A Delightfully Awkward Journey Across the Alaskan Tundra

By Sam Clemens

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Total feedbacks: 45
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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
clara dearmore strom
This is a witty, inspiring, awkward, smile forming, laugh out loud inducing book. I did not want to put the book down. I read before I go to sleep at night and I would tell myself "Just one more chapter and I'll stop reading." But I would fall asleep reading, wake up in the middle of the night curled up with my kindle, and start reading again! This is the best book I have read in a long time!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Having had similar experiences in Alaska, and living there for 18 years, I understand what he's gone through. I know people living in that region. I've had jobs where I lived at work. This book takes a focus on drinking and partying, and partying is a Big Deal in Alaska, Sam, we do not need to know as much about it as you shared. No one cares, Sam. Write a real book, not just the pages of your diary -- who you did, what you drank. Come on! Maybe it was beyond you to appreciate where you were. Maybe you were too young in years and mental / emotional experience, but that experience deserved more than what you wrote.
Readers enjoying recounts partying slackers, this is the book for you. If you are curious about Alaska, then save your eyes and brain and skip this one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Such an enjoyable book and an excellent value- it is well written and I felt like the author was actually speaking the story to me. I found myself laughing out loud- The book was so good, that I am reading it again :-) Can't wait for this author to write another book!
and Unexpected Love in the Azores - Finding Joy :: A Thru-Hiking Adventure on the Appalachian Trail - Balancing on Blue :: The Wild Truth :: Into the Fire (The Bridge Series) :: Whales and Dolphins! (Wild Kratts) (Step into Reading)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tracy duvall
Memoirs of a Gas Station was an excellent read. It was a great tale of one man's awkward yet funny adventure as he weaved his way through a summer in Alaska. I found myself trying to plan my own unique adventure while rading it. Hopefully the author will have another adventure to guide us through in the future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joe bowling
Read this literally in a day. Having worked part time at a convenience store to put myself through college, I could relate to the author's absurd work experiences on so many levels. Will easily make you laugh a number of times, while cringing at the preposterous nature of things at others.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
arezoo kazemi
This book is a juvenile account of one obnoxious college student's summer working at a gas station in Denali, Alaska. I purchased it to learn about Alaska; instead I read a drink by drink account of the author's Summer. It was a waste of time.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
The adventure this young man had going to Alaska was interesting, the setting was interesting. However, it read as though it was written by a 15 year old aspiring author. The language and style were very adolescent. I did finish the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I really enjoyed this book and find it hard to believe this was a first-time author. It was honest and funny in a way that took me back to my younger days. I read this in just a couple of sittings and enjoyed it all.

