Monday, May 5, 2014

The Bucolic Plague, by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

The sub-title of this charming memoir is, "how two Manhattanites became gentlemen farmers."   The narrator is Josh who used to work as a nightclub drag queen and more recently works full time in the advertising industry.  His partner is Brent, a physician who (as the memoir begins) works for Martha Stewart's media firm.

The couple falls in love with the idea of being gentlemen farmers.  They buy an old home (the Beekman Mansion) on 60 acres in upstate New York.  And while commuting to their day jobs in New York City, they become gentlemen farmers.

The best way to give you a sense of the book is to quote the opening paragraph of the prologue:
"The last time I saw 4 A.M., I was tottering home in high heels and a matted wig sipping from the tiny bottles of Absolut I always kept in my bag for emergencies.  Emergencies like 'last call.'"
This isn't a laugh out loud book, but there are several audible giggle moments, and overall it is both captivating and enjoyable. It is also a love story.

Purcell and Ridge turned their part time fascination with the simpler life of farming into a business; because it is difficult to earn a living in agriculture, they sell soaps and such. Their web site is

I can't imagine what it must cost to heat a huge, 250 year old mansion in an upstate New York winter. But the place is lovely, as you can tell from the photos.


The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir (P.S.)

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