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At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,224 ratings  ·  266 reviews
We all dream it.
Wade Rouse actually did it.

Finally fed up with the frenzy of city life and a job he hates, Wade Rouse decided to make either the bravest decision of his life or the worst mistake since his botched Ogilvie home perm: to uproot his life and try, as Thoreau did some 160 years earlier, to "live a plain, simple life in radically reduced conditions."

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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Crown (first published January 1st 2009)
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Into Thin Air by Jon KrakauerInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonThe Call of the Wild by Jack LondonKon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl
Tales of Adventure
186th out of 302 books — 342 voters
But Inside I'm Screaming by Elizabeth FlockAt Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream by Wade RouseI'll Scream Later by Marlee MatlinA Bright Red Scream by Marilee StrongTwitch And Shout by Lowell Handler
Scream and Shout
2nd out of 6 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

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I had to put this book down on page 10 and walk away for a bit. Most of those ten pages were spent describe just how gay the author is. Instead of using one pithy, funny example or metaphor, Rouse uses them all. He had so many funny lines in his head that he couldn't choose, so he didn't. It was as though each "I'm so gay that..." line was his child, and he couldn't bear to get rid of any of them. (See how I pretty much repeated myself, using three sentences to say what could have been conveyed ...more
Believe it or not, Wade was once a rural boy. But he was a GAY rural boy and got tired of being teased, picked on and harassed…or simply not having a place that served a decent latte. So he ran to the city, got himself a boyfriend and all the Starbucks coffee he could drink.

Now, years later, he feels less than fulfilled. He’s busy but he’s not happy. He loves the city but he can’t stand his job. So he’s going to be like Thoreau and simplify his needs. He wants peace and quiet to think and figur
I couldn't decide which rating to give this book (three or four stars?), but I had to go with four because it made me laugh out loud so many times (much to the chagrin of the husband falling asleep beside me).

I have a problem with books in that I desire something besides the usually depressing nonfiction (politics, industrial food, proliferation of toxins, social injustice, general environmental devastation) and fiction (Russian novelists, early American women writers, black literature, social
Patrick Gibson
"Misadventures" of a man who hits 40 with a resounding thud and resolves to uproot his life, quit his job and leave the city, cable, culture and consumerism behind in order to move to a knotty-pine cottage in the middle of the Michigan woods to recreate a modern-day Walden. The memoir chronicles ultimate urbanite Wade and his partner, Gary, as they embrace 10 Life Lessons -- sort of a City/Country Smackdown -- based on trying to achieve a simpler life but also rooted in the tenets of Walden (thi ...more
Wade Rouse is a racist douchebag who is so full of himself I'm surprised he has room for his boyfriend's dick.

And what particularly bugs me is I was really looking forward to reading this book when I picked it up. Ever since Matthew (and if you don't know which Matthew, I will hurt you), I've been obsessed with gays in rural areas and small towns.

But Rouse is so freaking obnoxious I found myself hoping he'd get eaten by one of the wild animals roaming around his property.

Dig this gem: "A large p
I have NO idea where I happened to hear of this book, but it's been sitting on my to-read list for quite a while, so I decided to check it out from the library. It is subtitled, "Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life", and was actually very well written. I think it would have been improved if it were about 100 pages shorter, though.

Wade Rouse is gay, and very proud of it. And very proud of his tank tops, lip balm, choker necklaces, etc., etc. He grew up in the Ozarks, and could hardly wait
Y’all, this book was a difficult one for me to review. I was pretty much torn down the middle in my love it / hate it feelings while I was reading, and ended up so conflicted that I had to set it aside.

After letting it sit for a few days, I think I may have fallen on the Hate It side of the fence.

On the one hand, it was funny.

I actually did appreciate the chapter on religion.

And I have never adored Michigan more than I did in this book.

But that was mainly because I liked the idea that the state
The author chronicles the first months after having moved with his partner from St. Louis to a cottage in rural Michigan just outside the gay-friendly resort town of Saugatuck. The pages are filled with witty prose in short segments that extoll how a gay couple uproot their lives and transition from an urbane life to a more rural, and hopefully, improved existence. I sought this book based on a recommendation from a friend. It appealed to me because of the humor in hearing of a gay couple moving ...more
Fabulously gay PR exec moves from the big city to the woods of Michigan in order to write a book. Extreme culture shock ensues. In a funny way.

