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.
Tongue-in-cheek memoir of a middle-aged gay man who, inspired by Thoreau, moved to rural Michigan to pursue his writing and the simple life. Rouse (Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler, 2007, etc.) jettisoned urban pleasures and set out with his partner to craft a new life in the woods. The narrative is organized around ironic "life lessons" drawn from his reading of Thoreau and supplemented by research from the Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia. Along the way, he was ravaged by a raccoon, shopped at a warehouse store, went ice fishing and built a snowman, "complete with a very impressive thick stick penis." His meandering text offers various observations on the differences between city and country life. Urbanites have fashion, credit-card debt and neighbors who never intrude. Country dwellers are so benighted they can't even deal with his tiny little list of 21 items his local grocery should carry-typical entry: "Silver Palate rough-cut oatmeal (must be the slow-cook kind, not the instant." When the clerk responded with mild mockery, he considered "pushing the bowling pencil into her jugular . . . [I] am convinced that if I explained all of this to a jury of my peers, I would be acquitted. But I know I have no ‘peers.' " Rouse apparently aspires to reconfirm tired stereotypes about backward country people and flamboyant gay men. He also indulges in occasional flurries of tepid misogyny (a comment about dull female birds, an encounter with a lesbian sewer expert). The author's attitude and tone, including his liberal use of uninspired profanity, is encapsulated in the opening description of himself as "a self-obsessed gay man who intentionally bedazzled himself in $1,000 worthof trendy clothing just to walk the trash out in the middle of fucking nowhere!"Inauthentic and overblown. Author events out of Michigan
“This is David Sedaris meets Dave Barry….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
From the Hardcover edition.