By Shaun Horrigan
If you’re a returning reader to Rough Cutz, then you’ve probably read a travel recap or homage to Nicolas Cage by “Everywhere Man,” Paul Peters. Paul began blogging years before Linked In listed it as a skill. In fact, I’m not sure if the term “blog” was in the American lexicon when he began his online journal.
During my first encounter with Paul, I thought he might the funniest person I had ever come across when I saw him perform for the Eastern Michigan University incoming freshman class of 1996. An active presence on campus, Paul was dressed like the Larry Johnson character Grandmama from the ‘90s basketball shoe commercials (though I suppose today’s freshmen would describe him as looking like a Tyler Perry character). Although I don’t remember exactly what his act consisted of, I do recall him using the words, “stinky, little monkeys,” which got a hardy laugh out of me.
Coincidentally, I joined Delta Tau Delta, the fraternity Paul had recently helped bring to EMU. (Of the 26 chapter Founding Fathers, he’s considered “Number One.”) Although he wasn’t heavily involved with the day-to-day functions of the fraternity during my freshman year (founding a fraternity would burn anybody out), when he would stop by the house, he was met with requests of “tell us a story, Paul.”
Looking back on it, it’s impressive how Paul was able to enter a room and grab the attention of 20-some young men with his tales of life in the big city of Chicago, or our college town of Ypsilanti. But he had a gift for telling fun stories. And it’s that talent that he brings to his debut work, “Peter in Flight.”
Despite having a friendship with Paul for more than a decade, and being a regular reader of his blog, I really didn’t know what to expect from his first book. And to no real surprise, I immediately enjoyed his narration style.
Before beginning the story, I thought I might imagine Paul’s own voice as the main character, “Peter.” However, probably due to his style, I couldn’t help but have Edward Norton’s “Fight Club” voice in my head while “Peter” keeps a running count of hand shakes, and chronicles life in hotel rooms, airport lounges and trade show floors.
While “Peter” has some very funny exchanges between characters (and quite a few hilarious tales of passive aggressive acts of sabotage), this is truly a love story about a good-hearted man who is dedicated to a woman whom he cannot pursue.
At 130 pages, “Peter in Flight” is a quick read, but a really enjoyable one. I recommend you check it out on Amazon. And if you’re not yet a fan of the Everywhere Man blog, make sure to check it out too.