Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Bucolic Plague- Review

Title: The Bucolic Plague
Author: Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Publisher: Harper

Goodreads Summary:

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.

My thoughts:

I adored every word in this book! While reading it, I wanted to rush over to Sharon Springs, make friends with these guys, and become part of their world, kind of like Ariel in Disney's Little Mermaid. This memoir was light-hearted, funny, sincere, and real, and was reminiscent to me of The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy by Robert Leleux . The Bucolic Plague inspired me to dream my own dreams, evoked nostalgic feelings in me for eras I never lived in, and caused me to stay up until 3 AM because it was just so good I couldn't put it down.

This book had me from the beginning, goats, diarrhea, and all. The moment Josh stuck his head out the window because he couldn't breathe, I knew I was in for a good book. The zombie flies, the paralyzing panic in Martha Stewart's kitchen, all these things and more made me laugh right out loud. The part where Josh realizes that eventually Brent is going to have to find out about the 88 goats in the barn is so something that I would do and feel. I would do something like that, and then be like, uh-oh, now I have to tell my husband? Eek! I did have to skip the scene where he slaughtered his turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, especially once he related that the turkey went with ease and calm under his arm, trusting and secure. So for anyone who is squeamish about animal death scenes, be forewarned!

But this book was not just about good times- in fact, this book illustrates how you should never take anything at face value. On the surface, Josh and Brent lived a utopian, idyllic life. For a while, at least. Then in the pursuit of perfection, they lost the sense of authenticity, the simplicity of what they were doing, and worst of all who they were together. The very traits that they loved in each other became traits they despised. I found myself wanting them to know that this was happening, to calm down, appreciate what they have, realize that it does not all have to be impeccable, Martha standard perfection. Eventually, after Josh left for work without telling Brent he loved him, they realized that the most important thing they had was each other. They seem to have it together, and I hope they do.

And anytime they want to invite me to dinner and to play with their goats, I am available. Just saying.

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