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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.