R.W. “Buzz” Kaplan: The Life of an Adventurer
Kristin Kaplan Holsworth
Beaver’s Pond Press (2014)
Reviewed by Michel Violante for Reader Views (11/14)
“R.W. “Buzz” Kaplan: The Life of an Adventurer” by Kristin Kaplan Holsworth is a compilation of six books of about 120 pages each. The story is about the author’s grandfather’s life since his birth in 1924, through his death in a plane crash on 2002. The author began writing this story in the year 2000 organizing Kaplan’s worldwide adventures in chronological order within the six installments. This is definitely the life of a remarkable man who took life as the opportunity of a great adventure. His adventures begin with his deployment to WWII in Europe with the US Army, and continued with his travels throughout his life in parallel with the successful buildup of his inherited tool company, becoming the CEO of Owatonna Tool Company and its subsidiaries in Minnesota. Kaplan was definitely a very smart man and as such, he kept a detailed journal of his life and adventures along with his taped recounts, which made possible for his granddaughter to compile his legacy into a six volume book collection.
As the son of Italian immigrants and an immigrant myself, I am a fan of adventure stories that will take me to lands and experiences unknown. I was very happy to have come into this collection of experiences and travels by Kaplan and found it to be a treasure to be kept not only as a legacy to his family members but also as a couch travel jewel for people who enjoy traveling through other’s experiences recorded in books.
I think Kristin Kaplan Holsworth did a wonderful job compiling her grandfather’s amazing adventures and life in this chronological narrative, as it is rich in different experiences as well as detailed. Having said that, I do wish all of Kaplan’s experiences would have been presented in a more animated format. I believe that if all the facts would have been presented in a creative memoir or novel format utilizing all the fictional writing tools and skills, the reading of these experiences would have had a higher entertainment value, and thus a larger pool of readers.
Nonetheless, I found “R.W. “Buzz” Kaplan: The Life of an Adventurer” by Kristin Kaplan Holsworth to be a wonderful narrative of a great adventurer and an admirable way to honor a great man’s life.