Ben Metcalf's "Against the Country"

Metcalf’s novel(?) is a hyper-verbose diatribe against the false pastoral of his youth, an auto-fictional attack on the American idealization of roughin’ it in the wild. I’ll let you know right now that this book is not for everyone. If the thought of some white guy complaining about his childhood for 350 pages makes you a bit green around the gills, you will likely fling this book against the nearest perpendicular surface. That being said, Metcalf is by-and-large calling out the bullshit of all these other white men from throughout America’s long and storied history of white men “returning to nature.” “Thomas Jefferson seems to me to have sinned cardinally,” Metcalf writes, “with his comfortable slaver’s dream of an agrarian wonderland and his criminal transfer of public funds to the Napoleonic war effort so as to avail us of the hectares needed to prove that dream a nightmare.” This gives you a pretty good idea of the dude’s writing style, and for a certain type of reader, his grandiloquent rancor goes down like a delicious, sugary, angst-filled cup of iced tea on a hot summer’s day.