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A Moose and a Lobster Walk into a Bar… | John McDonald


A Moose and a Lobster Walk into a Bar is beloved for its timeless Downeast humor. The family-friendly stories by John McDonald, an author, radio personality, and professional storyteller, strike a chord with readers looking for a good laugh. The book mixes classic Maine storytelling, stretched truths, and wry observations made by McDonald during his travels through the Pine Tree State. McDonald discusses the economic power of Maine’s yard sale industry, bemoans that Massachusetts (which allowed Maine to become a state in 1820) is buying the state back one house at a time, and relates how the black fly was just an attempt at controlling tourists now gone haywire. You also meet Maine characters like Uncle Abner, Merrill Minzey, and Hollis Eaton, and find yourself pondering where the truth ends and the story begins.

Written by John McDonald
Format: Softcover Chapter Book
Length: 178 pages
Publication Date: 2002
ISBN: 9781944762377

Located at the Center for Maine Craft in West Gardiner.

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John McDonald, now regarded as a dean of Maine storytelling, got his start as a performer playing at local Downeast Maine events in the 1970s before catching his first big break when he was asked to perform on stage with the legendary Marshall Dodge and Kendall Morse at Ellsworth’s Strand Theater in 1980. In the years since that event, McDonald has performed for audiences across New England, released two audio recordings, and written four books, including the now-classic, A Moose and a Lobster Walk into Bar.

McDonald grew up in Rhode Island, but spent summer in Tenants Harbor, Maine, where he listened to the oldtimers tell stories at the local stores and on fishing docks. He graduated from Providence College with a degree in English and in 1971 he moved with his wife, Ann, to Cherryfield, Maine. He worked as a DJ for an Ellsworth radio station that played Big Band music and as a bureau reporter for the Bangor Daily News. In 1981, he moved to Portland where he worked as a reporter for the Portland Press Herald. He was increasingly hired to perform as a storyteller, and in 1991, he began his own radio talk show at WGAN.

In the 1990s, McDonald also began writing a weekly newspaper column. In 2002, a collection of those columns was combined with a handful of other stories to create the book, A Moose and a Lobster Walk in the Bar, which has sold tens of thousands of copies, making it not only one of the most successful local books of all time, but making it a true Maine classic. Following the success of that first book with Islandport Press, McDonald published Down the Road a Piece: A Storyteller’s Guide to Maine and John McDonald’s Maine Trivia, and released a CD, Ain’t He Some Funny! What’s in a Name? is his fourth book from Islandport Press. McDonald lives in South Portland with his wife, Anne.

Shipping Measurements

Weight 0.5 lbs
Dimensions 10 × 7 × .5 in