BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Average Rating 3.5
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Amazing novel for word-, thought-, and nature-lovers.

Though most other high schoolers who reviewed this book disliked it, I read it as a sophomore and absolutely loved it. After nearly every single page, paragraph, or mind-boggling idea, I would literally jump up, elated, and try to explain what was so amazing to whoever ...
Though most other high schoolers who reviewed this book disliked it, I read it as a sophomore and absolutely loved it. After nearly every single page, paragraph, or mind-boggling idea, I would literally jump up, elated, and try to explain what was so amazing to whoever happened to be in the room. Dillard manages to pack hundreds of original, thought-provoking images and ideas into the novel with vivid, striking language. The book isn't a particularly quick read, but Dillard retains the reader's interest with unexpected bits of science and stunning sentences sprinkled (and sometimes heavily poured) throughout.

If you have, as Dillard does, "a brain-pouch, catching and absorbing small bits that fall deeply into [your] open eye," this book is for you. If the passage "...the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever-fresh vigor" makes you want to explode with appreciation for words, this book is for you. If you're struggling to find beauty or natural (but not necessarily religious) spirituality within our seemingly brutal world, read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

posted by 2718515 on January 12, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

this book reminds me on the time Rimbaud said...

Despite all the positive reviews, I found this book completely unreadable. It is 277 pages of pointless, mindless free association interspersed with needless quotations designed to prove how literate author is. From W.C. Fields to Martin Buber to Xerxes, the reader is...
Despite all the positive reviews, I found this book completely unreadable. It is 277 pages of pointless, mindless free association interspersed with needless quotations designed to prove how literate author is. From W.C. Fields to Martin Buber to Xerxes, the reader is presented with the insights of various historical figures which appear out-of-blue and are too often unrelated to whatever lose-yourself-in-nature horse the author happens to be beating to death. One must wonder whether they are strategically placed in an attempt to convince the reader how profound the author's simplistic insights must be. Ask a 5th grader for their opinion of what it's like to be a tree and you will get the same imagery in less time without the pretentiousness.

posted by Anonymous on July 31, 2003

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2010

    Amazing novel for word-, thought-, and nature-lovers.

    Though most other high schoolers who reviewed this book disliked it, I read it as a sophomore and absolutely loved it. After nearly every single page, paragraph, or mind-boggling idea, I would literally jump up, elated, and try to explain what was so amazing to whoever happened to be in the room. Dillard manages to pack hundreds of original, thought-provoking images and ideas into the novel with vivid, striking language. The book isn't a particularly quick read, but Dillard retains the reader's interest with unexpected bits of science and stunning sentences sprinkled (and sometimes heavily poured) throughout.

    If you have, as Dillard does, "a brain-pouch, catching and absorbing small bits that fall deeply into [your] open eye," this book is for you. If the passage "...the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever-fresh vigor" makes you want to explode with appreciation for words, this book is for you. If you're struggling to find beauty or natural (but not necessarily religious) spirituality within our seemingly brutal world, read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 30, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A brilliant work - A classic of our day

    Annie Dillard's writing at its best. Contrary to what the high school students who give this work one star seem to think, a book doesn't always have to chronicle a definite story with formulaic heroes fighting formulaic villains (I am tempted to say that these students have no soul, but I'll hold off). That said, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek does indeed have a plot. It is the plot of the whole world, and God's plan in it. Dillard's writing is poignant, profound, and sensual. She ties herself to the world she lives in, showing how the land we are raised in is a part of who we are. Pilgrim is, in its core, a soul-baring - it is Dillard letting us see the world through her eyes. And a beautiful sight it is.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2003

    this book reminds me on the time Rimbaud said...

    Despite all the positive reviews, I found this book completely unreadable. It is 277 pages of pointless, mindless free association interspersed with needless quotations designed to prove how literate author is. From W.C. Fields to Martin Buber to Xerxes, the reader is presented with the insights of various historical figures which appear out-of-blue and are too often unrelated to whatever lose-yourself-in-nature horse the author happens to be beating to death. One must wonder whether they are strategically placed in an attempt to convince the reader how profound the author's simplistic insights must be. Ask a 5th grader for their opinion of what it's like to be a tree and you will get the same imagery in less time without the pretentiousness.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    This is one of the worst books I have ever wasted my money &

    This is one of the worst books I have ever wasted my money & time on.  The mindless, disconnected, irrelevant, ignorant ramblings of an author who thinks far too much of her own thoughts & intelligence, not to mention talent - because she has none-is torturous to put up with.  He "scientific" conclusions are ignorant and entirely wrong.  For someone so pretentious as to believe she has deep and meaningful,(erratic!) thoughts that she must share with the world, she should be embarrassed.  There is nothing insightful, poetic, or at all interesting in her senseless, ignorant rambling.  "Green"  "educators" assign this book in efforts to show their students how enlightened and ethereal they are also.  The result is a class full of bored, unimpressed students who, for the most part, can put together a paragraph that runs circles around any dribble in Pilgrim.  If this is on your child's reading list - fight it.  There is nothing to gain and hours of learning  to lose by forcing students to read this tripe.  Dillard is pretentious and unskilled in writing, and teachers who insist on this book are pretentious and depriving their student of  time spent reading actual great works of literature and mature, intelligent writing style.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2009

    Her prose is gorgeous, more poetry then mere nonfiction writing!

