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.