I can't wait to read what comes next!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
brooke johnston
This guy needs a much better editor. He could also work on character development.
What he has is a sort of journal of the time spent in Alaska one season...something for him and his friends to laugh about and remember the good times.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
laura mccarthy
Sam Neumann, What a negative person. I have no respect for his lack of values and poor attitude. I read most of the book expecting it to get better but eventually gave it up. I don't recommend this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I couldn't put this down until I finished it. This is the perfect summer beach read with substance. Not only can Sam write (and write well), his stories and descriptions of the characters he met along his journey were highly amusing!! This book definitely made me want to visit Alaska. He reminded me how much joy one can find in the simplicity of a fun weekend of camping in an absolutely gorgeous setting. I also got to inadvertently learn about the NBA draft and what a good time you can have with a cheap bottle of canadian whiskey. Who knew?? I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good book with an honest and truly funny narrative.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Not so delightful, definitely awkward. As a former Aramark park employee, it saddens me to have this impression left with the public. I know all of these things do happen, but not everybody acts this way. Sex, drugs and drinking........just sad.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jennifer melito
I read 15% of the book and finally gave in and tossed it from my Kindle. I really tried reading further because the general consensus has a 4 star rating from it's reviewers. How, I don't know. It was boring and thus far 15% into it, not funny. I just didn't want to punish myself any further and decided to put it into my Kindle Archive and go onto something that will hold my interest more then 15% of the book.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
zahra zade
I did not find this book delightful at all. Nothing in the book made me laugh or want to go to Alaska to work or visit. Talking about 'how good it feels to poop' has nothing to do with working in Alaska. I found it repulsive. I personally have worked in Alaska for many summers. A very poor rendition of what Alaska is even like. A waste of my time to read. I'm glad it was 'free' to my Kindle.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
ashley hoppen
I read a lot of reviews about how funny, interesting, delightful, etc. this book is. But I read over half this book and it was a struggle. All those people who gave this book 5 stars must not be reading the same book. Time to give up and delete it.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This is not my kind of book. I have family in Alaska, and I love Alaska... There is so much interesting to write about there. But this book could have taken place anywhere. I kept waiting for something really interesting to happen, but it never did. Instead, it was just someone's personal account of the drudgery of their day to day life, spending a summer working at an Alaskan gas station and drinking at Alaskan bars.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I read a sample of this book first and found it entertaining and delightful, so bought the book. I am not half way through and am very disgusted with myself for the purchase. Keep waiting for it to get better, but doubt that it is going to happen. From the sample, I thought Neumann would give more than bitching about everything and using more than gutter vocabulary. Sam sounds like a spoiled brat that has never had to work for anything. Don't waste your money!!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kanissa saragih
I bought this book because I have traveled to Alaska and loved it. Also thought my husband would like to read it because he once had a gas station. I will not even ask him to read something so stupid. How can a guy enjoy Alaska when he is always intoxicated? How can he always grub off someone? He is very self-serving!! Didn't like the way he made fun of older people. He was getting paid for doing nothing. I just hope he never hooked up with Debbie again. She deserved better!! I was a quarter of the way through the book when I realized how stupid it was. Then I continued reading because I thought it had to get better. How wrong I was. Can't figure out how it even got published. Also thought he had to pump gas, but I guess it was just a convenience store?
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I wanted this book to get better but after 5 chapters realized that it was a story about a guy who never got beyond 5th grade humor. Don't waste your time unless of course you like 5th grade humor, in which case...this is the book for you!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
...this is NOT one of them! We have been to Alaska several times and love it there. We have read lots of non-fiction stories about Alaska and all of them were excellent. We have stayed in lodges in the places described in this book. This book may be true about what the workers at those places do when not in contact with the visitors to Alaska, but I only made it about 40% of the way through this book before I quit reading. If you want to read about someone who loves to drink, party and use the F word, then this is the book for you. If you want to read a good book about Alaska, probably any book about Alaska other than this one is the book for you. But don't waste your time or money on this one. Thank goodness this book was free, so all I lost was my time. But my time is much more valuable than to have wasted it reading as much as I did of this book. Don't waste yours!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
The cover is deceptive... This book is badly written and does not seem to have had an editor anywhere near it. Written in a style that may appeal to those under twenty who have very little discretion. Buying it has taught me not to trust reviews by the general public....
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
After reading a book about RVing and liking the humor in it, I decided to get this one. I read 4 pages of it and it is unreadable. It is written by someone that was in the Junior year in college and was hesitant about getting a sh*t job like working at a gas station. Does this guy think he is royalty? It reads like a teeny bopper book, very immature writing. Skip it, plain and simple.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
The author of this book is a good example of the "me, me" generation. This is a memoir where he brags about his disloyalty to his employer; his efforts to get by with doing the least amount of work possible; and his (sophomoric) wisdom and opinions about wrinkled old codgers and how the vast majority of them should have stayed home because they are too old to experience what he is experiencing. He does not realize that these old codgers probably had the same and more experience of hard drinking and adventure than he had (but never bragged about it). Hey, these are members of our greatest generation that fought in WW2 and made our country what it is today! He even brags about getting fellatio from his girl friend after his friend was unable to get the same thing from his own girl friend. Ok, you may think I am a prude but this is not a novel. It is a memoir about a summer job he had after his third year of college. He documents the three months he spent in Alaska being paid as a gas station attendant filling shelves and working the cash register. He has nothing good to say about his employment, to include the shirt he had to wear and the time it takes away from his own enjoyment of constant drinking binges and travel to concerts. Oh, he does sometimes try to show some humility but this appears to be contrived to give some "balance" to all his negative comments. He also tries to give the reader English lessons, such as not to use the word "ir-regardless." I also note he gives no mention at the end of his book, that the names of the people he talks about have been changed. I read the book to the end because I was going to Alaska the following week. I was hoping to find some useful information but got bogged down by only learning such things, as how to hitchhike to other cities without money and how to sponge drinks and drugs off of friends and strangers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Well this book probably won't be nominated for a National Book Award - but I loved it. It reminded me of my journals from when I was in my twenties - and that is pretty much what this is - the author's journal entries (or in the parlance of our time: blog entries) edited into book form - candid and funny.

