Entertaining, Nostalgic Look at Paperboy Days
"Adventures of the Last Great American Paperboy," by Ken Hohman
As Paperboy Days opens, the narrator is facing a steep, ice-covered road, towering above him “like a crystal giant … This was my Mount Everest and there was no way to finish my morning paper route without reaching its summit. This was not going to be easy.”
Amusing melodrama plays a repeating role in Richmond writer Ken Hohman’s book, Paperboy Days: Adventures of the Last Great American Paperboy. Another recurring theme is grit and determination: “As I strategized a zig-zag path up the hill, I wondered how many paperboys might skip the last six customers and simply head home.” Hohman would not be one of those.
In a humorous style reminiscent of A Christmas Story, Hohman carries the reader with him through eight years of early morning exploits while delivering the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette., with occasional forays into daytime life. It transports the reader back through the decades to the days of youth. Without being preachy, the stories emphasize the value of youthful employment in teaching skills useful in adulthood. Whether combating bad weather, facing threatening dogs, collecting on overdue accounts or reaching out to a recently widowed customer, the young narrator habituates important life skills.
Paperboy Days is Ken Hohman’s first book, but he learned to craft words as an advertising copywriter and creative director, writing professionally for more than 25 years.
As a memoir rather than novel, each chapter provides conflicts and resolutions, like a collection of short stories. Though the action is set in Hohman’s hometown of Pittsburgh, especially enjoyable to those familiar with the Pennsylvania town, the anecdotes and engaging style can appeal to many.
Paperboy Days: Adventures of the Last Great American Paperboy, by Ken Hohman
234 pages, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015
Also available in Kindle Edition