Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer” as Want to Read:
Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  781 ratings  ·  177 reviews
“One month into our stay, we’d managed to dispatch most of our charges. We executed the chickens. One of the cats disappeared, clearly disgusted with our urban ways. And Lucky [the cow] was escaping almost daily. It seemed we didn’t have much of a talent for farming. And we still had eleven months to go.”

Antonia Murphy, you might say, is an unlikely farmer. Bor
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 22nd 2015 by Avery
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dirty Chick, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dirty Chick

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  781 ratings  ·  177 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Marcela (BookaholicCat)
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
The blurb summarizes perfectly what Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer by Antonia Murphy is all about. I will just add a few things to convince you to read/listen to this book.

This is my first time listening to an autobiography. If I’m honest I never thought I would enjoy a book like Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer, but after I read the blurb and listened to the sample I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give this book a chance and I’m soooo glad I d
Sarah Scott
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book as a member of LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

I was actually surprised at just how much I enjoyed reading Dirty Chick by Antonia Murphy. I was concerned it would be a little too trying-to-be-funny with no actual humor, which can be painful to read. I was pleasantly surprised at the genuine laugh-out-loud situations that filled the pages, along with a few tender moments (particularly when discussing her developmentally delayed son, Silas).

There is definitely no sug
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

The adventures of an American couple raising a family in a fairly rural community in New Zealand, Dirty Chick is a quick and quirky read.

Some people will be put off by the graphic descriptions of farm life - and there is an awful lot of poop in this book - but if you can make it through the introduction, you're mostly home free.

I can also imagine that some people may take exception to what sometimes seems like a sn
Donna Davis
Writing humor is risky business. If one writes mainstream fiction or nonfiction and the book is not well reviewed, of course it hurts--writing is always personal, at some level--but few things are as painful as the I-thought-this-was-going-to-be-funny review. In writing about her own family and friends, albeit with a few small changes to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned, Antonia Murphy takes her bleeding heart in her own two hands and offers it up to the public for consumption.

Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: farming
Antonia Murphy grew up in the San Francisco area and never dreamed she would be a farmer. But when she and her husband are expecting their first child they decide to look for a slower and more affordable place to live than California. They settle in New Zealand, where it quickly becomes evident that most people there grow and raise at least some of their own food. Quickly Antonia has dreams of making homemade goat cheese and eating farm fresh eggs, but the reality is much harder and dirtier than ...more
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read too many books lately that I didn't want to end, and I could have kept going reading this one. Antonia Murphy and her husband decide to leave their lives in the US and sail to NZ, and after a few years and two small kids find themselves housesitting for a year in rural New Zealand. Left to look after the animals at the small holding they live in, they gradually acquire a rather motley crew of adopted animals, alpacas, chickens, a rooster, goats and dogs.

With their two young child
Denise Westlake
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it
A fun and quick book of very interesting farm animal facts. Author seems to be quite crazy, and equally lovable. Some pieces don't seem to fit, but so what? Just enjoy it.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been on a streak lately of reading memoirs / nonfiction accounts of people who have made the change to smallholding / lifestyle farming. This was the first book I've managed to find that's actually NZ based tho - and bonus that the author is actually Californian, as I am. It was nice reading a similar-but-different account and having someone to relate to and that feels like a friend, though I only know her through the book.
I do need a picture of the ear headbands tho....
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this autobiographical story of an American couple and their mishaps as beginner farmers in New Zealand. Some parts were hilarious, others were disgusting and many were brutally honest about family life. Easy and enjoyable read.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“By now I’d learned that country life is not a pastoral painting. Sure, at various times during the year you might see fluffy white lambs prancing in the tall grass, but those moments are rare. Real country life, it turns out, involves blood, shit and worms.”

Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer is the first memoir by magazine journalist, Antonia Murphy. When the cost of health insurance in San Francisco sent Antonia Murphy looking for somewhere to migrate to, New Zealand loo
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Listening to or reading autobiographies is something I haven't done since I was a teenager, but when I had an opportunity to review Dirty Chick I had to grab it with both hands. You see, Antonia's adventures as a newly minted farmer is something I could relate to and was intensely curious to compare with my own experience.

Personal reasons aside, this book is funny, at times hysterically comical, smart, self-deprecating and bittersweet. Antonia narrates it herself and does a fantastic
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, non-fiction, memoir
I was a goodreads first reads winner of this book. it is an ARC. I had a lot of fun reading this humorous book. Antonia Murphy did a good job writing her memoir. This is one of those "fish out of water" stories. Antonia and her husband Peter sailed from San Francisco to New Zealand.After living in the city in their adopted home. The couple decide they want to live in the country and raise all kinds of animals. They are also parents to two small children. A five year old boy and three year old g ...more
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I wasn't sure whether I'd really get into it the story, based on the author's politics (left wing Bay Area), but that turned out not to be much of a problem. For the most part it's the story of settling down in a small community. Antonia (pronounced An-tone-EE-ah, as in the Cather story) is easy to relate to as a character; her husband works in an outside tech job (which is how they qualified to emigrate), so they aren't large scale farmers, more that they happen to have several critter ...more
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loving Chickens made me pick this book up. The front cover got me. I have not had a laugh out loud book in such a long time. Antonia and Peter have the most amazing life moving from San Francisco to New Zealand (actually sailing across) to become hobby farmers. It happens by chance really. They rent a place with a few chickens a dog and a cat and then keep adding more animals (19 all up) and more crazy funny stories. I will never think of a duck the same or an Alpaca for that matter. Antonia lea ...more
Randal White
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, netgalley
I received this book as an early reviewer from Library Thing.
This is an entirely satisfying book. There were times when it made me laugh out loud. And times when it made me shake my head in wonder at how the author could have such a fantastic, irreverent sense of humor in the face of all she had to deal with. And there were times it made me cringe in revulsion at some of the horrors of farm life. It's an easy, quick read. I would recommend it to anyone who ever dreamed of moving to a farm and r
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I can't even remember a book that made me laugh as much as this one did. The author paints such a wonderful picture of farm life using words and especially farm life as seen through the eyes of someone who has never farmed. Her characters are lovable and people you would hope to get to know in your own community. Many many time this book made me literally laugh out loud and my little dog wondered what in the world was wrong with his mother. It is well written and I lo ...more
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Not a book to read while you are eating, too many disgusting details! I feel like I am an unlikely farmer myself after we moved to the country this year. It's a good thing my husband is the hobby farmer and I am the librarian, he knows what he is doing and I haven't got a clue about farming! We haven't got all the animals Antonia has yet, but we only started with animals last month and we already have ducks, chickens and a puppy. Goats are next on the list, I hope we can make nice cheese with th ...more
Mandy Radley
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Francie who I work with for recommending this book to me, it's usually the other way round.

I will never walk past my local park and look at the ducks in the same way again.
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book definitely takes the romance out of hobby farming. I almost didn't finish the book, but I was more interested in what happened to the author's disabled/delayed son.
MsSmartiePants the candy...
I chose some books for my 'recreational reading' and this book's subject caught my eye: American ex-pat's move to New Zealand and begin to ranch with a variety of animals. The two protagonists are adventure minded people (and naive hippies) who sail all the way to New Zealand and take jobs in the southern tip of the country where it is always bitterly cold. As soon as they're approved for permanent residency they move to the northern tip and rent a ranch from another ex-pat couple vacating for o ...more
Azat Sultanov
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another personal account of a family which moves to New Zealand and tries to make a living and blend into a farming community in New Zealand with no experience whatsoever in farming and a delayed child as an additional challenge. Made me smile numerous times. They sound very optimistic and don't allow life challenges upset them taking it all with a pinch of humor. At least it seems like that.

