Bee Loud Glade by, Steve Himmer narrated by, Mark F. Smith
Received from Audiobookjukebox Solid Gold Reviewer Program
Himmer’s debut novel, The Bee-Loud Glade, is the charming story of a decorative hermit who lives and works on a billionaire’s estate, and whose daily experience is shaped by his employer’s whims. The book combines a darkly comic commentary on modern work and wealth with a postmodern pastoral landscape. It brings a playfulness more commonly found in urban fiction to an outdoor setting.
This book was like a cross between Castaway and Big Brother. Finch has lost his job and falls into a depression after a long time of not showering or leaving the house he answers a spam email for an unknown job and the next day a limo shows up and whisks him away to a big mansion compound where a billionaire wants him to be his garden hermit, for 7 years and $5 million and Finch accepts. This is the odd premise of this fascinating book.
This was such a unique book it is hard to review… What started as a “job” for $5 million dollars turns into a life Finch loves and he never wants to leave his garden. He spends his day in reflective meditation, floating naked in the river that was built just for him, working in his vegetable field and he is very happy way happier than he was in his old life. Even though he knows his whole life is being filmed and recorded he finds ways to ignore the cameras. His new boss sets tasks for him along the way but eventually things change and Finch is all alone and quite happy. Oh I don’t want to give too much away but will say Finch does have a choice to make and it made me wonder which choice I would make.
The narration of this audiobook is done by Mark F. Smith and he does a very nice job and I would listen to him again. This is straight up storytelling with only a couple different voices but it was a story well told by Mark F. Smith. As always the production value from iambik audio is top notch.
The serene peaceful life Finch leads made me wonder if I could do it give up all my creature comforts and electronics to live as a hermit. Honestly I don’t think I could, at least not for the amount of time Finch does. I enjoyed this book and was never bored with Finch’s life even though he pretty much does nothing. I highly recommend this book so you can start your own reflective meditations on how rushed and busy our lives are.