I picked up this book after reading a positive review in a magazine. It's a memoir and the writer, Wade, is one of those infectiously high-spirited and amusing people that you like even when they're being really self-absorbed and kind of annoying. Wade is one of those gay guys who is in love with his own stereotype. He lives for fab parties, designer clot
Wade Rouse is my new favorite author and this is the book that started it all. I picked this up because I could identify with the title. Rural areas have always scared the crap out of me, conjuring up images of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house. This book was laugh out loud funny from the get go- so hilarious that I actually just used the phrase "laugh out loud funny." His voice and his timing are excellent and really make the book hard to put down. I found myself frequently reading excerpts to ...more
N W James
Wade Rouse's writing style is so hyperbolized I didn't believe most of the book. I kinda feel like he knew this because sometimes he actually attached phrases like "I swear this actually happened" to the end of a story where woodland creatures gang up on him in his yard and he stumbles over a raccoon dog toy trying to get back into the house.

The only time I didn't feel this way was during the chapter based on religion. He skirted the shallow and stereotypical gay Spoiled Brat voice and actually
Now look. I don't care how much your grandma liked Thoreau or how absurdly citified you are, Saugatuck ( ) is not the wilderness. And Saugatuck aside, the characterization of Michigan got my back up a little bit, since he basically used it as a casual synonym for "howling redneck wasteland/Siberia." We are not without our rednecks but I'd say, first, that Michigan is about a demographically varied a state as there is, and, second, that our howling wilderness is ...more
Charming book. I read a bit of it in October before I had to put it down for the month of November to work on my own book. Picked it up again December 1st and laughed my way through it.

I really don't know how to explain this in a way that will do it justice. A gay man and his partner move from the city to the middle of nowhere and try to survive without the luxuries that they had been used to. All the misadventures are hilarious as they battle with nature, the snow, and each other.

The only part
While perhaps not the most perfect book in a literary sense, I found this book hugely entertaining--more cheeseburgers and fries for the brain (thank you, Mrs. Miller). An urban gay couple moves to the dune 'n' orchard country of southwestern Michigan, so that the author can attempt a recreation of Thoreau's Walden Pond experiment. It is full of delightful language (read: profanity) and colorful stories of raccoon attacks, country driving habits, and trips to the local feed store amongst more... ...more
Davis's first chapter "Coonskin Cap" is one of the funniest thing I've read. A flamingly fabulously gay man who escaped his home in the Ozarks to recreate himself as an anonymous city-dweller, Davis decides at 40 that he is doing it all wrong. After a number of not-particularly subtle signs, he and his boyfriend buy a cabin in Michigan. Davis wants to invent his own "Wade's Walden". The couple have no idea how tough life is in the dead of winter, deep in the woods. Davis makes a valiant attempt ...more
Rouse is hilarious and self-deprecating about being a stereotypical city-loving gay man in the middle of "Wade's Walden" as he attempts to try simplifying his life (ala Walden.) I laughed out loud in public places but also appreciated his attempts to grow while he was there as well as be honest about ways he may not be changing as much as he thinks (cynicism from the city etc.)

Loved it enough to buy another one of his books while I was still reading this one. :-)
Honestly, Wade Rouse is who I want David Sedaris to be. Almost as funny, less edgy, but just adorable. He moves from the city to a cabin outside of Saugatuck and gives up Dolce and Gabana for chipmunks and Thoreau. The descriptions of Michigan's critters, winters, and people alone are worth it!! I was praying I'd run into him in Saugatuck last week, but no such luck.
Kim D
I wanted to like this book. And I tried. There are so many "city dweller/fish out of water" stories that were told better, and told without the constant reminders that the author is 1 - gay, 2 - a fashionista, 3 - desperate to remake himself as a modern-day Thoreau-by-the-beach, and 4 - a whiny, candy-ass crybaby.

