In Man and the Machine, Day provides an enthralling story. The narrative showcases Day’s consummate skill at using dialog to develop character and plot. His writing style is entertaining,
suspenseful, and engaging. The reader faces a cast of interesting characters and a plot with twists, turns, surprises, and splashes of humor along the way. I enjoyed getting to know Tate, his close friends, and his family. Although this is a sequel, you don’t need to read the prequel, but don’t be surprised if you want to do just that. If Man and the Machine is your first book by Day, you won’t want it to be the last.
- Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
The author is a writer adept at capturing the natural banter of friends and family. The barbs between Tate and his pals abound with humor and resonate with sarcasm and one-upmanship. When appropriate, he captures their camaraderie compassionately without lapsing into sentimentality. Precisely detailed explanations of farming techniques, practices, and equipment add authenticity throughout as the author reminds readers of the knowledge, experience, and hard work required to keep putting food on America’s tables. This is all done, by the way, within the parameters of his story and without pretense or preaching. Read the full review here.
- Reviewed by Joe Kilgore for The US Review of Books
MAN AND THE MACHINE
by John R. Day, Jr.
2016 The Great Midwest Book Festival
MAN ON THE FENCE
by John R. Day, Jr.
I REALLY enjoyed it!!! The best compliment I can give you is I was trying to make the book last for the week I was in California. There were times I had to FORCE myself to put it down so I could make it last. I just had to read what was going to happen to Tate and the gang next!! Keep up the good work; can't wait for your next book!!
- Dan P, former Major League Baseball pitcher
I really enjoyed “Man on the Fence.” It is a very well written novel, reflecting a distinct tone and unique storytelling approach. I have to say I was surprised to learn this is Day’s first novel. The characters are real and relatable, full of personality, and well developed. By the end of the book, readers will feel like they grew up alongside the entire crew and that they know each character personally. The quick-witted exchanges between the characters are unforgettable– sometimes lacking tact, often crass, and always hilarious – loved the delivery and humor. And, as entertaining as the story was, I also found it to be informative, current, and relevant in today’s world, full of real-life experiences that will connect with a large audience.
Overall, I highly recommend “Man on the Fence” by John R. Day, Jr. for an entertaining enjoyable read. I’m looking forward to the sequel!
- Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views
If you need a wonderful story that touches and warms the heart, with a lot of fun dialogues and exciting characters, then Man On the Fence is the book for you. John R Day Jr. has created a great story with compelling characters and a fascinating plot, laced with vivid imagery and emotional insights. I enjoyed the portraits of Tate Daniels and two of his best friends, Jackson Heller and Chip McClaflin. “They had made it a point to call each other whenever one of them had the opportunity to use a movie quote or song lyric in normal conversation.” This is a story about friendship, family, love, life on the farm, politics, and death; a well-crafted story that
will remind readers of the friends in their lives, encourage them to celebrate joyful moments, and to face the vicissitudes of life with patience and courage. I enjoyed the friendly banter, the insightful passages, the well-paced plot, and the themes that are beautifully woven into the story. Here is a fun read, a hypnotic story that has a part of the reader in it. So realistic and close to home.
- Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Day captures the honest, straightforward style of the Midwest country lifestyle with characters that make questionable decisions but often act in the best interest of not just themselves but their community. Tate, Garrett, their families, and friends burst from the page with a dialogue style that reads naturally, peppered with masculine smack talk and pop culture quotes from movies and songs throughout the latter decades of the 20th century. Each of the eras of the lives of Tate and later Page are colored by accurate political concerns from draft dodging all the way to subsidies and bailouts. Nailing down all of these little details is a key component to how this story can at times feel less like a fictional story and more like an autobiography with nothing to hide. Read the full review here.
-Reviewed by Michael Radon for The US Review of Books