The Buds Are Calling


Fiction - Humor/Comedy
342 Pages
Reviewed on 04/13/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

B. Coyne Davies lives in a small town and is happily underemployed, probably over-educated, and at one time worked for a medical marijuana start-up.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

The Buds Are Calling by B. Coyne Davies takes us for a deep dive into the world of commercial cannabis production, for medical purposes. Ernie Kippett has been truly beaten down by life; he lost his house and his partner in the financial crisis of 2008, so returning to his hometown he determined to do just as little actual work as he needed to in order to survive. When the laws of the state began to change and the production of marijuana for medical purposes became a reality, Ernie’s response was to do as little as possible (sweeping the factory floors) and still be involved in the cannabis factory. Lydia Rosemore was fantastically wealthy from the business acumen of her deceased husband Jordan, but incredibly bored and frustrated by the meaninglessness of her life. So when her current paramour Caldwell Porter suggested they form a medical cannabis startup, she saw an opportunity to put some meaning back into her life and was in, boots and all. Between extreme incompetence, gross negligence, state regulators and inspectors with intense security concerns, and a factory built on nepotism and greed, the team quickly discovers that getting the product out to the public and making a success of the operation may not be quite as easy as they had envisaged.

The Buds Are Calling is a satirical and somewhat jaundiced look at an industry that is currently flourishing and becoming more powerful in certain states in the U.S. Author B. Coyne Davies wonderfully introduces a quirky, eclectic, ensemble team of characters that all bring their unique perceptions of the industry and the product to the table. Motivations for becoming involved in this startup vary widely and provide an insight into the often dysfunctional dynamic that is the keystone of this quirky story. From the altruistic and caring intentions of some, who see medical cannabis as the savior for the terminally ill or those suffering from horrendous pain, through to the naked grab for wealth and power exhibited by the tyrannical and obsessed Caldwell Porter, right up to the three local hop-head hometown boys who just see working with cannabis as the ultimate thrill, these characters are beautifully explored and rounded out by the author. What I particularly enjoyed was the author’s ability to expertly juggle and interact with such diverse and differing individuals with different backgrounds and story arcs, for which she deserves credit. There is a subtle undertone of farce that ripples beneath each line of this book and it is that expectation of impending hilarious disaster that keeps the reader enthralled. For me, the star of the novel was the product itself and its story, as portrayed in the “Cannabidadas,” portions of which were liberally sprinkled throughout the narrative. This was an exceedingly rewarding read and one I can highly recommend.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Buds Are Calling by B. Coyne Davies is a humorous tale of financial crashes and marijuana. Ernie Kippett suffered badly in the 2008 crash and wound up back in his hometown, licking his wounds. He got there just as the state marijuana laws changed. But producing it for medical use is full of challenges and at the legal grow-op, funded by a rich widow, Lydia Rosemore, things are going badly. Caldwell Porter wants to be known for producing the best weed in the entire country but, con-man that he is, he also wants as much power in the company as he can get. Infestations, production issues, and staff turnover are just the tip of the iceberg as the master grower and the growing specialists clash. With regulations constantly changing, do they have a chance at getting their product on the shelves?

The Buds Are Calling by B. Coyne Davies is a hilarious take on medical marijuana production and all it entails. This is a story of greed vs determination, with lots of characters you won’t forget in a hurry. It is a light-hearted story, quirky, and it helps bring much of what you have heard about medical marijuana to life. It has a good plot with lots of action and plenty of ups and downs. The characters were well-developed to the point where you feel as if you know them personally and some of them you will even be rooting for. Stoner or not, if you want something amusing to take you away from real life for a while, this is the story for you.

Foluso Falaye

The Buds Are Calling by B. Coyne Davies brings together different characters who have one thing in common: a role in the newly legalized cannabis business. After Ernie and his girlfriend broke up, he moves back to his hometown and finds himself going through the stages of grief. Lydia Rosemore is a wealthy woman who is in a relationship with the ambitious and questionable Caldwell Porter, against the wishes of their friends and acquaintances. Petra is trained as a plant scientist but has no great drive for accomplishment. Alice hopes to get funding from the city to build a community garden. As the marijuana business commences, these characters and more face several obstacles and regulations, build and destroy some relationships, and contribute to the ruckus and hilarity of the highly tumultuous workplace.

