Boulder County

Crime, Love, and Cannabis, West of the 100th Meridian

Fiction - Drama
250 Pages
Reviewed on 04/19/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Boulder County: Crime, Love, and Cannabis, West of the 100th Meridian by Marc Krulewitch is a modern-day “good ‘ole boys vs the Government" conspiracy novel that strikes at the heart of Colorado’s freeing up of cannabis use. Buddy Fisher can trace his roots in Boulder County back for almost a hundred years. He grew up in the mountains of the county and his family has been foremost in the production of illegal cannabis in the region. Buddy and his mountain friends have long had a loose, but effective cooperative to ensure that they are left alone and not bothered by the law. In nearby Kansas, however, the State Government, law enforcement, big agrichemicals, and one particularly devout evangelical sheriff are worried about the “pure” kids of Kansas traveling to Colorado to buy not only legal marijuana but, more importantly, Buddy’s hybrid, super-powerful cannabis. Kansas officials have decided it is time to end this illicit trade and to put Buddy and his mountain cohorts out of business once and for all. But, beneath this “official” attempt also lies a more sinister effort by an agrichemical company to get their hands on a rumored stock of super-potent cannabis seeds buried somewhere on Buddy’s property. What follows is a clash of cultures as money and greed fight tradition for power.

Boulder County is a fast-paced, action-adventure story that tests the concepts of individual liberty versus government control. Marc Krulewitch paints a vivid picture of a mountain community struggling to come to terms with a new way of doing things, after legalization and how to feed their families. Buddy is your archetypal, old-school individualist who firmly believes in the rights of people to live their lives in peace without government meddling. I particularly enjoyed the flashback scenes, usually when Buddy was puffing on one of his super-powerful joints, as he recounted the journey his great-grandfather had taken, along with the course of his grandfather and father that had led them to the situation they now found themselves in. I thought the characterization was exceptionally spot-on, especially with the crazy, scripture-quoting, evangelical sheriff from Kansas. The laid-back attitude of the Boulder County officials toward Buddy and his cronies was the perfect counterpoint to the over-zealous and vindictive State and Federal officials. The “special ops” characters were perhaps a trifle overdrawn but done so in order to get the point across of them being faceless, nameless automatons of the federal government. This is a fast, exciting read. For the romantic at heart, there’s also a touch of “love interest” for the main character and plenty of action for the action junkies. All in all, this was a satisfying, enjoyable read that I can definitely recommend.

Edith Wairimu

An exhilarating work set in the picturesque landscapes of Colorado, Boulder County by Marc Krulewitch follows the story of Buddy Fisher, an unyielding cannabis farmer determined to frustrate the schemes of a firm bent on getting hold of Buddy’s marijuana. Not legalized to plant cannabis, Buddy keeps his farming operations discreet. But word gets out about the potency of his marijuana, attracting the attention of self-seeking individuals who, in turn, attack Buddy’s friends, hoping to coerce them to convince Buddy to relent. The battle rages on as Buddy refuses to reveal the location of the marijuana he has allegedly stashed away. Politics, feuds, and secrets play out in the background as tensions rise between the warring groups.

Humor brightens the dialogue as the drama in the story takes shape. The conversations also underscore the setting of the story. Supporting characters are also well-developed. Each person’s character is brought out. Buddy’s friends remain loyal even when the situation turns desperate. The antagonists consist of cunning and fanatical individuals, a group that proves deadly as they fight against marijuana growers whose power and influence are limited. The main plot is paralleled to the sub-plot covering the Fishers’ history which goes back generations. This makes the novel even more intriguing. The story is centered on the brewing conflict and as tensions escalate, suspenseful scenes become more frequent, adding to the novel’s already captivating plot. Boulder County by Marc Krulewitch is a witty, well-developed novel whose dramatic twists make it outstanding.