    Listening to the audio version of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is like having a lovely conversation with Annie Dillard. She meanders through whatever subject crosses her mnds, exclaiming over muskrats, frogs, and praying mantis. She wonders about the meaning of the things she encounters on her walks along Tinker Creek and then she forgets about meaning and just admires the beauty of it all.

    Her prose is gorgeous, more poetry then mere nonfiction writing. She's young, and it shows in her exuberant sometimes overly gushing enthusiasm. Her musings can be random and seem disconnected, but are more often charming and conversational. I enjoyed this chance to get to know Annie Dillard and the landscape she loved. I listened to this book on audio read by Tavia Gilbert. She does a fantastic job of capturing the energy, enthusiasm, and wonder of Annie's observations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2007

    A breath of fresh air

    This book was a very fascinating and heavy read. I expected it to be pleasant and written with beautiful detailed writing. I was half right. It indeed had incredibly stunning writing with detail that almost bowled me over, but it was not pleasant nor calm throughout. She explained many things with gruesome detail which could be frightening at times, but very intriguing. One of my favorite sections confused me a bit a short section about how she allowed the spiders in her house to run freely about. I was confused as to why exactly it was my favorite because spiders are, and have never been, a spot of interest to me. ¿I figure that any predator that hopes to make a living on whatever small creature might blunder into a four-inch square of space in the corner or the bathroom where the tub meets the floor, needs every bit of my support.¿ This part of the section really struck me as great, thoughtful writing. I think it takes a great writer to make someone interested in a subject they have had no interest in. Some parts of the book struck me as a bit eerie. One example is the section from her past where she is describing the Polyphemus moth her 4th or 5th grade class had acquired. ¿He heaved himself down the asphalt driveway by infinite degrees, unwavering. His hideous crumpled wings lay glued and rucked on his back, perfectly still now, like a collapsed tent.¿ These two sentences completely enraptured me. The visualization was so clear and alarming that I was a bit subdued after reading this passage. I think I will read this book again when I am older. I feel that I will appreciate it more, and I will understand things better. For now, I think I will definitely recommend this book! You have to completely lose yourself in it to fully acknowledge the fine writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2006

    In the top ten books of all time

    The negative reviews on this page are not suprising (although they are very amusing.) You would be hardpressed to find another book with the polarity of responses recorded here, with the same strength of reactions. This speaks to the nature of this wonderful book. This narrative requires an appreciation of a strong literary voice, a patience not found in most readers, and an open mind. A love of the natural world helps as well, though if you can appreciate the tone of the book, there is a good chance that Ms Dillard will instill a love of nature, or at least portray the world in which we live in a new light. Every time I pick this book up I am amazed, every time I am enthralled and mesmerized. The writer of these pages possesses a mind of unparalleled originality and brilliance. How these words were assembled into one volume is at once mysterious and wonderful. The bottom line is that this is one of the best books ever put to print. Unfortunately, that which makes it great also makes it relatively unaccessable. This is not a page turner. It requires patience. Read ten pages at a time so as not to become oversaturated. So, either you will get it or not. Either you will cherish it forever, or wish to set it to fire. I hope beyond hope, however, you will not be one of the latter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2006

    Why would you read this?

    This was terrible book. I can see why it won the prize, but I couldn't stand it. The only good part was how it was a witness to God's wonderful creation. I do not recommend a book that spend 20 pages talking about someone watching a muskrat!

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2006

    I still don't understand why I had to pay for the 'book'.

    Let me get one thing straight-- I would give this book zero stars, but there is no option for that. I was required to read this book, and I thought it was the absolute worst book ever written. There is no plot! I thought maybe a pilgrim would pop out somewhere (as suggested in the title), but nope, Mrs. Dillard pulled a bait and switch. Just some retarded flower she writes a whole chapter on. Or wait, better yet! The thrilling chapter about the tree! I couldn't put it down! This book is incredible at making a new lame and I am lucky I am still here today, even after reading it. I would absolutely reccommend this book to anyone who has about 145 spare hours and enjoys being bored out of there mind.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2006

    this book deserves negative stars

    this book was assgined to me for my english class. if you want a book for students still in high school this is not the one annie talks about a lot of random things, there is no plot, and it just really boring. it makes the reader want to just stop reading because it is all the same ... annie talking on and on about different things in nature. in a poll taken in my class only 11 out of 136 actually got through it. i do NOT recommend this book to anyone

