heroes…it’s a remembrance, of how they touched his life, how they affected him. On Admiration is a wonderful book, it’s short (about 200 pages), and it’s packaged succinctly in a small, glossy volume that looks somewhat like a journal. I would definitely get this for the father or grandfather on your gift list.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*