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Book Review | 'Go With Me'

Book Review | ‘Go With Me’
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Go With Me
Photo/Art by Heath Robbins
Audio: Vermont author Castle Freeman Jr. reads from Go With Me. Listen now.

Every September, when the latest edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac comes out, I turn immediately to the “Farmer’s Calendar,” 14 brief, gemlike essays by Castle Freeman Jr. Afterward, I ask myself two questions: How does he do that? And how does he do it in such a small space?

He’s done it again, this time in the form of a short novel called Go With Me (Steerforth Press; $21.95). It’s just 160 pages long, with fairly small dimensions and fairly large type. It won’t take long to read (especially because you won’t put it down), but it contains multitudes: the lives of “sad, dirty, half-empty people, people who didn’t want to be seen: runaways, suicides, drinkers, addicts, sellers of goods that are on no account to be sold.”

And yet, among these shadowy people, the natives who are called “woodchucks” even by other natives, Freeman has written a medieval quest, a courtly romance. It’s got a damsel in distress, a young knight who comes to her rescue, an elderly magician, and an evil ogre who lives deep in the forest.

It’s also a crime thriller, a love story, and a meditation on the way Vermont has changed and is changing. It’s beautiful, frightening, and very, very funny.

How does he do that? And how does he do it in such a small space?

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Tim Clark


Tim Clark


Tim Clark has been writing for Yankee Magazine and The Old Farmer's Almanac since 1975. Subjects of his many Yankee profiles have included filmmaker Ken Burns, historian Barbara Tuchman, pediatrician and political activist Dr. Benjamin Spock, and World War II General James Gavin. Tim left his job as Managing Editor in 1999 to teach English at ConVal High School in Peterborough, N.H. for 13 years, but since retiring from that demanding and rewarding profession in 2012, he has continued to contribute articles and book reviews. Tim lives in Dublin, N.H., two miles from the offices of Yankee Publishing, and serves as Town Moderator, a post previously occupied by Rob Sagendorph, the founder of Yankee Magazine.

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