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The Dirty Life Audiobook

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love

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Publisher's Summary

Single, 30-something, and working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. Kristin knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to 500 acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him. The Dirty Life is the captivating chronicle of their first year on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through the following harvest season---complete with their wedding in the loft of the barn.

Kimball and her husband had a plan: to grow everything needed to feed a community. It was an ambitious idea, a bit romantic, and it worked. Every Friday evening, all year round, a hundred people travel to Essex Farm to pick up their weekly share of the "whole diet"---beef, pork, chicken, milk, eggs, maple syrup, grains, flours, dried beans, herbs, fruits, and forty different vegetables---produced by the farm. The work is done by draft horses instead of tractors, and the fertility comes from compost. Kimball's vivid descriptions of landscape, food, cooking---and marriage---are irresistible.

"As much as you transform the land by farming," she writes, "farming transforms you." In her old life, Kimball would stay out until four AM, wear heels, and carry a handbag. Now she wakes up at four, wears Carhartts, and carries a pocket knife. At Essex Farm, she discovers the wrenching pleasures of physical work, learns that good food is at the center of a good life, falls deeply in love, and finally finds the engagement and commitment she craved in the form of a man, a small town, and a beautiful piece of land.

©2010 Kristin Kimball (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Kimball has a gift for throwing into high relief contemporary Americans' disconnect between farm-life realities and city ambitions." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (475 )
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4.3 (416 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Paul 06-17-13
    Paul 06-17-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An enchanting story, but poorly told."
    If you could sum up The Dirty Life in three words, what would they be?

    City girl farms.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Tavia Gilbert’s performances?

    No, never. She is one of these precise, very accurate readers who is careful to enunciate every single vowel and consonant. No one talks like that! She also seems to have a snippy disdain for the very content she is relating. I really would have loved to have heard the author tell this story herself.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany adams center, NY, United States 05-07-12
    Tiffany adams center, NY, United States 05-07-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Could NOT get into it."

    The narrator's voice was like nails on a chalkboard. I could not focus on the actual story because of certain words. I guess if you find the narration bad the whole thing is bad because from what I actually got to understand this was not a good story at all from the hour of it that I listened to. I wish I could get my credit back.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Lafayete, LA, United States 02-01-12
    Andrew Lafayete, LA, United States 02-01-12

    I love sustainability, food, ferns, and architecture.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book was so captivating."
    What made the experience of listening to The Dirty Life the most enjoyable?

    I loved how descriptive this story was. It was also very real, it wasn't sensationalized or exaggerated. I could place myself in the seasons of the story, and I found myself longing for a farm of my own.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Cleveland Heights, OH, United States 08-14-12
    Daniel Cleveland Heights, OH, United States 08-14-12
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    "more like a romance novel"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I was quite disappointed within the first 20 minutes of the reading to discover that this was more about a woman's fantasy of a "real man" and what he could do for her than it was about farming or a non-sexual transition from city to country life. Would not recommend at all.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 05-12-16
    Jan 05-12-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great read"

    Absolutely loved this book. Narration was very nice. Could listen to her voice all day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Alesia 03-02-16
    J. Alesia 03-02-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great just Great!"

    Very captivating book just loved it. I'm sad it had to end. She has a great story to tell that is down to earth and true.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly 09-11-15
    Molly 09-11-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Fun book"

    Kristen Kimball tells her life story from city girl to a farmer through honest and relatable anecdotes. I enjoyed her stories filled with captivating details and emotions as well as a few factoids about farming that I never would have known.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marinera76 08-30-15
    Marinera76 08-30-15
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    "captivating but... for city people!"
    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tavia Gilbert?

    anyone. i decided to write a review just to write about this narration style. imho, TERRIBLE, unbearable. at the beginning I thought it was because she was reading too fast and mechanically, without enough breathing space to understand that "oh, this is probably a new paragraph, totally different topic, huh"... after a few chapters I noticed this is probably a reading style that is becoming popular.... but it makes me nervous! it's "jumpy", it sounds like she 's in a hurry. it sounds like someone told her "please make every word very clear"... and she's making an effort. the result? single words fast, but no sentences... therefore intonation is just wrong! it's even worse than the reader of "daring greatly". ok, who do i like as readers? compare to: davina porter, juliet stevenson and / or barbara caruso. phrasing a sentence, interpretation is so much more than "reading words out loud".


    Any additional comments?

    the story is ok, a bit simplistic. relaxing summer reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Bare IDAHO FALLS, ID, US 04-28-15
    Amber Bare IDAHO FALLS, ID, US 04-28-15 Member Since 2013

    A. Bare

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    "Loved!"

    Not what I expected, it was even better. Makes me want to move to the country and start a farm well more like a very small gardens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. K. Gardinier Columbus, OH USA 03-12-15
    T. K. Gardinier Columbus, OH USA 03-12-15 Member Since 2015

    Trina Gardinier

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    "Makes me want to be a farmer..."

    Not really, but I'd gladly visit a farm now. And I'm going to invest in a CSA in my area because of this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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