21 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

I first ran into this author in 2006 on MySpace (remember that?). He was listed as a friend of another author I followed, was a funny guy so I picked up his book, I Am Not Myself These Days, and just rolled with laughter. He had a funny way of describing his life, yet also was severely honest. It was nice to read something so real. I believe I may have exchanged a few comments with Josh via his blog there on MySpace (no really, people used to use it!) and he was a genuinely nice guy.

A year or so later his next book, Candy Everybody Wants, came out. Really funny, but not a new memoir. I will admit to being quite disappointed because I needed that “what happens next” element, but it was funny. When I left MySpace, I lost track of the author and didn’t think anything about it until I ran across this book. A new memoir. I quickly purchased it and dove in. I lost sleep staying up late reading it. I laughed out loud so much that my husband got annoyed with me. I laughed some more.

Seriously, this is one of the most touchingly honest books I’ve read in a long time. I wish the author had a personal blog because I’m dying to know if he is now able to live his dream fully. They now have a soap company and a television show (will have to grab it from Amazon or something) through their website, Beekman 1802.

While describing what happened with Brent and himself after the first year, I was close to tears. His portrayal is either really well faked or strikingly honest. It appears that they are still going at it, they have a TV show. I just hope that they managed to turn into who they really are and not the perfect farm couple. Let’s be honest, bickering is the honest life, never mind the best life – that doesn’t truly exist.

There’s a section of the book that made me laugh because it’s so honest and so true of what goes on in a real relationship:

“I’d thought I smelled something burning,” Brent added.
I’d reached my breaking point. I’d spent all afternoon making this pie for the blog—a pie that we wouldn’t even be able to eat since we were leaving for the city—and he didn’t say anything when he smelled it burning?
“Then why didn’t you say something!?”
“Because we’re not supposed to be talking to each other!”
“Then why don’t you shut the f*** up!!!”

Be honest, how many times have you and your loved one had exchanges like this? At the time, I bet it wasn’t all that funny, but either 1 minute – or maybe a few days – later, you look back on it and laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing. THAT is what being in a relationship means. Anyway, just something that struck me as a reader. The la-de-dah memoirs get on my nerves, I want the author to be sincere and truthful.

This book is worth a read, for sure. If you are someone that’s ever dreamed of giving up your J-O-B to pursue a dream or if you’re someone that is living your dream or if you just need a really good laugh with some heart, read it. This goes in my “must read” pile for sure.

I’ll leave you with one more quote to entice you to read this book… this is upon them watching a momma goat give birth: “She’s not a goat,” I said. “She’s a clown car.”

See? You laughed, right? Go read it.

What happens when two New Yorkers (one an ex–drag queen) do the unthinkable: start over, have a herd of kids, and get a little dirty?

Find out in this riotous and moving true tale of goats, mud, and a centuries-old mansion in rustic upstate New York—the new memoir by Josh Kilmer-Purcell, author of the New York Times bestseller I Am Not Myself These Days. A happy series of accidents and a doughnut-laden escape upstate take Josh and his partner, Brent, to the doorstep of the magnificent (and fabulously for sale) Beekman Mansion. One hour and one tour later, they have begun their transformation from uptight urbanites into the two-hundred-year-old-mansion-owning Beekman Boys.

Suddenly, Josh—a full-time New Yorker with a successful advertising career—and Brent are weekend farmers, surrounded by nature’s bounty and an eclectic cast: roosters who double as a wedding cover band; Bubby, the bionic cat; and a herd of eighty-eight goats, courtesy of their new caretaker, Farmer John. And soon, a fledgling business, born of a gift of handmade goat-milk soap, blossoms into a brand, Beekman 1802.

The Bucolic Plague is tart and sweet, touching and laugh out loud funny, a story about approaching middle age, being in a long-term relationship, realizing the city no longer feeds you in the same way it used to, and finding new depths of love and commitment wherever you live.

Rating: ★★★★★

Book count for 2010: 85
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