“Rarely does a square peg climb out of a round hole with so little rancor, so much humor, and such a great heart. I fell in love with Richard Menzies’ take on the world in “Passing Through: An Existential Journey Across America’s Outback,” and this book makes me an even more passionate fan.” –Teresa Jordan, author of “Riding the White Horse Home.”
As a boy in the strait-laced 1950s, Richard Menzies tried his best to become an exemplary Mormon, but never quite fit the mold. Now, with a sense of humor made possible by the intervention of several decades, he revisits those inhibited times and the struggles, both intellectual and social, that pushed him away from the faith of his Utah homeland. We compare his failure to adjust with his friends’ successful adaptations, and ponder which more deserves our sympathy. “Virtue Is Its Own Punishment: A Memoir Of Growing Up Mormon” will be available from Amazon.com for $11.99.
This is the third book from Menzies, a lifelong storyteller whose work calls to mind Sherwood Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio” and the sometimes grotesque adjustments that fictional town’s citizens made to live in an American backwater where conformity was the virtue supreme. In the award-winning “Passing Through,” (Stephens Press, Las Vegas, 2005) Menzies immortalized far-flung desert rats such as Floyd Eaton, who claimed his personalized “International Ranger” badge authorized and required him to guard the municipal dump of tiny Wendover, Nevada. In “The Short, Short Hitchhiker,” (Virginia Avenue Press, Reno, 2011) Menzies helped the title character, Stanley Gurze, tell the story of his life spent literally on the roadside, flagging rides all over the West. This wayfarer was remarkable for faring his way without feet! – A.D. Hopkins, Editor