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Book Review: "Chickens One Day, Feathers the Next"

by Guinotte Wise

I loved this book of straight-talking, large-living, humorous horse sense essays! Find my review below or on Goodreads.


Over the holidays I imbibed Guinotte Wise’s wise — and wise-cracking! — book of living large essays, “Chickens One Day, Feathers the Next.”

In his 80s now, this sculptor, horseman, motorcycle enthusiast, rodeo rider, screenwriter and former ad man and alcoholic can spin a yarn about his past, present and no less than the state of the world. He does so with the clarity of someone who’s lived a colorful life and doesn’t try to be anyone but his flawed, humorous self.

One of my favorite essays, “The Horse Worrier,” winds its meandering and very amusing way through the author’s unrequited love for horses until becoming an ode to his favorite beast, Percy: “He spoiled me for all time, made me think that I was some kind of natural horseman, pumped my ego way up, and became, in a very short time, my partner.”

Though Wise lived for a time in Los Angeles, his writing voice, and the characters he writes about, are rural Midwesterners who don’t mince words, like Percy’s previous owner, who was ready to sell the spirited animal because, “Sumbitch drug me on a gravel road.”

What a treat to hear from an author with that rare Mark Twainian mix of wisdom and humorous self-deprecation!


For updates about Martha’s forthcoming memoir, Bliss Road (June 2023), historical novel, The Falcon, the Wolf and the Hummingbird (October 2023), or other books, news and giveaways, subscribe to her website.

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