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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
In a world where thrillers, romance novels, and exposés compete actively to trump one another for bestseller bragging rights, there is nothing as refreshing and restorative as a book which seeks only to praise and preserve positive values and bygone days. As Country as it Gets by Cas Roberts is as charming, fascinating, and personal as a back porch visit. Roberts’ Appalachian narrative reads exactly as one imagines the author might speak - matter-of-fact, down to earth, and peppered with the particular pith and wisdom that characterizes his Kentucky mountain heritage. As Country as it Gets, subtitled Short Stories from Appalachia, offers a series of enthralling vignettes, revealing time-tested tips for success with mule logging, ginseng harvesting, coon hunting, bass fishing, molasses making, and even setting up and running a moonshine still, Appalachian style. Along the way, he espouses and reflects upon positive values and a common sense approach to human relations that will leave even the most cynical reader misty-eyed and longing for simpler times.
As Country as it Gets by Cas Roberts is exactly what its title implies - a heartwarming, homespun account of the pleasures and benefits of clean country living, passed down from generation to generation and quickly becoming lost in the frenzy of our technological age. As Roberts so eloquently states in his story ‘Horses, Mules, and Wagon Riding,’ “Traveling along at about three to four miles an hour does allow a different way to enjoy all the scenery.” This, in essence, is the secret to getting maximum enjoyment from Roberts’ timeless, folklore-infused narrative: go slow, breathe deeply, and savor each moment.