At first I was wondering how he got this published in today's super-competitive publishing market; but it looks like it was released via a vanity press - right on. Now I know how to get my late 80s journals released as a book!

Now here's a review of the other reviews: first of all I sense some mild subterfuge in the early positive reviews - friends of the author? Readers of his blog? Sure - and why not? I guess there's nothing wrong with that - I'd expect the same if I were in a similar situation.

As far as the more recent negative reviews are concerned, though, I think some people are forgetting what it is like to be twenty-something. I'm 53 now but I can remember perfectly well (maybe my journals are helpful) - at that age the mind is stimulated and delighted by everything new, while at the same time reacting sarcastically and even cynically. The Summer the author spent in Alaska will likely be one of his fondest memories in spite of the sarcasm.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
If you like a linear story, just stop. If you're ok with lots of sidebars, rants, and randomness, you'll be ok with this book. I enjoyed it, it's interesting to read about things like this--kind of like reading about the cast of Disney World and what they do after hours. Yes, there's an occasional misspelling or wrong word (and instead of an) but it didn't infuriate me like normal.
I really, really wish there had been an epilogue or something other than "I got on a plane and left." I think the story is really incomplete without a brief follow up of what happened next--did he stay in touch with his girlfriend, did he return...just a quick wrap-up would've really rounded things out.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Memoirs of a Gas Station is part travel book, part personal memoir, and part exposé of the world of seasonal employment. I learned a lot about Alaska (especially the area around Denali National Park) and got an interesting glimpse into what it's like to work as a seasonal employee, both the good and the bad. Traveling vicariously when I'm stuck at home and getting glimpses of what life is like for people in situations I haven't experienced are both things I enjoy, and Memoirs of a Gas Station delivered. I deducted a single star for issues with editing and proofing.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Well, I live in Alaska and work in the tourist industry. We hire seasonal employees, so I can relate to this book. I got it free, so I said "why not". I am glad I did, what a great book! I really enjoyed it and the book actually nailed it on the head with the discription of seasonal workers. I love the seasonal workers because they are so varied and eclectic, keeps life fun during the summer season and we could not do our jobs without you, you do out number us 3-1 :)
Thanks for the good read, even the passages I read to my co-workers, we could remember various people that worked for us and in general we had a great laugh. People being un prepaired for the weather and the wildlife, human or not.
One lure is that I have actually been to that gas station! and know where all those places are.
Thanks again!! keep up the great writting.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susie nee
A friend of mine referred me to this book about a month ago. Not typically a kindle reader, but enjoyed the perspective of the Author's trip and the way he looks at the world. And that's what I really appreciate about this book in general, the way the author looks at the world. There's something about this guy!

A few chapters in I really started to connect with his sense of humor. As I kept reading, my wife would make me go in the other room while I read. She said I laughed too much. I couldn't help it, the stuff Sam writes is too funny. If you like travel writing, there's even some good stories about the geography and escapes he took. And a lot of the time I could picture myself alongside him and his friends.

Solid read. Once you get into it, it's hard to put down. Not a one-dimensional writer. Each chapter brings its own adventure.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jacques clarence merc
Provides an insight into the mind of one so-called Y-Gen guy. The story is mostly about his summer adventure working at a gas station in Alaska. Hopefully, this tale is atypical of today's 20-somethings, but is sad because of the shallowness and self-centered mindset that it reveals. The story is poorly told. It is almost a direct transcription of the diary of a person's summer vacation.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jim becker
This is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. I really enjoy memoirs and this one did not disappoint. The book is not only funny but also well written and does a great job describing the landscape and the experience of being a seasonal worker. This is not meant to be a guide to Alaska but it still made me want to visit Denali.

A great light read that I would highly recommend.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
cambron elsey
Because I spent many years in Alaska I love to read about it. This book is more for young people thinking about a trip to Alaska. There isn't much depth to the story other than working in a gas station in Denali, and a few small side trips, but college bound age might enjoy it.
Alaska has so much to see and do, that I'm sorry he missed it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
christopher rosche
This book is not one that I would usually read but it caught my attention! I got really involved in reading it and did not stop until I was finished. Made me wish I was 20 years old again and could go hiking in Alaska!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ehren cheung
This book is supposedly about a man's experiences as a seasonal gas station employee in Alaska. I enjoyed the first two or three chapters. After that, it's a bunch of rambling about various topics and thoughts about life (most of an entire chapter is a lengthy lecture on sports, ESPN, and how drafts work in sports teams). Actual characters and places are in the story for maybe half of the pages, if not less than that.