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2004

    Without a doubt, one of the best books I've ever read

    From the first page, where she describes the tomcat who left roses on her body to the end where she tells the horrifying story of the Eskimo, Annie Dillard kept me glued to the pages. I never knew that philosophy and theology were so interconnected, nor that nature could inspire such thinking. Dillard takes us away from the cliched to a world we never even dreamed existed. It has changed my life

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2004

    this book is so bad i dont even know where to start

    Whoever read this book and thought to themselves 'this deserves the Pulitzer Prize' was on some sort of illegal substance. There is no way I would even think of reading past the first 30 pages if I weren't required to at college. If it were possible, I would give this book a negative amount of stars so as to stress how it is undeserving of any stars, much less a full one!! In it's defense, I am willing to say that it would be a lovely poem if it were in that form. However, I am not particularly fond of 300 page poems about grass. If you like plot, don't read this book.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    A moment of focus on nature

    If you've ever enjoyed being outside, this book will take you out there and bring you such joy! Annie Dillard is always a joy to read. Her language bejewels her observations in such a way that one is refreshed, relaxed, at peace. She is a fund of nature experiences and facts and ever interesting. A paragraph is sometimes enough. Perfect falling asleep thoughts.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2013

    Book Review: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek This book, told from the p

    Book Review: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
    This book, told from the perspective of an unnamed narrator who lives next to Tinker Creek, is written in a series of monologues and reflections. Over the course of a year, the narrator observes the changing of the seasons as well as the vegetation and various animals near her home. This book is divided into four sections, one for each season. The first chapter, "Heaven and Earth in Jest", is an introduction to the book. The narrator describes the location as well as her connection to it. “I live by a creek, Tinker Creek, in a valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge. An anchorite's hermitage is called an anchor-hold; some anchor-holds were simple sheds clamped to the side of a church like a barnacle or a rock. I think of this house clamped to the side of Tinker Creek as an anchor-hold. It holds me at anchor to the rock bottom of the creek itself and keeps me steadied in the current, as a sea anchor does, facing the stream of light pouring down. It's a good place to live; there's a lot to think about.” Touching upon themes of faith, nature, and awareness the book records the narrator’s thoughts on solitude, writing, and religion. I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the wilderness and the animals. I ended up learning some things about both, that I did not know before. Because the narrator is unknown, it gave the book a mysterious essence. At times, the book was somewhat boring because there wasn’t a lot going on. She mainly sat back and watched. Someone should read this book because it is very interesting and you learn things at the same time. After reading this book, I’ve learned that if you take a second to really look, you might notice something that you never knew was there. I recommend reading other books by Annie Dillard like “Tickets for a Prayer Wheel”, “Living by Fiction”, and “Teaching a Stone To Talk”.


    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome for nature lovers

    I purchased this book about 30 years ago and am re reading it. I purchased two copies for a friend and my sister. Hope they love it as much as I do. Annie is not only a nature lover but everything she write is so poetic and spiritual in nature.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2005

    An amazing work of art.

    I must begin by saying that any person who cannot find it in themselves to love and appreciate this book is beyond literary salvation. It introduces the reader to a love of nature and the world. It is both beautifully written and full of inspirational thoughts. It is one of the best books that I have ever read. I recomend it to any person who has the capability to see beauty in the world as Annie does; you will not walk away empty handed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2002

    perfect and outstanding

    Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - better than any bible.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2002

    An Influencial Look at Nature and Spirituality

    This text is one of my favorites--worth reading time and again. While many of the books I read have an impact on my beliefs and lifestyle, Annie Dillard's books have made an especially lasting mark on me, influencing not only my writing style and definition of beauty but also my sense of environmental ethics. Her writing is fabulous--each line is poetic and meaningful. The focus of Tinker Creek drifts from nature and the commonplace to profound spiritual concepts. The wealth of information she draws from even the most basic elements of life reflects her attitudes about the beauty of the simple. For those that have always loved nature, to internalize Dillard's work is to gain an appreciation for unique stones and tiny flowers on the south sides of hills, not just grandiose landscapes and majestic wildlife. All nature is awe-inspiring, regardless of scale.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2001

    Beauty and Truth; Poetry and Nature; Horror and Awakening

    This a really beautiful book with strong and beautiful descriptions and metaphors. She doesn't hide any hideousness she finds or let anything magnificant in truth get by. It is as though she is writing straight from what she is feeling at that very moment,no plot is needed. These aren't a pile of memoirs, they are all woven together with central themes about seeing and realizations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2001

    Educated observation written with an artist's hand

    I would like to know this person. She is equally at home with minute observation as well as grand metaphysics. I reread this book every year or so.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3