The Midwest Survival Guide: How We Talk, Love, Work, Drink, and Eat . . . Everything with Ranch - book cover
  • Publisher : William Morrow
  • Published : 16 Nov 2021
  • Pages : 304
  • ISBN-10 : 0063074958
  • ISBN-13 : 9780063074958
  • Language : English

The Midwest Survival Guide: How We Talk, Love, Work, Drink, and Eat . . . Everything with Ranch

A hilarious full-color guide to Midwestern culture, from comedian and journalist Charlie Berens, creator of the viral comedic series "The Manitowoc Minute"

Everything you need to know to survive in the greatest place on Earth

Have you ever had a goodbye lasting more than four hours? Do you lack the emotional capacity to say "I love you" so you just tell your loved ones to "watch out for deer"? Have you apologized to a stranger because she stepped on your foot? If you answered yes to any of these questions, there's a good chance you're a Midwesterner-or a Midwesterner at heart. 

Even if you answered no, you probably know someone who held the door for you from two football fields away. He likely waved at you and said, "Hey there," like you organized the church bar crawl together. That was a Midwesterner in the wild. We understand that your interaction was strange-but it's likely to get stranger. Don't wait until they stick their head in your second-floor window to invite you over for a perch fry because they climbed on your roof to clean your gutters. There's no need to pull the pepper spray; this species is helpful by nature. And the relationship could be very symbiotic-but only if you let it happen. And that's where this book comes into play.

Inspired by my comedy tours across the Midwest and life growing up in Wisconsin, this book is an exploration into my favorite region on Earth. Some may think the Midwest is just a bunch of bland flyover states filled with less diversity than a Monsanto monoculture. But scratch that surface with your buck knife and you'll find rich cultures and traditions proving we're more than just fifty shades of milk. 

So whether you're a born-and-bred Midwesterner looking to sharpen your skill at apologies or a costal elite visiting the in-laws for the holidays, this book will help you navigate the Midwest, with everything from the best flannel looks to dating and mating rituals (yes, casserole is involved) to climbing the corporate corn silo to how to handle a four-way stop-and every backyard brat fry in between. 

And for those of you who don't like reading, don't worry-we've got pictures! Toss in illustrations, sidebars, quizzes, and jokes worthy of a supper club stall and The Midwest Survival Guide is just the walleye-deep look into this distinctive, beautiful, and bizarre American culture you've been looking for.

Readers Top Reviews

Tim GeibelJosh Powel
Like a fish fry Friday flashback of my life growing up in ..yup Menasha! Seems like Charlie is one of those third cousin's twice removed that show up at family events......always a great time but also a bit
Ordered 2 for gifts. Now I need to get one myself! Midwesterners know.
Charlie Berens is a genius at capturing the Midwest lifestyle in a very humorous way. Thick and heavy hardcover book will make excellent Christmas presents!
It’s really funny, and it doesn’t have to be all crude and mean to do it, ya know? He definitely craps the bed when it comes to his flippant dismissal of Michigan’s jaw-droppingly obvious claim to lake-based supremacy, but he’s as a sconnie and doesn’t really know about lakes. It’s kind of like when Texans want to talk hunting, but I got a fat beagle named Wally who weighs more than one of their whitetails. You just smile and nod, they mean well. With that said, it’s a clever, and often heartfelt reminder of what midwesterners are when we are at our best, something to remember to shoot for. I bought like ten copies to give to my family and a guy I hunt with just cus I know he will like it. Lots of love from Michigan, keep up the good work over there, Charlie. Watch out for deer.
Adam Hansen
I’ve become a big fan of Charlie Berens after a friend, a former Wisconsinite, introduced me to his comedy a few years ago. My family ended up relocating to an area of the Midwest and Charlie’s brand of humor has only become more relevant. This book is excellent. It has genuinely useful information couched in Charlie’s cultivated midwestern witticisms. Enjoyable read, great for sharing and provoking discussion with family and friends. I genuinely think this could be a great Xmas gift for folk who like a good book and have any sense of humor at all. Highly recommended!