September 18, 1978 12:00 PM

by Noel Perrin

“If mosquitoes were six feet long and powered by gasoline engines, they would sound like snowmobiles,” Perrin writes in a chapter in which he confesses that life on a Vermont farm isn’t all idyllic. The author, a professor at Dartmouth, lives across the Connecticut River from the college, and his essays are graceful descriptions of how Vermont life appears to a gentleman farmer. He has fresh ways of seeing the town, too: “I suddenly found myself wanting to ask a cigarette machine…why it charged more for cigarettes than the human beings in the drugstore across the street.” The prose is pastoral and restorative to media-cluttered brains. (Godine, $7.95)

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