The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir (Hardcover)
June 2010 Indie Next List
“When Josh and his pertner Brent stumble upon the Beekman Mansion during their yearly jaunt from New York City to upstate apple country, they fall in love with the dilapidated farm long before they even set foot inside. As they slowly turn from city socialites to country boys, the Beekman offers up a series of challenges: Brent's determination to live up to Martha Stewart's perfection (who just so happens to be his boss), Josh's desire to live his Oprah-inspired Best Life, 84 goats, a quiet farmhand known simply as Farmer John, a few ghosts, zombie flies, and the collapsing economy. The Bucolic Plague is indeed an unconventional -- and unforgettable -- memoir.”
— Megan Fecko, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lyndhurst, OH
What happens when two New Yorkers (one an ex drag queen) do the unthinkable: start over, have a herd of kids, and get a little dirty?
Find out in this riotous and moving true tale of goats, mud, and a centuries-old mansion in rustic upstate New York the new memoir by Josh Kilmer-Purcell, author of the New York Times bestseller I Am Not Myself These Days. A happy series of accidents and a doughnut-laden escape upstate take Josh and his partner, Brent, to the doorstep of the magnificent (and fabulously for sale) Beekman Mansion. One hour and one tour later, they have begun their transformation from uptight urbanites into the two-hundred-year-old-mansion-owning Beekman Boys.
Suddenly, Josh a full-time New Yorker with a successful advertising career and Brent are weekend farmers, surrounded by nature's bounty and an eclectic cast: roosters who double as a wedding cover band; Bubby, the bionic cat; and a herd of eighty-eight goats, courtesy of their new caretaker, Farmer John. And soon, a fledgling business, born of a gift of handmade goat-milk soap, blossoms into a brand, Beekman 1802.
The Bucolic Plague is tart and sweet, touching and laugh out loud funny, a story about approaching middle age, being in a long-term relationship, realizing the city no longer feeds you in the same way it used to, and finding new depths of love and commitment wherever you live.
“Kilmer-Purcell fertilizes this narrative until it reeks of charm.”
-New York Times
“Enter 60 goats and homemade soap, apple-picking and an heirloom vegetable garden. Hilarity follows. And trouble. But let’s not spoil the party. It’s fun.”
“The Bucolic Plague has something different to offer—if we can do it anyone can, it tells us, provided we can laugh at ourselves.”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
-Wall Street Journal
“A hilarious memoir.”
“The witty new memoir from Josh Kilmer-Purcell.”
-Food & Wine, Online Review
“Always entertaining and often moving.”
-The Stranger (Seattle)
“Baby goats, diarrhea, and Martha Stewart. Former drag queen turned goat farmer Josh Kilmer-Purcell begins his latest book, The Bucolic Plague, with a hilarious vignette involving all three. Clearly, the man has an interesting story to tell.”
-Wisconsin State Journal
“Kilmer-Purcell writes with dramatic flair and trenchant wit, uncovering mirthful metaphors as he plows through their daily experiences.”
“This particular merging of city and country is both sweet and savory.”
“I adore the Beekman boys’ story. Their unlikely story of love, the land, and a herd of goats is hilariously honest. If these two can go from Manhattan to a goat farm in upstate New York, then I can’t help feeling there is hope for us all.”
“I gobbled up this book like…well, like goat cheese on a cracker. Kilmer-Purcell’s genius lies in his ability to blindside the reader with heart-wrenching truths in the midst of the most outlandish scenarios. He makes you laugh until you care.”
“A delicious book about two city boys who buy a farm, fall in love with a herd of goats, and attempt to revive the American dream. . . . Never has mucking out a stall been more scintillating!”
-Alison Smith, author of Name All the Animals
“My Amtrak seat mate in the Quiet Car, a complete stranger, insisted that I read out loud the scene -- a goat in labor -- that was making me laugh so hard I was crying. . . . Kilmer-Purcell’s book is manically funny, sweetly open and trusting, and slick and snarky.”
-New York Times Book Review