Renaissance Hombre – the Kirkus Review

Renaissance Hombre was just reviewed by Kirkus Reviews – an independent book reviewer based in Texas. Below is the entire review which was released on December 14, 2020 (with permission of Kirkus Reviews). It could’ve been better. But it coulda been worse.

Reflections on a Well-Rounded Life
by Scott W. Petersen
AuthorHouse (236 pp.)
$26.99 hardcover, $13.99 paperback
ISBN: 978-1-72837-234-1
September 18, 2020
A volume of blog posts offers personal anecdotes and addresses serious issues.

Petersen has been running a blog and posting twice a week since 2011. This book is a compilation of his posts over the years. Divided into 17 parts that move thematically rather than chronologically, the collection ranges from humorous childhood memories to book recommendations and is peppered with tidbits of trivia and historical facts. The posts cover both amusing and weighty topics. The author is at his best in the opening pages; the humor is delightful, focusing less on one-line jokes and more on the hilarity of various situations. It’s genuinely funny to learn that Petersen accidentally misdialed a pal’s number when he was a child and then promptly encouraged his friends to make prank phone calls. The author later rhapsodizes about the importance of comedy: “I like jokes. Humor. Comedy. The Three Stooges (are you kidding, Petersen?). The Honeymooners. Seinfeld. I like to laugh. A favorite funny movie? Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Or maybe it’s Airplane! Or Young Frankenstein. Or The Pink Panther. Humor is a great medicine. One of the best.” Petersen also displays sincerity in this well-meaning assemblage. He frequently speaks of tolerance, logic, and rationality when facing the thorny problems of the 21st century. But even when he includes brief quotes or vivid historical moments plucked from his research, his posts, often due to their short length, lack substance, especially for a diverse readership. While he asserts that some of the things he finds “downright icky” include “prejudice” and “intolerance,” he presents a world where, largely, he is not part of the problem. He clearly acknowledges inequality: “Even now there are those who are born into a life of abysmal poverty, suffocating hunger and crippling disease. Raised in countries ravaged by violence, hatred and injustice.” But he shows no interest in fully exploring or questioning why these inequities exist. He simply notes how lucky he is. An amusing but uneven collection.
Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 2600 Via Fortuna Suite 130 Austin, TX 78746

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