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The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank
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The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  6,784 ratings  ·  136 reviews
"She is marvelously funny, direct as a hypodermic, a virtuoso in the field of suburban living....Lovely stuff."
VOGUE
It's the expose to end all exposes--the truth about the suburbs: where they planted trees and crabgrass came up, where they planted the schools and taxes came up, where they died of old age trying to merge onto the freeway and where they finally got sex out o...more
Hardcover, 175 pages
Published September 1st 1976 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published 1976)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shannon
Worth RE-READING! Years ago, this gave me one of my first reading experiences where I laughed out loud and then had to close the book to finish out my bout with hysteria, wipe my eyes, and then find my place in the book again to continue reading, only to start laughing all over AGAIN. Erma is just one of her her own kind, and there are a lot of different kinds, but her kind is best served with a box of tissues for those hysterical moments. Every reader's 'moment' will be different... THAT is why...more
Sarah Ryburn
A long, long time ago... In a household far, far away... My mother kept this book on a shelf. I don't recall that I was ever told absolutely not to read it, but I do remember sneaking into the den when no one was watching, removing it from the shelf, and absconding with it to my bedroom (or to a certain snug cache behind the sofa) and thinking of myself as "quite grown up" because I was reading a book for adults. And on the sly no less. How funny to think of this now... :)
MisterFweem
I could be really snotty and say that this book is an essential read for anyone wanting to study the rise of suburbia in the United States, but that would belittle Erma Bombeck's gentle, satirical exaggeration of the woman's perspective on suburban life.

Just as with the Barbie and Ken dolls she encounters with some aggravation and then with amusement as she watches her children throw Ken in a box when he's supposed to be "at work" and they play at the domestic dramas they know, this book, betwee...more
Ami Squirrel Girl
I love Erma's books! While other kids were sneakily reading the latest issue of Batman or Archie & Veronica comic books between the pages of their schoolbooks during class I was trying not to get caught laughing too loudly at the pages of the latest book by humorist author Erma Bombeck. Its safe to say that I grew up with her books and her name, and stories, just like V.C. Andrews', another author I grew up reading, brings back a lot of good reading memories. Erma, and her writing, will be d...more
Graeme
'The Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank' is a non-fiction story about the Bombeck familly moving to the suburbs in the 50s(ish) when they were still developping, and they weren't all pretty and nice as they are now. Erma Bombeck is a hilarious writer, and even though this sounds like a boring topic, if you don't know what the 'burbs are like it's a very fun read. Some of the stuff is so weird and funny, I sometimes wonder if she made some of it up! Either way, it's great for travelling...more
Liz
Aug 10, 2009 Liz rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People over 50 in 2009
Shelves: 2009
This book is proof that humor is not timeless. While Ms. Bombeck probably had a fabulously funny book in 1976, in 2009 it doesn't stand up.I do imagine that had one lived during that time (and was conscious enough to remember it), one would find the text quite intriguing and perhaps quite hilarious.

For those of us who are younger, it may be best as an anthropological study about what life may have been like in the U.S. suburbs (subtracting all the humor) in those days. The book's a quick read, r...more
Helen
Erma Bombeck is still funny, but funniest if you remember the post war period and the building of suburbia. Her books seem to be collections of her columns and she has a good eye for details which take to expanding into comic situations. She wrote about her own life and was read by people going through much the same problems as she was. This book is illustrated by Judith Nilson (I think) and her drawings appear to be cartoons of real people which adds immeasurably to the humour. Some of the allu...more
Michelle
I laughed quite a few times during this one. I could definitely relate to most of it (especially being a new first time home owner.) Loved it!
Shan
I'm glad I decided to keep reading Erma's books after finishing If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? because this book, in my opinion, was lots better than the previous one I read!

It's about living in the suburbs. How your neighbors are. What the social norms are. Her first chapter grabbed my attention immediately because, what can I say, it reminded me of my own famdamily when we would take "trips".

I love her dry sense of humor. And I love that she keeps it clean. She is...more
Mel
Bombeck’s classic commentary The Grass is always Greener is no less entertaining today than it was when it was first published in the 1970s. Her wit is timeless.
She takes a stab a middle class America, its values, habits and foibles. She looks at the innate desire to move out, move up, and move somewhere that isn’t here. Bombeck acknowledges the flaws in this mentality on almost every page of the book: no telephone service, no washing machine repair men, no public transportation. But she also ac...more
Luffy Monkey D.
80 percent through this book and I thought I was done with Erma Bombeck. But then I noticed that I was getting less and less clueless as the chapters went by. I'm going to give this author another go, because I'm hoping her next bestseller is totally as nice as Chapters 11 and 12 here.

Something kept nagging my brain while I read. Then I realized that something was the repressed tone and dry humor. This book, published in the 70's but about events - I use the term loosely - in the 50's, reminde...more
HeavyReader
Of course, I've heard of Erma Bombeck for years, but I don't think I've ever read any of her books...

