Having escaped the idiocy of rural life in his growing-up-gay-in-the-Ozarks memoir America's Boy, the author returns to it in this flamboyant fish-out-of-water saga. Inspired by Thoreau, Rouse and his partner moved to a cottage near the Michigan resort town of Saugatuck in order to simplify; wean himself from his addictions to shopping, tanning and cable; and resolve childhood traumas by being brashly gay in a nonurban setting. Saugatuck is actually quite gay-friendly, but trials abound: the eerie quiet of the countryside, the apocalyptic snows, a marauding raccoon fended off with lip balm and breath spray, the scarcity of gourmet yuppie-chow, the humiliation of wearing waders instead of Kenneth Cole boots, the slow, unfashionable locals who ask, rather perceptively, "'Don't you ever take anything seriously... things that don't affect only you?'" Rouse's battle with his own narcissism is a losing one; indeed, it feels like the real point of offering his pink-outfitted self to the suspicious gazes of hunters and other yokels is simply to accentuate what a fascinating spectacle he is. Alas, Rouse's comically campy, but rarely truly funny, writing is so trite that few readers will share his self-involvement. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Lifeby Wade Rouse
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/b>… See more details below
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."
In this rollicking and hilarious memoir, Wade and his partner, Gary, leave culture, cable, and consumerism behind and strike out for rural Michigan–a place with fewer people than in their former spinning class. There, Wade discovers the simple life isn’t so simple. Battling blizzards, bloodthirsty critters, and nosy neighbors equipped with night-vision goggles, Wade and his spirit, sanity, relationship, and Kenneth Cole pointy-toed boots are sorely tested with humorous and humiliating frequency. And though he never does learn where his well water actually comes from or how to survive without Kashi cereal, he does discover some things in the woods outside his knotty-pine cottage in Saugatuck, Michigan, that he always dreamed of but never imagined he’d find–happiness and a home.
At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream is a sidesplitting and heartwarming look at taking a risk, fulfilling a dream, and finding a home–with very thick and very dark curtains.
From the Hardcover edition.
What happens when a gay man leaves city life behind to embrace the rural lifestyle and philosophy of Thoreau? Rouse (America's Boy: A Memoir) said good-bye to his public relations job and, in an attempt to get serious about his writing, relocated with his partner to a cabin ten miles outside of a resort community in Michigan. Envision Green Acres for the 21st century. Most of the essays here offer variations on the theme of choosing the appropriate footwear for the job, as when Rouse discovers that Kenneth Cole boots are not the top choice for a day of ice fishing. Readers will encounter a dizzying assortment of brand names and references to cable television reality stars, so some of the humor may appeal only to those who appreciate a fabulous shopping spree or watching the beautiful people on the tube. This is David Sedaris meets Dave Barry-the humor is not subtle, but every page is good for a laugh.
"Rouse chronicles the hilarious escapades of these 'two neurotic urbanites' as they ensconce themselves in the woods without magazine subscriptions, malls, Trader Joe's, HGTV, or lattes. Rouse feels like a Martian confronting the locals at the general store, and suffers extreme anxiety when attempting ice fishing or karaoke. Gay or straight, any reader who has tried to 'fit in' somewhere outside his or her comfort zone will readily empathize with Rouse's rousing and ultimately successful lifestyle change."
"Wade Rouse is a true oddball: half Henry David Thoreau, half Oliver Wendell Douglas. AT LEAST IN THE CITY SOMEONE WOULD HEAR ME SCREAM is a funny, good-natured chronicle of a fish out of water, slowly learning to breathe."
–Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of Election, Little Children, and The Abstinence Teacher
“In AT LEAST IN THE CITY SOMEONE WOULD HEAR ME SCREAM, Wade Rouse’s inner Eddie Albert does battle with his inner Eva Gabor. I won’t tell you who wins, but the fight is immensely entertaining.”
–A.J. Jacobs, bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically
“Somewhere between Thoreau’s Walden Pond and Oliver Douglas’s Green Acres lies Wade Rouse. In AT LEAST IN THE CITY SOMEONE WOULD HEAR ME SCREAM, Rouse details his quest to shed the trappings of his fabulous life to live more simply… except no one told him how hard the simple life would be. Rouse is a master raconteur and his transition from city slicker to country mouse is filled with side-spitting humor, heart, and, of course, bands of marauding raccoons. This book has now taken its place at the top of my favorites list!”
—Jen Lancaster, bestselling author of Such a Pretty Fat and Pretty in Plaid
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