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Theres a porcupine in my outhouse : misadventures of a mountain man… (edition 2002)

by Mike Tougias

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231459,532 (3.75)11
Member:rmloc
Title:Theres a porcupine in my outhouse : misadventures of a mountain man wannabe
Authors:Mike Tougias
Info:Sterling, Va : Capital Books, c2002.
Collections:Your library, Liz
Rating:***
Tags:humor, local

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There's a Porcupine in My Outhouse: Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wannabe (Capital Discovery) by Michael Tougias

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This book really did surprise me. I expected to find it interesting since I am a New Englander myself and more than a little familiar with the area he's talking about, and perhaps a little funny in parts, but I never really expected to enjoy it as thoroughly as I did. I'm not an outdoorsy type, not fond of fishing at all and don't really get the "conquering mountain man" mindset some men seem prone to. However, with our author and guide being a bit of a wilderness marshmallow himself to start, I was able to identify much more than I thought I would.

This story is about how an insurance adjuster from Massachusetts buys a cabin in Northern Vermont as a getaway from the grind of living in suburbia, a kind of "fish out of water" tale. As we start out we travel with Toug (the author's nickname) from his initial purchase and discovery of the porcupines, through the meeting of hillbilly neighbors, mating bulls, walk-on-water spiders and farting waitresses. Toug also shares with us his own changing views on "owning" land which over the years grew to a feeling stewardship instead. I giggled over Toug's recollections of his adventures with his friends (flying canoes anyone?) and their fears of Toug possibly becoming "woods queer" from so much isolated outdoor time. An example of his changing attitude is from fishing to compete with his friends to simply taking a fishing rod up and down the river for the sake of enjoying the area.

Another part of the book I appreciated are the references Toug makes to the books he himself enjoyed reading throughout the story often making references to outdoorsmen/authors such as John Colter, Euell Gibbon and Thoreau. This would be great for anyone looking for further books on mountaineering adventures of, perhaps, the more manly-man type should you be so inclined.

At the end I had to feel an admiration for the erstwhile Toug, for finding his place in the world and his dedication to enjoying it in an age where so much pressure is put on production and making money instead of caring for oneself and the world around us. This is a darling memoir about the misadventures of a mountain man wannabe that I would highly recommend. ( )
5 vote Jenson_AKA_DL | Dec 7, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 193186862X, Paperback)

This winsome and humorous natural history narrative describes the author's evolution from a hapless flatlander aching to become a mountain man into an accomplished outdoor writer. Tougias' journey begins when he buys a remote mountain-top cabin in the hopes of becoming a real "mountain man," and gets much more than he bargained for. Misadventure follows calamity in his encounters with wildlife, the locals, and nature. In There's a Porcupine in My Outhouse, Tougias reveals his deepening respect for and connection to the natural world and how this transforms his ideas on all aspects of life. As his love of the outdoors grows, so does his feeling of responsibility and stewardship toward the environment. A funny, honest, and personal account, this is the perfect book for anyone who loves the outdoors and loves to laugh.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:51 -0400)

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