When I picked up Ken Mansfield’s book “Between Wyomings : My God and an iPod on the Open Road”, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into. I didn’t know anything about him and I didn’t really know what the plot or point of this book was. As such, I didn’t have many expectations of this book. Before I finished the author’s introduction to the book, I wondered if I would be able to finish the book. Mr. Mansfield is definitely prone to the creative aspect of literature and prose and has an uncanny ability to write in a way that makes me wonder if I am missing the subject or verb of his sentences. Don’t get me wrong, he is a good writer. I just didn’t enjoy his style that much.
“Between Wyomings” follows the author’s lifelong adventures in the music industry, chronicling interactions with musicians ranging from The Beatles to Dolly Parton. Quite a large portion of the book revolves around activities with Waylon Jennings and I grew a bit tired of the way Mr. Mansfield waxed poetic about his time with “The Outlaws”.
Throughout the book, the author ties in songs, artist and geographic locations with stories of his life and attempts to use them as mile markers on his road to accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior. While I understand his heart and desire to do so, there were times when this effort fell short and came across as very out of place within the contact of the narrative.
I finished the book very much in the same place I began it - not sure of what I expected and not sure if my expectations were met. In my opinion, “Between Wyomings” dragged on in spots and I am not sure if a person who did not love music could endure it. I forced myself to continue reading the book at times, simply so I could give it a fully informed review. Don’t get me wrong, this book is not poorly written and does have some entertaining anecdotes in it. However, the high point for me was the brief chapter entitled “The Writhing on the Wall”. If you read those two pages and nothing else from the book, I think you will have read the best and most important section and saved yourself a bunch of time and energy.