Item description for It Takes a Village Idiot : A Memoir of Life After the City by Jim Mullen...
Overview The author chronicles his journey from Manhattan to upstate New York's Catskill Mountains, and from sophisticated city boy to country bumpkin, in a humorous memoir about the trials and tribulations of escaping the rat race.
Publishers Description Finalist for the 2001 Thurber Prize for American Humor a "Rocky Mountain News" (Denver) Best Book of the Year Millions of people dream of abandoning the city routine for a simple country life. Jim Mullen was not one of them. He loved his Manhattan existence: parties, openings, movie screenings. He could walk to hundreds of restaurants, waste entire afternoons at the Film Forum, people-watch from his window. Then, one day, calamity. His wife quits smoking and buys a weekend house in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York -- in a tiny town diametrically opposed to Manhattan in every way. Slowly, however, the man who once boasted, "Life is just a cab away," begins to warm to the place -- manure and compost and strangers who wave and all -- and to embrace the kind of life that once gave him the shakes.
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Studio: Simon & Schuster
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.53" Width: 5.49" Height: 0.55" Weight: 0.63 lbs.
Release Date Jul 16, 2002
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 0743218795 ISBN13 9780743218795
Availability 0 units.
More About Jim Mullen
Jim Mullen writes the "Hot Sheet" column for Entertainment Weekly and has also written for The New York Times, New York magazine, and The Village Voice.
Jim Mullen currently resides in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about It Takes a Village Idiot : A Memoir of Life After the City?
City folk turned mutant country killers May 12, 2007
I was enjoying It Takes a Village Idiot up until page 183 when suddenly, outta no where, Jim & Sue turn into cruel vicious killers.
"Patrolling the perimeter (of their garden) one day" Sue spotted a woodchuck down by the barn and yelled for me to come help. I grabbed the first thing I could find--my five-iron-and ran down there. We had him cornered and I started clubbing it. It was like something out of Goodfellas. Each smack made a sickening thump, but the thing wouldn't stop twitching. I didn't want it to suffer (yeah right. can you believe that?), but I couldn't seem to finish it off. Finally I came down with a mighty stroke right on its head. Woodchuck blood splattered all over me, my shirt, my pants, my face. But it stopped moving."
I don't know about you but that makes me ill. How cold blooded can you be? To physically beat something to death. Woodchucks = Marmots = Groundhogs All they had to do was lower that fence they put up around the garden (to keep deer out), a foot or two below ground. Where's their brains. That's what I did. It was plain common sense. When you see something digging under your fence--lower it! Heck! with the money they had they could of poured a two foot concrete wall below their fencing. I used rocks and junked bricks.
Then on page 206 there's this "On the way to the store, we passed a fly-covered deer carcass on the shoulder of the road. Sue looks at it unsympathetically and says, One down, three hundred thousand to go." " Ouuwee where'd she get all this hate from? What an ugly person she turned out to be.
Then they turned into arrogant rich country snobs, belittling everyone who does not live/think as they now do. What an about face. In the beginning Jim and Sue Mullen seemed like OK people but in the end you see that they really aren't.
Hilarious and So True Apr 6, 2007
Jim Mullen has written an hysterically funny, insightful book that is a must read for those wavering between living in the City or living in the country. Mullin is a rare writer who can get humor out of real life -- side-splitting humor at that. This is a great book for anyone interested in big laughs and great insights.
Frank Scoblete: author of Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution! and Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution!
I live In Delaware County. Feb 9, 2007
Like some of the other reviewers said this was a quick read. Not just because it is light. It is also a likeable book. It has a cute ending in that he winds up liking Delaware County very much.
Light, fun read for the most part. Inconsistent, I thought. Nov 23, 2006
OK, so, you know before you open the book that city dweller finds peace and happiness in the heartland after many poignant and sweet things happen to him to sway him. So he starts out being the unwilling partner in this move outside of NYC, and gradually he comes to love it in the countryside.
But throughout the book, I felt like every time he was gradually starting to sway toward the country life, he'd then turn around and say something to the effect of how he's only doing this for his wife and that if he had his druthers, he'd live in their Manhattan apt instead. And it wasn't in a sweet sort of way, as though he were battling his own feelings. It was more like the chapters were not in chronological order. That was my beef #1.
Beef #2 was the story about the author's completely gruesome and totally gratuitous, hateful torture of a woodchuck that was a pest in their garden. This, after he went on and on about how he and his wife went to pains to use only cruelty-free traps in their garden. It was just so gross and nasty and it made me feel so sad and dark.
Otherwise, I would say it was a good, very quick read. There were funny parts and it was decent (if a bit snarky) writing. And I love any book that has chucking it all as its main theme.
" REALLY GUARANTEED TO SMILE " Jul 18, 2006
DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT . I PICKED THIS BOOK UP AT A SWAP AND IT WAS THE BEST MONEY I NEVER SPENT . THIS BOOK IS SO TONGUE-IN-CHEEK AND AT TIMES LAUGH OUT LOUD IT DESERVES 5 STARS . I WON'T SPOIL IT BY GOING ON & ON AS SOME REVIEWERS. HOWEVER, JUST KNOW, IT'S KIND OF A " FISH OUT OF WATER " REAL LIFE STORY OF CITY DWELLERS MOVE TO THE COUNTRY ! STORIES WHICH ARE ALWAYS FUNNY . SO IF YOU CAN'T BUY IT, THEN AT LEAST GO TO YOUR LIBRARY AND TRY TO GET IT . SO WORTH YOUR WHILE . NOT AS TWISTED AND LAUGH OUT LOUD AS THE DAVID SEDARIS BOOK OF " ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY " , BUT, THIS BOOK IS FUNNY WITHOUT BEING OFFENSIVE . VERY ENTERTAINING. IT WILL FIND A PERMANENT PLACE ON MY SHELVES TO LOAN TO FRIENDS .