11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Country Life as Rehab,
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This review is from: It Takes a Village Idiot: A Memoir of Life After the City (Paperback)
After the brief period of time it took to read this tale, I'm not surprised it found its way into my hands. This is not only a story I "get," (couple flees city for a life in the country) it's full of a self-deprecating and sarcastic wit I welcome when reading memoirs.
Jim Mullen, a humor columnist best known for his "Hot Sheet" in Entertainment Weekly, portrays Manhattan life as addiction. Addiction, for example, to non-stop action, Broadway plays, gallery openings, ethnic restaurants and The New York Times. The symptoms include immunity to noise and smells, and they lead to chain-smoking and excessive spending at The Sharper Image. He's hooked. It's his wife, Sue, who takes the lead and buys a farm three hours northwest of the city in the Catskills, and drags him along for what turn out to be rehabilitative weekends. As the weekends grow from two days to five and then finally full time, he gives up smoking, takes up bicycling and then learns about everything from growing giant pumpkins to the inner workings of a septic system. One realizes he has come full circle when he describes a dewy spider web as the prettiest thing he's ever seen and recognizes a "flatlander" in the garden store. While observing this newer version of the village idiot, he rolls his eyes and wonders if that's how he was when he first entered (the fictional town of) Walleye.
The writing is original and funny, informal without being glib, irreverent without being vulgar. For anyone who enjoys well-written memoirs--particularly those of the city-mouse, country mouse variety--put this on your list. Also recommend: "Fifty Acres and a Poodle."
Michele Cozzens, Author of A Line Between Friends and The Things I Wish I'd Said.