Robyn's Reviews > The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir

The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
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Nov 08, 11

bookshelves: kindle, nonfiction, biography-or-memoir
Read from November 01 to 06, 2011

Here's a good way to tell whether you'll enjoy this book. Read this quote from the first chapter: "we would spend the night in a budget motel, preferably just off a major highway--not because we couldn't afford a cozy inn, but because cheap hotels reminded Brent of vacations from his youth. They reminded me of Fleet Week, so it worked out well for both of us." If you don't know why the quote is funny, or if you don't find it amusing, this is probably not the book for you.

General opinion on the book? Poor quality writing, definitely lacking in the editorial department, but still enjoyable for what it is. Don't look for depth and remember that the author is a long-time advertising executive who wants his farm's business to be successful. There is a level at which this book is marketing Josh and Brent as a brand, just as their website, reality show, and other ventures do. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is reflected in the fluff quality of the prose of this book.

Got pretty sick of Martha Stewart being referred to every other page (I don't have any negative feelings toward her, I just feel like if your entire narrative relies on references to someone who barely appears in the story, you should wait to write the book until you have more to actually say), and on the pages where she wasn't mentioned the author kept bringing up his negative past experiences as an alcoholic drag queen with an addict male escort boyfriend. I get it, he did drag shows for years. Who cares?! Just like his constant surprise that small-town people weren't horrified that they're gay made me want to tell him to get over himself.

Some noun-verb agreement problems, tense changes mid-paragraph (I leaned, she grinned, he says, I replied), etc., make me shake my head at the editors, but for those who don't have such a loud internal grammar corrector it should be fine. Although this review sounds entirely negative, I enjoyed the story and was definitely interested to see what would happen next. I don't know if that's because I enjoy reading about small-scale farming or because I was just in the mood for some fluff, but whatever it was, I give it a "3 stars, liked it".
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