The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir

The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir

4.4 124
by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
     
 

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“I adore the Beekman boys’ story. Their unlikely story of love, the land, and a herd of goats is hilariously honest. If these two can go from Manhattan to a goat farm in upstate New York, then I can’t help feeling there is hope for us all.” –Alice Waters

“Kilmer-Purcell’s genius lies in his ability to blindside the

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Overview

“I adore the Beekman boys’ story. Their unlikely story of love, the land, and a herd of goats is hilariously honest. If these two can go from Manhattan to a goat farm in upstate New York, then I can’t help feeling there is hope for us all.” –Alice Waters

“Kilmer-Purcell’s genius lies in his ability to blindside the reader with heart-wrenching truths in the midst of the most outlandish scenarios. He makes you laugh until you care.” — Armistead Maupin

Michael Perry (Coop, Truck: A Love Story) meets David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim) in this follow-up to Josh Kilmer-Purcell’s beloved New York Times bestselling debut memoir, I Am Not Myself These Days—another riotous, moving, and entirely unique story of his attempt to tackle the next phase of life with his partner… on a goat farm in upstate New York.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Raised in rural Wisconsin, Kilmer-Purcell moved to Manhattan to work in advertising in the 1990s. In his memoir I Am Not Myself These Days, he wrote about moonlighting as a nightclub drag queen. Now he recalls how he and his partner, Dr. Brent Ridge, a Martha Stewart Omni Media v-p, became weekend farmers after purchasing the 19th-century Beekman Mansion on 60 acres near the “hauntingly beautiful” town of Sharon Springs, N.Y. Kilmer-Purcell writes with dramatic flair and trenchant wit, uncovering mirthful metaphors as he plows through their daily experiences, meeting neighbors, signing on caretaker Farmer John, herding goats, canning tomatoes, and digging a garden, as they fix up the 205-year-old house. Cleverly contrasting ad agency life with rustic barn mucking, he must choose: “I just can’t face spending the rest of my life behind a desk selling dish soap to Middle America. Hell, I want to be Middle America.” This entertaining book gets an extra big boost from the forthcoming Beekman Farm, a Planet Green documentary TV series about the dynamic duo’s eco-adventures scheduled to air this spring. (June)
Armistead Maupin
“I gobbled up this book like…well, like goat cheese on a cracker. Kilmer-Purcell’s genius lies in his ability to blindside the reader with heart-wrenching truths in the midst of the most outlandish scenarios. He makes you laugh until you care.”
Whole Living
“A hilarious memoir.”
USA Today
“Enter 60 goats and homemade soap, apple-picking and an heirloom vegetable garden. Hilarity follows. And trouble. But let’s not spoil the party. It’s fun.”
The Stranger (Seattle)
“Always entertaining and often moving.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review
The Bucolic Plague has something different to offer—if we can do it anyone can, it tells us, provided we can laugh at ourselves.”
New York Times Book Review
“My Amtrak seat mate in the Quiet Car, a complete stranger, insisted that I read out loud the scene -- a goat in labor -- that was making me laugh so hard I was crying. . . . Kilmer-Purcell’s book is manically funny, sweetly open and trusting, and slick and snarky.”
New York Times
“Kilmer-Purcell fertilizes this narrative until it reeks of charm.”
Wall Street Journal
“Side-splitting.”
Wisconsin State Journal
“Baby goats, diarrhea, and Martha Stewart. Former drag queen turned goat farmer Josh Kilmer-Purcell begins his latest book, The Bucolic Plague, with a hilarious vignette involving all three. Clearly, the man has an interesting story to tell.”
Food & Wine
“The witty new memoir from Josh Kilmer-Purcell.”
From the Publisher
"Kilmer-Purcell fertilizes this narrative until it reeks of charm." —The New York Times
Alice Waters
“I adore the Beekman boys’ story. Their unlikely story of love, the land, and a herd of goats is hilariously honest. If these two can go from Manhattan to a goat farm in upstate New York, then I can’t help feeling there is hope for us all.”
Alison Smith
“A delicious book about two city boys who buy a farm, fall in love with a herd of goats, and attempt to revive the American dream. . . . Never has mucking out a stall been more scintillating!”
Library Journal
Kilmer-Purcell, best-selling author of I Am Not Myself and Candy Everybody Wants, recounts how he and his partner, Brent Ridge, fell in love and came to buy a farm in upstate New York. Longtime urbanites by nature and habit, they found themselves attracted to and somewhat serendipitously owners of the Beekman Mansion. Fans of both Oprah and Martha Stewart, they quickly became fully involved with renovating the house and turning it into an organic business making soap and lotion. Reality eventually sets in, and the strain tests their relationship. Johnny Heller, who has won two Audie Awards, narrates with good humor. This audiobook is recommended for listeners who are fans of David Sedaris, Stewart, and memoirs.—Pam Kingsbury, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence
Kirkus Reviews
A former drag queen swaps his pumps for work boots and life on a remote farm. After retiring his alter ego in favor of an advertising career and a serious relationship, Kilmer-Purcell (Candy Everybody Wants, 2008, etc.) and his partner Brent, the "resident health and wellness expert" for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, became instantly enchanted with Sharon Springs, a charming, upstate New York town they discovered by accident during a yearly apple-picking excursion. Their adoration spawned the purchase of the historic Beekman Mansion, a million-dollar monstrosity built in 1802, replete with seven working fireplaces, a crypt and 60 acres of farmland. As both men were raised conservatively, the joint purchase of this "second home" was extravagant and indulgent, though Kilmer-Purcell admits to seeing his future "as promising as a roll of free drink tickets once was to me." Aided by John, their trusty "co-farmer," along with the camaraderie of friendly locals, the couple began raising turkeys, dairy goats, a Holstein bull calf, a vegetable garden and a goat's-milk soap business, which exploded after a promotion on a Martha Stewart segment. A cavalcade of farming misadventures followed, all recounted in the author's droll, deadpan delivery. (The countless Martha Stewart references, however, come across as arrogant.) Eventually, the pastoral joys of country life, and Brent's unexpected layoff, took their toll on the couple's nearly-ten-year relationship. An apprehensive visit from a New York Times reporter helped leaven the mood, before the pair considered selling the farm as Kilmer-Purcell lamented, "Had this all been one big folly?"Though a well-worn theme, this particular merging of city and country is both sweet and savory. Author appearances in the New York tristate area

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061996993
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
92,344
File size:
1 MB

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What People are saying about this

Alison Smith

“A delicious book about two city boys who buy a farm, fall in love with a herd of goats, and attempt to revive the American dream. . . . Never has mucking out a stall been more scintillating!”

Armistead Maupin

“I gobbled up this book like…well, like goat cheese on a cracker. Kilmer-Purcell’s genius lies in his ability to blindside the reader with heart-wrenching truths in the midst of the most outlandish scenarios. He makes you laugh until you care.”

From the Publisher
"Kilmer-Purcell fertilizes this narrative until it reeks of charm." —-The New York Times
Alice Waters

“I adore the Beekman boys’ story. Their unlikely story of love, the land, and a herd of goats is hilariously honest. If these two can go from Manhattan to a goat farm in upstate New York, then I can’t help feeling there is hope for us all.”

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