The Rural Life

by Verlyn Klinkenborg

Paperback, 2004




Back Bay Books, (2004)


Celebrates the rural life, its pleasures and hardships, and the beauty of the American landscape, in a series of reflections corresponding to the months of the year.

User reviews

LibraryThing member debnance
Essays about moving and starting over in the country. I never got deeply involved in this book; don't know why.
LibraryThing member CasaBooks
I haven't been a reader of the NY Times, so when I saw this book on a bargain table - didn't realize the author wrote a regular column for them, only that the last name had ties to my Iowa hometown.
Guess he's not from my area, but originally from NW Iowa, then has 'rural' ties to other states.
It's a collection of columns - tracing seasons in various parts of the country.
The writing is lovely and I pick it up often to re-read something from a month.
A most enjoyable book.
Read in 2009.
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LibraryThing member gypsysmom
Klinkenborg writes about life in the country with humour, elegant prose and poetic imagery. He is a marvelous observer and every word seems just right. Take this passage about a late spring:
The signs of spring are thrown away, like unheeded hints. Robins mope in the lower branches of a thick-budded magnolia, waiting for the worms of open turf. The red-winged blackbird I heard in a treetop the other day sounded, somehow, like an asterisk. The chorus of birdsong is entirely different than it was a few weeks ago, but to me it lacks an objective correlative. The tip of a single crocus would do. The house is full of seedlings, especially basil seedlings, all of them at the two-leaf stage, but hooded and mum. The horses are shedding, and it looks like bad management on their part.

I couldn't write like that if I tried for a hundred years but Klinkenborg writes regularly like this for the New York Times. I get a kick out of the mental picture of some uptight suited lawyer in Manhattan reading his columns. It seems ironic that people who have no idea of real country life have access to his views while people who live in the real country can read them only when they are collected like this. However, maybe New Yorkers need this point of view more than those immersed in the country.
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