A dimwitted, ""comic"" novel (by the author of Cheap Shot, 1984) about a couple of Manhattanites who move to the sticks and are driven crazy by the local yokels. Reading Funny Farm is like watching the most insipid sit-com imaginable--without a laugh track. It's the story of Andy and Elizabeth Farmer, a husband and wife who move from New York City to a nice old house on Dog Creek Road, near the little town of Redbud. Andy, a sportswriter for The New York Times, is going to write a novel, and Elizabeth may try her hand at children's books. Well, sir! No sooner do these two get into that fresh country air than wild and crazy things start happening: they find the former owner buried in the back yard, a water snake attacks Andy, the ducks in the pond out back leave and fly north--in the winter, get it? There's also a east of hicks--out to get these city slickers--whose blundering antics make the Keystone Kops look like the Ballet Russe: Petree, the drunken, misanthropic mailman who is constantly knocking over the Farmers' mailbox; Lester Shimmerhorn, handyman, chicken thief, and proprietor of the Shimmerhorn Inland Lobster Plant; etc. Cronley is the kind of writer who can make 250 pages seem like an eternity. The Farmers, desperate to leave, finally bribe everyone in town to act normal for two days so Andy and Elizabeth can impress a couple of other house-hunting city slickers, but Johnny Johnson, a good ol' boy, gets drunk and crashes a fire truck into the prospective buyers' car, and the deal falls through. But ali's well in the end: the Farmers make a living renting their house out to low-budget movie companies making horror flicks. The only thing one can reasonably hope for with a book like this is a small printing.