jessgates, March 2, 2010 (view all comments by jessgates)
Admittedly, I have a goat thing. I have always loved goats. I could spend hours at the country fair with the 4-H goats and don't even get me started on fainting goats. Brilliant. This book jumped off the shelf, speaking directly to me. It is a wonderful story about a return to pastoralism and communion with nature, food and animals. It does get a bit flowery at times, moving from a great story in to a dreamy poetic trance. It comes back though. A great read for anyone who wants to feel a connection with their food. And bonus, it is about goats!
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Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, a Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese
0 stars -
Scribner Book Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Novelist (Birds in Fall; Lick Creek) Kessler's account of tending a small herd of milking goats in Vermont captures both the lush, poetic paradise of rural life and the raw, unrelenting drama of dairying. Kessler, a Saab-driving ex-Manhattanite, purchases two Nubian goats, breeds them and helps his wife, Dona, a trained doula, attend to the birth of four goat kids the following spring. The amusing zoomorphic and anthropomorphic descriptions, where goats forage as if they were at a sample sale and milk-fed kids stagger 'like street junkies,' dissipate as Kessler endures a season of goat wrangling, haying and hunting coyotes. Kessler gives the legal aspects of unpasteurized cheese a cursory inspection; his devotion centers on a budding relationship with animals, the earth and goat cheese. He's a back-to-the-land naturalist, who supports his detailed personal observations with extensive research as he explores the cultural, historical and biological aspects of pastoralism. While the tome's lengthy poetic journal entries on animal husbandry and cheese making hardly qualify as a comprehensive manual, the observant, unsanctimonious read is bound to inspire hobby farmers and consummate cheese lovers. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Tom Ashbrook, National Public Radio,
"A wonderous little miracle of a book."
by The Wall Street Journal,
"Goat Song offers a meditation on the pastoral life...that will make an urbanite regret having missed the experience."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"The writing is so beautiful you want to reread sentences to savor it."
In his transformation from staunch urbanite to countrified goat farmer, Kessler explores the rustic roots of many aspects of Western culture, and how diet, alphabet, religions, and economy all grew out of a pastoral setting.
A gorgeously observed chronicle about getting out of the city and living life on the land, in the tradition of Anne Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
When acclaimed novelist Brad Kessler started to feel unsatisfied by his Manhattan lifestyle, he opted to tackle his issues of over-consumption and live a more eco-friendly life. He and his wife moved to a seventy-five acre goat farm in a small southern Vermont town, where they planned to make a living raising goats and making cheese. They never looked back. Now Kessler adds to his numerous accomplishments (winner of the 2007 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, 2007 Whiting Award for Writers of Exceptional Promise, and a 2008 Rome Prize) an array of cheeses that have already been highly praised by Artisanal, the renowned cheese restaurant in New York City.
In his transformation from staunch urbanite to countrified goat farmer, Kessler explores the rustic roots of so many aspects of Western culture, and how our diet, alphabet, reli- gions, poetry, and economy all grew out of a pastoral setting. With Goat Song, he demonstrates yet another dimension to his writing talent, showcasing his expertise as food writer, in a compelling, beautifully written account of living by nature’s rules.
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