Max Alexander had been the executive editor of Variety and was the senior editor at People magazine in charge of all Hollywood coverage, when he decided one day that the glitz of Tinseltown and the glamour of New York didn't quite hold the allure they once had. So Alexander turned down yet another fancy magazine job, and family in tow, moved to a farmhouse in rural Maine, where he suddenly found himself forced to confront neighbors who "speak slowly but are hard to understand, and drive slower but are impossible to pass." In the course of this both sobering and hilarious how-not-to, Alexander covers the gamut, from doing his best to avoid burning down the barn, and occasional intrusions from his previous life, to what E.B. White calls the "basic satisfaction of farming"manure. Approaching what passes for small-town life in rural New England with the gusto and nose for a scoop of a seasoned Hollywood reporter, Alexander puts a new spin on the tradition launched by Thoreau's reportage from Walden. Man Bites Log is an essential collection for readers of back-to-the-land literature, and anyone convinced that la dolce vita can be found in a pile of dung.
|Publisher:||Da Capo Press|
|Product dimensions:||8.26(w) x 5.48(h) x 0.81(d)|
About the Author
Max Alexander is an author, journalist, onetime farmer and failed politician. Failure is in fact a central theme in his books, which have been called "how-not-tos," although many of his subjects refuse to cooperate and actually make something of themselves, against all odds. His latest book, "Bright Lights, No City," chronicles a three-year adventure in the West African country of Ghana, where his entrepreneur brother has been attempting to launch a new for-profit business providing innovative goos and services to low-income customers.
Alexander is a former senior editor at People magazine in New York and, before that, the executive editor of Variety and Daily Variety, the showbiz trade publications, in Los Angeles. His writing-on topics ranging from crime to adventure-appears in dozens of publications including Smithsonian, Saveur, Prevention, This Old House and The New York Times. In addition, Alexander has edited books by such notable authors as George Plimpton and film critic David Thomson. He is currently working on a book about China. He lives with his wife and two sons in an 1816 center-chimney Cape in midcoast Maine.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a light, entertaining read about a Hollywood writer/editor who moves to rural Maine. It seems to be a collection of newspaper columns written by Alexander, although that is not made particularly clear. I found that the book did not meet my expectations in two areas. First, I assumed there would be more about what he needed to do to build his new life (creating the garden, building the chicken coop, tending to the animals, etc.). There was actually very little of this - most of the book is about Alexander getting to know the quirks and idiosyncrasies of his neighbors. Secondly, I thought there would be more humor. Yes, it was humorous, but in a very gentle way.