Bluffton by Matt Phelan

blufftonYou know, when I looked this up on Goodreads is when I saw the subtitle of this book for the first time : My Summers with Buster Keaton. That bit of lack of observation on my part made Buster Keaton’s appearance in the book quite a surprise to me.  The story is told from the point of view of a young boy in a small town in Michigan. One day a vaudeville troupe arrives to spend the summer in the little town of Bluffton.  The boy makes friends with one of the vaudeville kids, Buster.  The book covers several summers and some fascinating bits of history.  For example, child protective services were always after the Keatons because Buster was thrown around a lot as part of the act, so they would pretend he was a tiny adult.  The vaudeville performers brought an exotic flair to Bluffton and made life exciting for the year round residents.  A wonderful peek into a very particular time and place that I knew nothing about.  It also made me keen to seek out Phelan’s other historical graphic novel, The Storm in the Barn.

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