The Legend of Juggin Joe Review
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In the hill country of New York, in small town of Westerlo, a legend was born. Joe, the youngest son of Doc and Isabel Jeckel, was always a little different. In fact, some might say he was “a mite catched in the head.” But despite the misadventures he got himself into as a young’un—like the infamous Froggin Incident—Joe was destined for greatness. The first time he picked up a jug and began to play, he became Juggin Joe—and everyone for miles around knew that he had talent unlike anything they’d heard before.

The Legend of Juggin Joe tells the story of Joe’s rise to greatness—from his mischievous adventures as a boy in Westerlo to his first juggin’ appearance at the fair. It tells of his ill-fated romance with the lovely Florentine, the daughter of Westerlo’s pastor, Parson Shepard—who demanded that the two part ways. It tells of his career as a famous recording artist, rubbing elbows with the biggest country music stars at the Grand Ole Opry—and even taking home a few country music awards of his own. And it tells of the day he walked away from his music to join the army—and to help change the world.

The Legend of Juggin Joe is a country-folk tall tale that mixes equal parts heart and humor to create a memorable story full of lovable characters. In fact, at times, Joe reminded me of Forrest Gump—a kind-hearted character who lived an extraordinary life and changed the world just by being himself.

The entire story is narrated in the language of mountain folk—misspellings and all—so be warned that it takes a while to get used to reading it. But the book’s style makes the story come to life—and once you get used to it, you may just find yahself thinkin’ and talkin’ in countryspeak. I know I did.

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