K.C. Finn

Boulder County: Crime, Love, and Cannabis, West of the 100th Meridian is a work of drama, intrigue and cultural fiction that was penned by author Marc Krulewitch. Our central protagonist is farmer Buddy Fisher, who grows his prized cannabis hybrids in an off-radar setting whilst legalization and big business slowly take over the marijuana market around him. So when those business bodies and their giant corporations start to notice Buddy’s little operation, life becomes more difficult than he has ever known, and a troublesome series of events leads him to the risk of losing the land his family has farmed for decades.

Having read many novels about cannabis since legalization began to happen on a more widespread scale, it was truly refreshing to find a drama that sticks to genuine human concerns, realistic emotions and the truth about corporate greed amid the legalization movement. Running the whole span from sincerity through witty humor, darkness, and triumph, author Marc Krulewitch captures an intrinsically human story about an everyman against the big business beast and does it without ever sensationalizing the plot. The lexical choices and intelligent dialogue bring us closer to Buddy to understand his position, and the events of the plot move forward in a well-paced fashion that never leaves the reader bogged down in over-detailed exposition. What results is a highly readable modern drama with plenty of highs and lows. I would certainly recommend Boulder County: Crime, Love, and Cannabis, West of the 100th Meridian to readers seeking an original new work to enjoy.

Vincent Dublado

The novel’s title setting is where we are introduced to Buddy, who cultivates weed on his conservation land. Although weed is legal in Colorado, certain rules and limitations still apply. This is where Buddy falls short, as he is unlicensed and does not pay taxes. In his profitable weed farming, his cultivation exceeds the stipulated number in growing cannabis. In Boulder County, Marc Krulewitch has created a protagonist who is peaceful and content in combining his love for getting high with his business. Trouble finds him, however, as he grows a business that draws attention from different types of crowds. Government officials, business executives, and religious holy rollers have their eyes on his enterprise. This leads us to the conclusion that corruption, greed, and charlatanism create obstacles for a society that struggles to flourish.

Boulder County may well be an anti-establishment diatribe poking fun at anyone who clings to their ulterior motives with little regard for the outcome. With his terse writing, Mr. Krulewitch’s story is an act of defiance fueled by critical observation of how cannabis, with all its pharmacological virtues, has been shaping the structure of America. In stoner literature, being high is not just the sole prerequisite. Our culture suggests that the banner of character authenticity illustrates existential groundings and not just normative claims to engage in the pleasure of getting high. Boulder County is neither a thriller nor a transgressive piece. It delves more into an examination of what America is and what it might become. And this is where the novel offers a genuine grittiness that is worth paying attention to.

Lesley Jones

In Boulder County by Marc Krulewitch, Buddy Fisher's family have owned their farm in Boulder County for three generations. But unlike his soap-making German ancestors, Buddy prefers the more lucrative business of cannabis farming. When Colorado plans to make marijuana legal, it draws the attention of the authorities in Kansas who plan to stop the legalization and Buddy's empire. As the town closes ranks to protect Buddy, the intimidation and threats begin. The rumour that Buddy has a secret stash of 70 kilos of marijuana draws the attention of some unsavoury characters who arrive in Boulder County and are determined to find it. Events take a dramatic turn when there is a shooting in the small town. Now Buddy must decide who he can trust with the truth.

Boulder County by Marc Krulewitch is such a well-written story that portrays the relationships and social politics of people living in a small community. The characters have been created with thought and consideration and each one had a distinctive personality. I especially loved Zeb and of course Buddy; their carefree view of the word and strength of character really made me chuckle. I loved their response to the authorities who tried to intimidate them. Buddy's relationship with Libby and Marty was very touching and completely compelling. There is so much more to this novel than a man trying to save his farm against the authorities. There are tension, mystery and childhood sweethearts reigniting their love. I loved the scenes when the Western Boulder County Cannabis Cooperative meets; the dialogue between the members was hilarious and very realistic. The ending was not what I was expecting but completely perfect and satisfying as a reader. I found one sentence spoken by Buddy to be particularly poignant and it summed up the essence of Boulder County: "I wouldn’t call Boulder County a small town, but for those of us who’ve lived here all our lives, we kind of operate with a single mind.”

Jean Price

Politics, secrets, feuds, and weed — all the stuff of a 5-star read! Grab a copy and get your Boulder on.