The community they live in seems very nice. They give support to each other in every possible way. Every
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a funny and tragic year-in-the-life book of a fairly unusual family. I can only hope that Antonia Murphy was exaggerating her own and her family's cluelessness about animal care for dramatic effect. Other than that, they are charming and I wish them the best in all they do. I don't know what happened afterwards with her son's medical issues, but I really hope he's OK. I adored Antonia's audio narration, particularly her impersonations of her daughter. There's a bit of oddly prurient hila ...more
Ellen Pilch
May 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is an awful book about a n American couple with 2 children living in New Zealand. They start out renting a farm and caring for the animals that currently reside there and add to the collection. A lot of bad things happen to these animals including their dog eating some of the chickens. I thought it was awful of them to leave their goat on "love mountain" with several male goats so she could basically get raped for 2 months.
The author seems obsessed with poop too. Her 5 year old son likes t
Vicki Moutoux
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a fun book to read about a family in an unusual situation which sometimes tends to get away from them. They have moved to rural New Zealand and almost at once begin to accumulate an interesting variety of animals which they initially know very little about. This tells of their attempts to be better informed about their charges, to deal with a variety of disasters, and to manage their own family in the midst of the confusion.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Fun read, nothing deep here... and gives a lot of interesting information about farm animals, although I feel like the author is trying to make everything sound light and fun when really it isn't and she could drink less wine and pay more attention to her children's needs. Also, farm life to a city girl seemed way to easy physically and emotionally to be real and I think there could be more interesting stories if she had actually told some of the down sides of things.
I was less than impressed. The blurbs led me to believe that this was going to be a humorous take on farm life. Instead, I felt that the author seems determined to ignore the fact that her son has problems and directs what motherhood instincts she possesses toward a ragtag group of animals instead her children.
Natalia Marayah
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. A lot of it was really funny, and it was all interesting. It was just a roller coaster from start to finish! I want to start finding more of Antonia Murphy's books and start reading them. Well.. Maybe after I work a little more on my current reading list haha. I have enough books set aside to read already I suppose. Great book! Definitely recommend reading it
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really fun short read. If you love hearing about animal poop or poop in general, this is the book for you. Laugh out loud places for me. But it’s not just about that; it’s got some meaningful stuff along with the poop and pee. And I learned what scours is.
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun look at the country life, if you ever thought "it would be easier living in the country", this is a good intro to what you might be looking into. Might want to avoid reading it while eating, cows shitting toxic waste in a car is not something those with weak stomachs would be able to handle.
Vanessa Jones
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book. So funny! Rapist ducks, zombie racist alpacas, love mountain for goats, home made wine, and a beautiful community! loved this book
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Where's the Next Shelter?
  • The Ugly Game: The Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup
  • The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction
  • Gandhi: A Manga Biography
  • Long Time No See
  • The Wrong Shade of Yellow
  • Māori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood
  • Can I Kiss Her Yet?: A True Tale of Love, Marriage... and Camels
  • The Laughing Policeman:  My Brilliant Career in the New Zealand Police
  • The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt
  • My Journey with Maya
  • The Exotic and the Mundane
  • A Lap Around America (A Lap Around...)
  • Between a Rock and a White Blaze: Searching for Significance on the Appalachian Trail
  • No Place Like Home, Thank God: A 22,000 Mile Bicycle Ride Around Europe
  • Adventure North
  • Society's Child: My Autobiography
  • Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild
See similar books…
ANTONIA MURPHY is an award-winning magazine journalist, author and adventurer. Her short stories, essays and travelogues have appeared in Sail magazine, Cruising World and Latitude 38.

Since graduating from Columbia University with a completely impractical degree in European History and Comparative Politics, Antonia has earned her living as a doll designer, union stagehand, Internet geek, and yacht ch
“I think I drunk e-mailed the Auckland Philharmonic last night.” 0 likes
More quotes…