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Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life Hardcover – Sep 4 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Greystone Books; Canadian First edition (Sept. 4 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553654749
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553654742
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 3 x 21.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #165,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Trauma Farm is a touching and tender memoir, at once humorous and profound, filled with wonderful insights about life as a poet and accidental farmer in what will always be, for Brian Brett especially, the gentle rainforests of home. —Wade Davis


Trauma Farm is a passionate memoir of life on a small farm. Brian Brett rants and raves, bringing us his own version of guns and roses in the guise of wisdom and wit. A great book that asks the reader to read it and then joyfully read it again. —Patrick Lane


It's easy to sympathize with Brett's world view. He represents the David of small farms against the Goliath of corporate agriculture. —Winnipeg Free Press


Brett hangs meditations of farm life, observations on biology and botany, and musings about the modern world on this Joycean structure. His writing is so vivid, the observations so telling, that a reader can virtually feel the smooth heft of a collected egg in the palm of a hand or hear the goofy, honking dawn call of the peacock. —Globe & Mail


In this gloriously detailed memoir, Brett brings us into life on his small working farm on Saltspring Island. A gorgeously thoughtful meditation on the natural world. —Vancouver Sun


You can taste the food he describes, feel the cool morning air on naked skin, smell the dogs and feel the mud. Brett reads almost as an invitation, a provocation, to make the natural, rooted, harmonious existence our own in whatever small ways we can. —Montreal Gazette


The work was hard, the pay was lousy, it was utter chaos, and I loved it. Brett would call that farming. Trauma Farm is a memoir and a natural history of small farms, rural life, biology, barnyards and botany set on an 18-year-long day. It begins and ends with Brett biblically and literally naked in the dark in the garden and poetically zigzags through time and place. —The Tyee


Brett's wit and giddy ambivalence makes this account a stretch more provocative than similar rural memoirs, and an altogether compelling read. —Publisher's Weekly


Brett successfully maintains a delicate balance between broader, abstract issues: the global and historic context, and personal anecdote: the concrete, day-to-day details of operating a small farm on Saltspring Island, BC. —Geist


Brett neither champions the rural, pastoral cliches nor flinches in the face of the brutality of the natural world. Instead, he simply offers a deeply personal meditation on life on his small mixed farm . . . he leads the reader on a joyful, shocking, funny and absurdist journey that revels in the beauty of the smallest events. —Canadian Geographic


Luxurious prose, striking imagery, and a sampling of his poems add to the tone and flavour of his book, thus making it eminently deserving of the 2010 Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (BC Book Prizes). —Subterrain Magazine



“Brett’s specialty is finding the unusual among the commonplace.”

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Format: Hardcover
Trauma Farm is a passionate argument on the defense of the small, mixed family farm in the face of smothering regulations. The absurdity of life on a farm is presented in short stories that are at times so amusing that I caught myself laughing out loud in on the train during my morning commute; I can't recall a book ever getting me to laugh during that grim stretch of time between breakfast and work.

As one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read, it well deserves a space on your bookshelf. It's a shame it's not gotten the recognition it deserves.

It's a great piece of Canadiana.
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Format: Hardcover
Even if you've never been to Canada, or Salt Spring Island, B.C. or lived on a farm you will enjoy this tightly written book which reminds me of the writing of Garrison Keillor, a little of Tom Wolfe and a little Whole Earth Catalog. It must remind someone of William Saroyon as now it is on the short list for Stanford University's William Saroyan prize for new writers (though Brian Brett has written other things.) If you have an interest in where our food comes from and shouldn't come from it is a non-polemic but full of facts narrative written in such a fashion to make us feel we are getting up in the morning to do the chores on Trauma Farm, a tongue in cheek reference to his learn by doing approach to farming. We also get to know the community of SSI (we share the same vet) and how things get done on an island dedicated to a sustainable life style. Too bad Canadian books get such short notice in the U.S. (I, a former Californian) because this book would have great appeal to the U.S.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is such a jewel....funny, an eye-opener, so humane, so true....a page turner which fulfilled me...The prose is amazing and the images so reassuring...Thank you for sharing your life with us
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