I think this author should have started a blog about this thoughts, rather than publishing a collection of them under the guise of it being a "memoir".
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Wow. I downloaded thinking the book would remind me of my seasonal experiences 25 years ago, and it did. But it also reminded me how self-absorbed most folks are at that age.

As I read this book, the entertainment came from listening to Neumann judge others from his entitled point of view. That was funny in an unintended way. But humanity is doomed if people remain in that zone. Here's wishing you evolve, Sam.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book, Memoirs of a Gas Station, is a must read for anybody looking for a humorous, witty, and entertaining book. If you are looking for 200 pages outlining the “perfect Alaskan vacation for the geriatric generation,” then this book is not for you…but if you enjoy the idea of Alaskan adventure, awkward social interactions, young love and lust, and a summer story never to be forgotten, then this book is for you. The author does an excellent job using honesty, sarcasm, and intellect to paint the picture of a twenty-something suffering through a minimum wage job to experience an Alaskan summer at its finest.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book is great for anyone thinking about going to Alaska, especially if you plan on working there seasonally. In it, Sam tells tales of hiking through the wilderness, meeting strange and interesting people, and trying to stay alive while working in a gas station. If you're looking for a different kind of adventure novel, this is what you want.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The dream of going to Alaska, and experiencing it's wilderness has been on most of the American publics to do list. This author describes in detail on how he accomplished that goal, with entertaining, personal stories of his experiences working inside the Denali National Park. This book gives a unique insiders look at the everyday life of a seasonal worker in Alaska's National park system. The author's truthfully written tale paints a picture that makes me want pack up my hiking boots and head for the great white north. It's an entertaining must read for anyone who has ever dreamed of, has been, or plans on going to Alaska.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Comical, intriguing, and a decent light read. Quite funny! Sam Neumann's tales of Alaska kept my interest a nd certainly entertained through out the entirety of my flight from Reno to Boston (that's about seven hours of close quarters with lack luster single-serving friends). Would most definitely recommend it, only downfall is a noticeable amount of typos- but by no means to they take away from the story.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
To be fair - I only made it through about 1/4th of the book. I was sticking it out to see if he got less whiny as time went on. No, he did not. I have news for you buddy--there are many, many jobs that are a lot worse than running a cash register and stocking shelves at a gas station mini market.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
collin middleton
What a great book. I don't event particularly like to read but as I dove into this book I found that I couldn't put it down. Between laughing at the situations that Sam and his buddy's put themselves into and the overall feel of his experience in Alaska I was captivated by this story. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a great read about what seemed to be a great summer spent in Alaska!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris wright
This book captivated me from the beginning, once I got into it I could not put it down. The story details the events of a great Alaskan adventure of which many of us dream of but never actually live. Adventure, Love, and of course lots of Heavy Drinking combined with the all too prevalent sarcastic comedy make this book an instant favorite. I hope to read more from this author in the future.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
briana ryan
I was looking for some kind of witty, thoughtful reflection on the author's interesting summer work, but was instead disappointed. There's little development of character or plot; instead, the writer simply tells one tale of getting drunk after another. Additionally, I felt like I never got to experience the "Alaska" that the author experienced... which I was really looking forward to.

A definite let down.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andrea kramer
Great first book Mr. Sam Neumann, such a refreshingly fun read!.......as you open yourself up personally to readers you provide an overwhelming image of all the beauty (Alaska), dysfunction (people) and hysterics (you and everyone around you) at the same time. Your writing captured my imagination and I look forward to reading your future books, please write more!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ida fiore
This is my first review since a received my kindle almost 2 years ago. I just wanted to say that this book was funny and made me wish I had done something adventurous like that when I was younger. Good job Sam.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I absolutely hated this book! Between Sam's awful attitude and his worse vocabulary, it was hardly worth my time. Thank heaven, it was free. I am perfectly capable of understanding s story without all the profanity. In fact, that is much preferable in my mind.
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