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Cabin Pressure:
One Man’s Futile Attempt to Recapture His Youth as a Camp Counselor

By Josh Wolk

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ISBN 10: 1401302602
ISBN 13: 2147483647

What happens when a grown man returns to the site of his fondest childhood memories? A wry, clear-eyed, and laugh-out-loud look at the transition to adulthood

Three months before getting married at age thirty-four, Josh Wolk decides to treat himself to a ?farewell to childhood? extravaganza: one last summer working at the beloved Maine boys? camp where he spent most of the eighties. And there he finds out that there?s no better way to see how much you?ve changed than to revisit a place that hasn?t changed at all.

In these eight hilarious, uncomfortable, enlightening weeks, Josh readjusts to life teaching swimming and balancing on a thin metal cot in a cabin of shouting, wrestling, wet-willie-dispensing fourteen-year-olds who, contrary to the warnings of doomsaying sociologists, he finds indistinguishable from the rowdy fourteen-year-olds of his day in any way other than their haircuts. With his old camp friends gone, he finds himself working alongside guys who used to be his campers. Moments of feeling cripplingly old are offset by the corrosive insecurities of his youth when he?s paired in the cabin with Mitch, the forty-two-year-old jack-of-all- extreme-sports whose machismo intimidated Josh so much fifteen years earlier, and whom their current campers idolize. And throughout all this disorienting regression, Josh?s telephone conversations with his fiancée, Christine, grow increasingly intense as their often comical discussions over the wedding become a flimsy cover for her worries that he?s not ready to relinquish his death-grip on the comforts of the past.

A hilarious and insightful look at the tenacious power of nostalgia, the glory of childhood, and the nervous excitement of taking a leap to the next unknown stage in life, Cabin Pressure will appeal to anyone who?s ever been young, wishes he was young again, but knows deep down it probably isn?t a good idea.


“Sweet, crude, self-effacing and hilarious, Josh’s book will bring back fond memories of summer camp, even if you never went to one.” –David Hyde Pierce

“Josh Wolk proves that, if you can’t go home again, you can go back to camp, and he proves it hilariously, expertly, and touchingly.” –Ted Heller, author of Slab Rat

“Yes, Cabin Pressure is funny and entertaining. But it’s also inspiring, nostalgic and sentimental in the best possible way. It’s Bug Juice for the soul.” –Al Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Man in the World

“Wedgies, kickboard, assembly: Josh Wolk tells the classic American Boys-to-Men story in its classic American setting. Our narrator being 34 makes this comedy; his being Josh Wolk makes it brilliant. Opening this book is like stepping onto the dock on a perfect August morning.” –David Lipsky, author of Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point


Chapter One

Ever since I moved to New York City in 1991 after graduating from college, the word ?summer? lost all of its verve. Manhattan is many things — vibrant, thrilling, propulsive — but it most certainly is not a su

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Cabin Pressure:
One Man’s Futile Attempt to Recapture His Youth as a Camp Counselor