Hey, you know, when I was sixteen, I went on this all expense paid trip to Scottsdale/Phoenix for the American Academy of Achievement. All these high school students got sent to a fancy resort hotel in the desert for a long weekend (or maybe a week) in July to hang out with a bunch of famous "achievers." Erma Bombeck gave a talk the first night. She made a joke about mothers making their kids bri...more
John Wiswell
Aug 09, 2007 John Wiswell rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Humor readers, people interested in women's studies
I hadn't read any Erma Bombeck in about a decade, so I thought I should check in. Fortunately I found her to still be the mother of wit. Like her own children, she only shares humor because of the grief it causes her. Her style is always dry and somehow never too self-indulgent even if she is her own favorite subject. In this collection she extends from motherhood and the way women are treated in our society to discuss the insanities of social life, like sports, working and dieting (including a...more
Rena Searles
I remember reading Erma Bombeck's humorous columns in the newspaper, and this is her "expose" of life in the suburbs. I grew up in a small town, so much of this was lost on me - but I am sure that for those folks who left the big city and moved their families to brand new developments in the suburbs, her observations must have hit home. At any rate, a funny look at changing times. She should have been a stand-up comedian!
Kaethe
Bombeck had a column in the paper, and a monthly one in Good Housekeeping. One doesn't earn tremendous respect for waxing amusing about life and kids, but if one should Bombeck should get the lion's share. It doesn't matter how many women attend consciousness raising groups and learn that being a housewife is hard and thankless. Through humor, Bombeck managed to teach a lot of men that same lesson. Why isn't there someone mining the same vein today?
Eric
I wanted to love this book and laugh out loud. I smiled a few times. I have actually referred to a few anecdotes in the weeks since I finished reading it. I loved her description of moving away from the city (with layers of history) to the suburbs (where all the houses looked the same and zero history). So what did people do? Invent antiques to artificially provide some history.
Heather
I wish I had her wit. I really do. She had a real light humor that most morose people wouldn't understand. There were spots in this book I laughed out loud- that I even read out loud to my husband. Her view on how Kenny appeared as one of their children without ever noticing was typical suburbia life well into the 80s. The kid that's always at your house and never wants to go home. Now kids have the internet to escape to. Erma is a gem and I wish we still had her spin on things to make us laugh...more
Heather
Such a funny lady with a great portrayal of family life. It must have been a copy my mom had and I picked up out of boredom one day. Way before I had a family of my own. I loved it! Erma is great!
Mary
It was very light, comical reading. Got through it rather quickly but that was the whole idea. Erma Bombeck's sense of humor regarding everyday things like husbands, dogs and kids had me cracking up. Would recommend.
Amy Kitchell-Leighty
It was so fun to get this book out after so many years. I read all of Bombeck's books as a child and thought they were hilarious.In fact, I used to write essays that were very Erma Bombeck-esc about my life as a middle child. Bombeck talks about Barbie and Ken, station wagons, land lines, and washer repairmen and although some of these things are practically obsolete, they still hold value. We are doing the same things as she did in the 60s--80s, it's just been tweaked a little with cell phones...more
Kathy Tesch
witty, but not as good as some of her others.
Rd
I want to read this book again soon!
Kathleen Pilz
I absolutely love Erma Bombeck!
Barb
I read this book as a teenager when it was first written many years ago. I loved it. I laughed out loud over and over again. I expected to do the same now, more than 30 years later. I still love Erma Bombeck's sense of humor. I love the way she puts into words what we all experience. But as I am more "seasoned" now than when I was a teenager, I've added hundreds of books to those I have read, so I have hundreds more to compare it to. I still liked it, but I no longer consider it "amazing."
Denise
Bombeck was one of my favorite authors when I was a teen. She wrote with a hilarious clarity of things I only knew from a youngster's perspective. I wasn't a wife, mother, or grandmother but her books gave me a long-lasting appreciation for the gift of finding humor where there seems to be very little or none. This is the kind of book that brings many smiles without sex, profanity, ridicule, or negativity at the expense of others. If you haven't read Bombeck's writings, give them a try.
Elizabeth Rose
A decently funny read. Easily forgettable.
Suzyberry
Read...laugh...laugh some more...that is what dear Erma would have wanted. And though she is sadly now gone, that is the legacy I believe she wanted to leave all of us. Every book she wrote looked at the hilarity of life, of living and of just being human. Thank you, Erma...you are missed...but your words live on forever to remind us of your incredible sense of humor...and that we must not take life so seriously. Just laugh more often!
Mom
We were living in Peck when I heard about Erma Bombeck's books. This is fun. It was reading that was light, funny and too true! She was like a neighbor with a great sense of humor. She added humor and fun to the day.

Yeah for the Mulvane Public Library. I couldn't afford to buy books. so if they didn't have it through the inter library loan, they could get it for me.
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Erma Louise Bombeck, born Erma Fiste, was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for a newspaper column that depicted suburban home life humorously, in the second half of the 20th century.

For 31 years since 1965, Erma Bombeck published 4,000 newspaper articles. Already in the 1970s, her witty columns were read, twice weekly, by thirty million readers of 900 newspapers of USA and Canada...more
More about Erma Bombeck...
If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries What Am I Doing in the Pits? When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home Family - The Ties that Bind...And Gag! Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession At Wit's End

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