Backyard (2014)
Backyard (2014)
Author
Rating
3.46 of 5 Votes: 3
ISBN
1617733059 (ISBN13: 9781617733055)
languge
English
genre
publisher
Kensington
Rate book
Actually bringing a sense of the absurd as we meet fanatical gardeners who are highly competitive, Draper’s writing style and interactions are equally lighthearted and somewhat over-the-top. While a bit slow to start, this story was a nice break from more action-packed reads as George and Nan work to create the backyard paradise that will wow the judges as being the envy of the neighborhood.Plans for sabotage that include bunnies, witchcraft and the occasional late-night reconnoiter, the funny moments are not to be taken too seriously, nor is this book. George and Nan have a fondness for all things ‘garden’, always seem to have a glass of wine handy, and are never far from the next ‘big’ gardening revelation. While far from perfect, the story gives readers a clever satiric view of suburban garden fever, with plenty of moments to laugh and smile. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Norman Draper, author of “Backyard,” from what I can learn, is about as eccentric and free-spirited as the characters he brings to life in this delightfully whacky book. He’s a long time journalist with an impressive list of publications to his credit, none of which we’ve ever heard of. I suggest that “Backyard” will provide the impetus for a more notable writing career.A small upper mid-west town is populated with a mélange of characters who demonstrate their many quirks with impetuous and outlandish behavior. The most prominent conduct concerns their interest in gardening where egos, presumptiveness, jealousy, and greed are the byproducts. When a local nursery introduces a gardening contest with a huge first prize, the horns come out and widespread goring takes place.There is a self-declared expert with a mail-order doctorate in gardening that will stop at nothing to get her hands on the cash. There is a middle-aged couple that enjoys the beauty and notoriety of their backyard through wine-tinted eyes and over-indulgent spending that threatens their retirement savings. There’s a garden witch, a quivering sycophant who fawns over garden expertise, and other assorted characters that will all come together in a riotous encounter where a knife, a tomahawk, and a baseball bat become weapons of hilarity.The contest winner and circumstances surrounding the decision shall remain a secret that you can solve by reading the book. Draper’s characterizations are masterfully constructed and I defy any reader to not recognize any of the figures as being family or friends. Painful or not, these people have been around us many times. Draper does a remarkable job at producing silliness and pomposity as a way of life. His insight into human frailty is clever and well presented, and his dialogue fits right into the merriment. This is a great book, ready made for book clubs, and enjoyable reading.
Reviews
danyv2005
Excellent book! Funny, entertaining, just a really fun read :)
Alycat
Beginning was horribly slow, but the last half was great fun.
Bobketchup
Cheeky, fun light read.
kvelloxw
3.5 rating & funny
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