Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside

Nick Offerman. Dutton, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-101-98469-7
Parks and Recreation star and woodworker Offerman (Gumption) ponders the goodness of the land and the corruptions of white, capitalist Trumpistan in this painfully woke and often misfiring memoir. He narrates three journeys: a hiking trip in Glacier National Park, full of stunning scenery and ruminations on the dispossession of Native Americans; visits to an organic sheep farm in England in 2019, where he repaired stone walls and rails against agribusiness that use “chemicals and machinery”; and a recent road trip from California to Illinois, during which he shuddered at unmasked diners and campers whose Trump flags brought to mind “a Klan hood.” Offerman extols the virtues of manual labor and communion with nature while denouncing “the dominant, white culture that... has been wrong in almost every way,” and vows to “listen to the grievances of the indigenous folks, the Black folks, the gay folks, [and] the Latinx familias.” Unfortunately, his labored jokes—“the main terror of park toilets: OPPPTYB (Other People’s Poop Particles Touching Your Butt)”—are overshadowed by fulsome rants: “If a person bases their worldview on the lyrics of these old songs... they could easily end up indoctrinated into the White Power army,” he huffs, the songs being “Home on the Range” and “America the Beautiful.” The result is a preachy, stridently unfunny travelogue. Agent: Monika Verma, Levine, Greenberg, Rostan Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/24/2021
Release date: 10/12/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-451-48503-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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