Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Trip to Tuscany

Phil Doran
Author of
The Reluctant Tuscan
I haven't had much luck with two of the fiction books I bought on my recent meanderings in Missouri. Apparently I didn't choose the most most popular books of authors Maeve Binchy (Nights of Rain and Stars) or Margaret Drabble (The Witch of Exmoor). Perhaps that is why I found them languishing in a used book store. 

Anyway, I am moving on to another find - the real life tale of American television writer and producer Phil Doran and his move from Hollywood to Tuscany. From the title of his book, The Reluctant Tuscan (2005), I take it he was not all that keen on the adventure.

The dust jacket tells me that actually it was Mr. Doran's wife, Nancy, who decided it was time for a change from their Life of Hell in Hollywood and surprised her husband by purchasing a 300-year-old Tuscan farmhouse for them to restore.

Some surprise, eh?

As Mr. Doran wrote comedies for television - Sanford and Son, The Bob Newhart Show, the Smothers Brothers - I feel as if I will be in good hands with the telling of this adventure. And I do love reading this sort of book in the same vein as Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence and Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun.

Here is how Mr. Doran begins:

I had a machete in my hand and I was thinking about using it on Henry David Thoreau. You know, that guy they made you read in school who popularized the notion that we should find solace in nature. Maybe I was doing this all wrong, but I had been hacking my way through nature all morning and all I had to show for it were blisters, sweat, and a shooting pain up my arm. I didn't think I was having a heart attack, but if I were, it would have been more amusing than dealing with a hill covered in underbrush so thick it made this little corner of Tuscany look like a Brazilian rain forest.

No comments:

Post a Comment