The Passionate, Heartbreaking, and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever
Susan Warren

"Quirky and surprisingly affecting good fun - Ira Glass must be jealous" - Kirkus

"hilarious yet enlightening…"- Booklist

"thoroughly engaging….Warren peaks the anticipation with the big fall weigh-ins, lending a humorous, poignant touch to this hearty gardener's tale." - Publisher's Weekly

"Full of triumph, suspense, and the humor of disappointment....[Warren] accomplishes what so few writers about science do--she makes clear and interesting the science behind the story." - Library Journal

Editorial Review

In the tradition of Word Freak and Confederates in the Attic, a charming, witty account of a season in mad pursuit of the world's largest pumpkin.

Every year, the race to grow the biggest pumpkin in the world draws a rowdy crowd of obsessive gardeners to county fairs and weigh-offs across the country.  The competition is furious; there's sabotage and treachery and the heartbreak of root rot, and many a weigh-off ends in tears.  This year more than just the grand prize is at stake.  The Holy Grail is within reach: the world's first fifteen-hundred pound pumpkin.  And Ron and Dick Wallace are determined to get it.

Backyard Giants follows a tumultuous season in the life of a close-knit tribe of competitors as they chase down the ultimate pumpkin prize.  In the grueling and gut-wrenching quest for a truly colossal fruit, vacations are postponed, marriages are strained, and savings accounts emptied.  Backyards are converted into leafy laboratories of biogenetics and toxic chemicals-to say nothing of pumpkin sex.  Riding shotgun with Ron and his father Dick, Wall Street Journal editor Susan Warren brings to life a winning and unforgettable crew of pumpkin lunatics: the newbie who shocked everyone by growing the big one last year; the pro-bono slime scientist; the groundhog assassin; and the safety trainer who risked electrocuting himself to save his patch.  Funny, sharp, and engaging, Backyard Giants is a romp through a charming corner of American life, as quirky and enchanting as the big pumpkins themselves.
BOOK bookstores September 4, 2007
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