Jun 17, 2009 Kent rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
So I pick up this book not knowing anything about the author (or read anything previous from him) and I have been laughing my @$$ off, if you like your humor raw and uncompromising this book is hilarious about a gay man living Thourea's dream. Wade keeps a score card on living the simple life and well it's pure entertainment.
I had such high hopes because this book started out so funny! The more I read the more uncomfortable I became because the author seems to be mean-spirited, judgmental, and SO full of himself. Skip this one.
Sandy D.
This is a mostly funny memoir about two gay men who decide to leave the city and buy a cottage in the woods near Saugatuck, a resort city on Michigan's west coast. I'm strangely attracted to the "Green Acres" city to country trope, and Rouse's combination of snark, self-deprecation, and insight into small towns and rural communities is fun, although once in a while he carries his hyperbole just a bit too far. Mostly when he's talking about shoes, tight jeans, and flab.

This is the kind of passage
I bought this book because I read the first few pages in the bookstore and literally snorted I laughed so hard. Unfortunately as I continued into the book I didn't find it nearly as funny - or endearing. I would periodically put the book down and then come back to it. It wasn't holding my attention - but it was an easy read, for days when my brain was already fried.

I feared though, as I read, that it was becoming another let-me-described-to-you-how-gay-I-am-and-how-tedious-everyone-else-is-to-m
In need of something funny and light, I picked this up from the memoirs section of the library. I was really looking forward to it, but alas, it wasn't quite as great as I had hoped. For one thing, I didn't laugh. Not one time. Oh, sure, there were funny bits sprinkled in, but nothing that was laugh-out-loud worthy. (In fact, I just started Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job and have already laughed out loud, or at least snorted, a couple of times.) It's such a shame, because I was looking forward ...more
We all dream it. Wade Rouse actually did it. Finally fed up with the frenzy of city life and a job he hates, Wade Rouse decided to make either the bravest decision of his life or the worst mistake since his botched Ogilvie home perm: to leave culture, cable, and consumerism behind and strike out, a la Thoreau, for rural America - a place with fewer people than in his former spinning class. There, Wade battles blizzards, bloodthirsty critters, and nosy neighbors with night-vision goggles, and dis ...more
Wade Rouse wants to create Wade’s Walden, to follow his dream and write, to emulate Henry David Thoreau, eschewing the trappings of the city, living off the land and generally embracing the simple life like he did as a child in the Ozarks. He does so by quitting his job and packing up his house in St. Louis, his dog, Marge, his boyfriend, Gary, and moving just outside a resort town in Michigan that they visited and loved, all while taking on two mortgages and losing an income. His dream takes a ...more
I wanted to like this book so much and I truly did for about the first half. And then it became almost painfully redundant in the "lessons" he was learning. The book sets up the authorial (and also autobiographical) voice to undergo a large transformation, which never really happens. Perhaps it's truer to actual life and that we don't necessarily turn a complete 180 despite our immense desire to do so. But at the same time, he set himself up to let the readers down by falling short. It was quite ...more
The concept of a fish out of water as a comedic device is an old and successful one. From “Green Acres” to “The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” it works especially well when city folk go to the country in search of a simpler life. In the instance of Wade Rouse’s “At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream,” a gay couple from St. Louis leave the big city for small town Michigan. Comedy predictably and successfully ensues from dealing with wildlife to church pot luck dinners to shopping at WalMart. ...more
A friend bought me this book shortly after I had a surgery. It was the perfect book because I needed a laugh (or 300).

Ya know, there's just something about a humorous gay dude that can freaking write. The author is amazingly funny. This book actually reminded me of another book I read earlier this year, The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers. It's the same basic idea, a long time gay couple decide to get away from the city and move to the middle of nowhere. Only, Wade
I couldn't help it - here are some of my favorite parts of this book.


"I, of course, read this too late, like I do everything in my life: the nutrition chart on Little Debbie boxes, the prescription for my Xanax, the size 4 tag in the back of my "men's" jeans."

"And then I had one of those life-changing days, the really big, super-shocking kind, the kind, perhaps, that Mary had when she learned she was a pregnant virgin or Jennifer Grey experienced when the bandages came
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