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Far Out Isn't Far Enough: Life in the Back of Beyond

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Toni Ungerer records in a 12-month diary the couple's unexpected successes, dramatic calamities and touching personal moments as they fix up their house, rear livestock and get to know their neighbours. More than 150 drawings accompany Ungerer's descriptions, creating a vivid impression of the landscape, the townsfolk and the wildlife. ...more
Hardcover, 170 pages
Published May 4th 2011 by Phaidon Press (first published January 1st 1984)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  87 ratings  ·  16 reviews


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Jay
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Tomi’s illustrated journal of life in Nova Scotia reads like one of his peculiar stories. The lives there as ephemeral and acerbic as the tides, leave the people feeling more like apparitions. Their intermittent visits an offering of comic relief in a place where humor’s only service lies in making light of loss. And that loss in Gull Harbor, steady yet unpredictable, becomes an immutable fixture of the landscape, taking on a life of its own.

Life in New York City (what drove Tomi and Yvonne to N
...more
Lexie
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, earth, art, standouts
I fell in love with this book while on a train traveling across Canada in the mid-80s. It was an impulse buy, and sat in one of my to-read piles until the end of a post-grad term. For the trip: perfect. The story unrolled as the Prairies bolted by my window.

Life on a farm. The brevity of life on a farm. Eloquent drawings and prose about the 'necessaries' of living, thriving, and dying.
...more
Caleb
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I first learned of Tomi Ungerer by watching the documentary which shares the title of this book. From the get-go, I was fascinated by his story and his diverse, yet controversial artistic career (certainly, you don't see very many children's book illustrators simultaneously releasing subversive anti-war cartoons and adult books with such titles as "Erotoscope"). After watching the doc I acquainted myself with some of his classic picture books, but I still wanted more, so I put Far Out Isn’t Far ...more
Ian Young
A sometimes touching, heartwarming tale of a NY artist and children's storyteller who moves with his wife to a farm in Gull Harbour, Nova Scotia. As they struggle to live self-sufficiently, the book provides some insights into what life must have been like for early settlers. Although the author was incredibly adaptible and inventive, life was never easy. The harsh reality of life on the edge of civilization often jolts you from the idyllic into the brutal life and death struggle going on every ...more
Yvonne
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: nature lovers, primitive art fans, lovers of words
Recommended to Yvonne by: SeaTimes review of movie
Tomi Ungerer is an illustrator with a true eye, who can write a fair Hemingway-esque line as well.

In 1974, French-born Tomi and his wife left New York City for the back of beyond, Nova Scotia. This little book lovingly illustrates their time there. Tomi describes in sketch and pastels, watercolors and words the animals, plants, ocean, pond and people of that little farm on the northeastern coast and the nearby town. The animals are lovingly sketched -- and butchered. What else can a gourmet do e
...more
Joyce
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
In my quest to read as many of Tomi Ungerer's books before summer's end, Far Out Isn't Far Enough: Life in the Back of Beyond is the one I was least looking forward to. It's Mr. Ungerer's memoir of his time spent living in the remote coastal town of Gulf Harbour, Nova Scotia and a documentation of nature and wildlife in the surrounding area. Oh joy.

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I like how matter-of-factly he wrote of his unrefined neighbours and fellow townspeople and the humour h
...more
Caro
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ill
Ungerer and his wife moved to the back of beyond, a remote fishing village in Nova Scotia, where they learned to butcher pigs, raise sheep, and battle the weather. Ungerer's dark side comes out here and there (making a pate in the shape of a swastika for German visitors, for example), but this is mostly a matter-of-fact account of a year on a farm. The sketches and watercolors are wonderful, as are his careful observations of the creatures and people they encounter. Highly recommend. ...more
Gregory Han
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
A clarifying reminder of the pleasures and pains of living life in rhythm with nature, the seasons and in the confines of a small community. The illustrations alone make this worth a peek.
Edwina
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Strangely enough, this book is all at once a gentle story with a healthy dose of harsh reality, funny, quirky, yet, deadly serious.

Set in a rural area or Nova Scotia, where nothing happens, but there is no trouble to fill up a journal, he sure keeps you guessing.

Lovely little sketches accompany the collection of short stories, each vignette no longer than a day long.

If you happen to be a Maritimer, you'll probably see the charm, and glaring truths. The seventies weren't pretty.
...more
Matthew
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, and his philosophy, when I read it back in the 80s. A life well lived, out in wild country. Rest in Peace, Tomi.
Mike
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A terrific package, the humor, stories, paintings, sexuality, learnings about animal husbandry & butchery. Writing style is delicious, so I started re-reading as soon as completing the book.

favorite story, p 118, where the crow pecks poor Sacha's (Newfoundland) paw, and then steals his meaty bone.
...more
Jennifer
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Entails some gruesome details during his living in Nova Scotia. Some parts, too are humerous and some just plain shocked me (He chronicles conversations with local residents). Life is just different in some parts of the world, and Ungerer shares an insightful look at the people and rituals in ragards to way of life during the 60's in Gulf Harbor. ...more
Pete Bangs
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love to read about illustrators and artists and Ungerer is certainly a great artist and storyteller. His autobiographical tale of life on a small island where the definition of sanity is fluid is fascinating and the urban sketching a real eye opener for those, like me, who know him as an illustrator.
Courtney
Apr 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Courtney by: Soule Mama
Beautiful illustrations. Memoir of an artist/author who moved from New York to a very remote town in Nova Scotia. Though the landscape seems beautiful, the state of the town and its residents are bleak and disheartening.
Sandy
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Quirky memoir of living out in a tiny fishing village for a few years and farming. Oddly written but he does say, it's just notes and journaling. The book has marvelous illustrations! Worth reading for them alone.
...more
Margaret Pinard
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
illustrated colorful history of a fishing village in Nova Scotia during hard times... lovely vision this guy had, enchanting turns of phrase, and vivid images.
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Jean-Thomas "Tomi" Ungerer was a French illustrator best known for his erotic and political illustrations as well as children's books.
...more

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