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My Empire of Dirt: How One Man Turned His Big-City Backyard into a Farm

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Hysterical, Touching, and Utterly Mad.

Anyone looking for a step-by-step locavore how-to will be disappointed, unless they also enjoy a rollocking good story by a man who knows how to tell one.

The book does a great job of expanding upon the New York magazine article from a couple of years ago, giving us ...
Anyone looking for a step-by-step locavore how-to will be disappointed, unless they also enjoy a rollocking good story by a man who knows how to tell one.

The book does a great job of expanding upon the New York magazine article from a couple of years ago, giving us much more (brutally honest) insight into the nut-job who took on this crazy project, and it's good stuff. While reading this book I laughed hard enough to draw stares on the subway, and welled up enough that my wife asked me what I was reading (I know, I know: "I laughed! I cried!" but there you have it).

Great book, fantastic summer read. I'm recommending to friends, and look forward to more from Manny Howard.

posted by Greenb on May 3, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Horrible book, couldn't finish reading

I threw the book to the floor when he tortured the squirrel to death. This was one of several animals that died as a result of his neglect. He had no respect for nature, only a need to tightly control his surroundings. He behaved like a child with a large budget. He nev...
I threw the book to the floor when he tortured the squirrel to death. This was one of several animals that died as a result of his neglect. He had no respect for nature, only a need to tightly control his surroundings. He behaved like a child with a large budget. He never thought through any of his actions. It was incredibly frustrating to read about someone tearing through life with no thought to the consequences of his actions. I picked the book off the floor long enough to read that he failed miserably at everything he tried to do. I don't know why this was published and I don't know why anyone would finish reading it.

posted by fernva on December 13, 2010

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Page 1 of 2
  • Posted May 3, 2010

    Hysterical, Touching, and Utterly Mad.

    Anyone looking for a step-by-step locavore how-to will be disappointed, unless they also enjoy a rollocking good story by a man who knows how to tell one.

    The book does a great job of expanding upon the New York magazine article from a couple of years ago, giving us much more (brutally honest) insight into the nut-job who took on this crazy project, and it's good stuff. While reading this book I laughed hard enough to draw stares on the subway, and welled up enough that my wife asked me what I was reading (I know, I know: "I laughed! I cried!" but there you have it).

    Great book, fantastic summer read. I'm recommending to friends, and look forward to more from Manny Howard.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 13, 2010

    Horrible book, couldn't finish reading

    I threw the book to the floor when he tortured the squirrel to death. This was one of several animals that died as a result of his neglect. He had no respect for nature, only a need to tightly control his surroundings. He behaved like a child with a large budget. He never thought through any of his actions. It was incredibly frustrating to read about someone tearing through life with no thought to the consequences of his actions. I picked the book off the floor long enough to read that he failed miserably at everything he tried to do. I don't know why this was published and I don't know why anyone would finish reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 4, 2010

    I loved this book!

    I loved this book! It is funny, witty, educational, and poignant. I couldn't put it down. I needed to see what else could go wrong. Perhaps I saw a little of myself in Mr. Howard. He doesn't look before he leaps and neither do I. He also doesn't quit, no matter what happens. Cannibalistic rabbits? Piece of cake. No potatoes (and really who can't grow potatoes)? No problem. A tornado in Brooklyn (the first in 108 years)? It's just a flesh wound. Mr. Howard is an inspiration to the American spirit. However, a funny thing happened to me as I read about one mishap after another. I realized that this book was not just about backyard farming it was about commitment, self realization, emotional intelligence, and relationships.
    This book is deeper than a french drain and I loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2010

    Touched my Heart

    MEoD begins with the story of a boy and his friend building a raft to sail the Brooklyn seas... to create adventure and purpose out of literally nothing. I remember feeling that free. And so it begins. Remember the desire to do something you have never done before in the most committed and passionate way possible? Manny Howard's account of how he created a world in his backyard, with his bare hands. despite the maya of life reigning around him, is both stunning and all consuming. MEoD took hold of both the child and adult in me and stirred my memory of having such intention of seeing an idea entirely through, come hell or high water, to fruition. Whether you are building a boat, or nurturing a relationship, or raising children, or creating a farm, may you be moved so entirely that whatever you do, you throw your higher and occasionally lower self in entirely, and surrender.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Mina

    Got arrested first day in this city for no reason at all

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    CRIMINAL RECORDS

    POST THEM HERE

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Alex Knight:Criminal Records

    Alex:none exept for a parking ticket

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    Maylee

    Clean cuz only 11. Mah family also clean.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    Wesley

    Record clean nothing bad family records clean

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    CRIMINAL RECORDS

    Capt.cody

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    My Empire of Dirt is a Hilarious, Moving Tale of Urban farming

    At once full of both pathos and bathos, My Empire of Dirt is so much more than a highly entertaining memoir of one man's journey as a both a pater familias nonpareil and an unlikely urban farmer. It is the story of a marriage, a family and a friendship. As a reviewer who thinks the slow food movement has more to do with colonics than politics and is more drawn to Skippy and Coffee Mate than organic or local anything, I opened this book solely for the purposes of a great story. And what a story! I laughed aloud on numerous occasions and was continually impressed by Mr. Howard's elegant, subtle prose as well as his self-deprecating, unflinchingly honest inner-gaze. What's more, I learned how not to raise rabbits! After I gave this book to not one but two of my big city, Jimmy Choo wearing friends-- who they both loved it-- one renamed it Eat, Drink, Love. Brooklyn-style, baby! We look forward to the author's next endeavor!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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