rhuyck, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by rhuyck)
A fine addition to the growing genre of back-to-the-farm memoirs. Better depictions of characters and relationships than I am used to seeing in this sort of book, and where it is sentimental it is not syrupy. The author is able to convey emotion without a sledgehammer.
Bev Melven, July 31, 2010 (view all comments by Bev Melven)
Michael Perry is a perfect blend of manly-man and vulnerable artist. Perry writes beautifully and powerfully about life - his life in particular. Marriage, becoming a father, building a chicken coop, the death of friends and family, the need to be smarter than your pigs, religious ambiquity - no subject is out-of-bounds and everything comes back to how crazy, precious and fantastic every day is. Everyone can find something to love in this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Coop is perfect for anyone dreaming of a "simple" life in the country — and for those already living it. Perry is a brilliant storyteller, and this is a funny and poignant account of his unorthodox childhood and his current quest for some cred as a parent and homesteader.
by Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review),
"Because Perry is an adept storyteller, he balances the sweeter sections with passages evoking the sting of loss and grief....Dryly humorous, mildly neurotic and just plain soulful — a book that might even make you want to buy a few chickens."
"[T]ypical Perry: written in an easygoing, talk-to-the-reader style, with a self-effacing sense of humor and an ability to conjure up vivid mental pictures with a few well-chosen words."
by Publishers Weekly (Starred Review),
"Perry (Population: 485) is that nowadays rare memoirist whose eccentric upbringing inspires him to humor and sympathetic insight instead of trauma mongering and self-pity. His latest essays chronicle a year on 37 acres of land with his wife, daughters and titular menagerie of livestock (who are fascinating, exasperating personalities in their own right). But these luminous pieces meander back to his childhood on the hardscrabble Wisconsin dairy farm where his parents, members of a tiny fundamentalist Christian sect, raised him and dozens of siblings and foster-siblings, many of them disabled. Perry's latter-day story is a lifestyle-farming comedy, as he juggles freelance writing assignments with the feedings, chores and construction projects that he hopes will lend him some mud-spattered authenticity. Woven through are tender, uncloying recollections of the homespun virtues of his family and community, from which sprout lessons on the labors and rewards of nurturance (and the occasional need to slaughter what you've nurtured). Perry writes vividly about rural life; peck at any sentence — 'One of the [chickens] stretches, one leg and one wing back in the manner of a ballet dancer warming up before the barre' — and you'll find a poetic evocation of barnyard grace. Photos." (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In over his head with two pigs, a dozen chickens, and a baby due any minute, the acclaimed author of Truck: A Love Story gives readers a humorous, heartfelt memoir of a new life in the country.
by Harper Collins,
"Beneath the flannel surface of this deer-hunting, truck-loving Badger is the soul of a poet." —Chicago Tribune
You'll find in this book a slender silver cord of smart contemplation about meaning and purpose." —Minneapolis Star Tribune
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