The Buds Are Calling made me laugh hard and, at the same time, revealed a lot of interesting things. Now I feel I've met a black Alice who must place her license and ownership on the dash while driving and the three addicts who discuss plants having sex and say words like “dumb lit”. B. Coyne Davies' natural narrating style made me learn without even being aware of it. The worldbuilding is perfectly synced into the story, and I found most parts interesting to read. The only thing that flawed it was the great number of characters. I found that the best way to read it is to be present in the events as they occur. Trying to memorize and connect all the elements of the plot may be too difficult. Notwithstanding, I definitely liked and enjoyed The Buds Are Calling; lovers of satirical comedy and cannabis should give it a try.

Asher Syed

An outsider on the inside of CannRose—Medi, a “herbal medicine” producer, Ernie Kippett is surrounded in his day-to-day life by legal cannabis and a quirky troupe in B. Coyne Davies' The Buds Are Calling. Where most people have the ambition to be somebody, Ernie has comfortably settled into his life as a nobody. Broken and emotionally battered, his return to small-town Hullbrooke starts rough, literally, but within the space of a few hard months also fortuitously coincides with a medical marijuana start-up. But this isn't really a story about Ernie. Davies gives much of the operational characters their own point of view, each with backgrounds that vary as wildly as their personalities. Petra and Alice provide professional cover, a bit of diversity, and a degree of respectability. Caldwell is exactly the opposite but is weirdly trusted by financier Lydia Rosemore. And even among a crew of misfits, the main character is actually CannRose, both mistress and victim in a train wreck of red tape, bureaucracy, theft, inspections, paperwork, and children who squabble with the same speed at which they come and go from the crazy grow-op.

There is so much going on in The Buds Are Calling that the synopsis given to B. Coyne Davies' work is almost a crime. The writing style and the degree to which the characters are all so well developed is reminiscent of Nell Zink's Nicotine. Of course, it's simple to root for Ernie, Petra, Alice, and even Lydia, but they wouldn't be enough on their own without the madness of the collective cast mixed in. The themes of balancing legal enterprises with unscrupulous infiltrators [who surprisingly pass their background checks], maneuvering through a massive space in order to filter it down to small dispensaries, and the profit-at-a-cost that ties respectable professionals with philanthropy in their blood to carry on.

As for simple comfort versus corporate-level success, there are parallels that make their way into the same scenes. One, in particular, that is understated in how it is written but heavy in how it is comprehended is when Ernie and a character named Lorne are having a conversation. Ernie is asked about the minimal amount he works so he can comfortably survive with virtually zero stress by Lorne, who Ernie suspects has ambition equal to what he had in what felt like a different lifetime. Lorne is puzzled by Ernie not wanting to earn more. These juxtapositions occur throughout the novel, and it's clear that Davies understands how an operation like CannRose works. Even more important is that Davies understands people, and this makes The Buds Are Calling a delight to read.

Jamie Michele

The Buds Are Calling by B. Coyne Davies is a dark humor novel that follows a protaganist and a select group of cohorts in a cannabis start-up that everyone seems to want to be involved with but none for the same reasons. In the defeat of a calamitous market bust and despite the fact that he no longer has a single family member living in his home town, Ernie Kippett finds himself trading one poisonous plant for the birth of another. Of course, marijuana isn't poison but the stigma surrounding its growth, sale, and distribution was. Ernie is able to get in on the ground floor—a floor that at one point in the production line is literally flooded—of what is likely to pour out a whole a lot of cash in little Hullbrooke, USA. Unfortunately, in order for CannRose to get to a place where the indoor crop is profitable, they need to maneuver through a ton of red tape, survive each other, and maybe reconsider the rotating door of staff who did not fit the profile of being “actually qualified for their ******* jobs.”

B. Coyne Davies is able to easily deliver a fun and engaging story with The Buds Are Calling. The eclectic cast of characters is all supremely well developed, wherever on the good versus evil spectrum they land. I loved Ernie for his realism and vulnerability, and his taking to the CannRose dysfunction with the ardor of a family member. Petra was my favorite, a wildly overqualified plant scientist with a PhD hired for research, but research really means a token woman with the right credentials to have on hand while flirting with potential investors. Alongside Ernie, she really felt the most authentic. The dialogue throughout is believable and elicits a laugh every few pages, even as a reader who is stone-cold sober. A conversation that had me falling over was, “Ma’am, you think pot help my baby?”—a line that is followed with, “Maybe. I think it could...” It's clear Davies knows what they are talking about and even as a work of fiction it's kind of fun to learn along with the characters as we all go through the adventure together. I also did not know there was such a thing as salmon kebobs, but that's another topic for another day. Very funny, very well written, very highly recommended.