Jim Mize, an award-winning South Carolina author who tends to come off as the reserved, quiet type, has a funny bone the size of a moose rib embedded in his body.
Mize’s first two books, “The Winter of our Discount Tent” and “A Creek Trickles Through it,” drew splendid reviews. His work, usually in the outdoor humor arena, has been published in Gray’s Sporting Journal, Field & Stream, Fly Fisherman and more. And now, published last year during the COVID-19 doldrums, is “Hunting with Beanpole,” a collection of vignettes about a skinny guy nicknamed Beanpole, who appears to be a tad nervous, maybe a little “simple,” and always good-hearted and well-intentioned. Oh, and Beanpole Boggs also happens to have a hunting buddy named Jim.
The easy-reading 133-page book has 27 short, fun-reading stories about various adventures (or as Mize notes “misadventures”). Each story develops quickly, prompting early smiles and frequent chuckles. The variety of experiences and the interplay between Beanpole and Jim will have many outdoor enthusiasts nodding their heads in agreement and understanding; after all, haven’t we all had some “pants down” happenings in the natural world? Don’t we all wish there were no witnesses to some of our most embarrassing moments? How often do our plans, both careful and impromptu, go awry?
The topics and settings are varied, including outhouses, haunted houses, turkey dogs, camping trips, float tubing while varmint hunting and many more. Mize artfully weaves each story together, with clever phrasing, dialogue, similes and metaphors. You might even see a little Beanpole in yourself. But watch out for hunting buddies like Jim. Sure, they’ll tag along and be generally supportive. They will also rat you out, sharing all your insecurities, missteps, human foibles and more. And they won’t just do it at camp or work or the neighborhood bar, they’ll put it in a book! The book recently garnered a “Best Book” category first place in the Professional Outdoor Media Association’s Pinnacle Awards. This and any of Jim’s books would be an excellent gift. Of course, you could always give it a quick read before gift wrapping. That’s probably what Beanpole would do.
You can order the books through Amazon or directly from Mize by going to acreektricklesthoughit.com. The price is $12.95. If there is anything you would like written in the book by Jim Mize personally, please include that information in the notes section when placing your order.