Customer Reviews for

Seeds: One Man's Serendipitous Journey to Find the Trees That Inspired Famous American Writers from Faulkner to Kerouac, Welty to Wharton

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Unusual literary travelogue!

    Seeds is a lifelong reader's tribute to American authors. For Horan, visiting the author's homes and the places that may have inspired them is a pilgrimage. His account of the trees and landscape that he finds is a special sort of literary travelogue. In many ways, Seeds seems like a book perfect for the author who describes himself as "a transient most of my life, I have a knack for bonding with any given locale. I need only wander around a place for a little while to feel a keen sense of belonging. As a teacher, I've learned that someone's environment has as much to tell us about that person as does his or her friends and family." Sure enough, Horan takes us to some unexpected places.

    I particularly enjoyed the account of his visit to L. Frank Baum's childhood home in Northern Syracuse, New York. There is a Wizard of Oz Memorial Oak Grove in North Syracuse where L. Frank Baum had played as a child and was an inspiration for his enchanted forest. A weak and sickly child, Frank spent much of his childhood on his own. At twelve, his family moved to Roselawn Estate in Mattydale, New York. Roselawn was located near the first plank road ever built - a street made entirely of wood, Plank Road was made of hemlock and had an unusual golden color. It was used to transport salt from the nearby lake to southern parts of New York state.

    Horan describes the thick woods 2 miles away from the Roselawn Estate which had been owned by friends of the Baum family and is now the Wizard of Oz Memorial Oak Grove. Seven acres in size, it is the most historic old grove in the eastern U.S. Horan comes across a 150 year old giant red oak that is over 100 feet tall and three times the size of a mature oak. Horan describes the plaques on several of the ancient oaks and maples, each with dedications to artists, writers, and people that have changed the world: Walt Disney, Anne Frank, John Lennon, Mahatma Gandhi, William Shakespeare, Martin Luther King,John Lennon, John Muir, Edgar Alan Poe, and L. Frank Baum.

    When Horan visits Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald's beautiful old home - which has been transformed into a museum and rental apartments -he writes about the gigantic and majestic pecan tree nearly 100 feet tall and what it must have been like for Fitzgerald working and taking a break by the tree. When he visits to Montgomery, Alabama and the street where Truman Capote and Harper Lee lived, he tells us about the oak that that inspired Boo Radley's tree where he left gifts for Atticus Finch's kids.

    When Horan visited Pearl S. Buck's estate, he collected seeds from bamboo and silver maple. He explored the estate, including her grave site. In the description of her home and museum and of the spot in Danby, Vermont, Horan conveys much of Pearl S. Buck and the time in which she lived and wrote. It's difficult to cover Buck's unusual life, particularly through through her possessions and her land. Her books and her life have left a longstanding impact on the world - she lived and described a critical point in China's history. Her books are the best way to know Pearl S. Buck, but hopefully, Horan's visit to her home encourages young people to want to discover her stories.

    I found Seeds an unusual and fascinating read.

    ISBN-10: 0061861685 - Paperback
    Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 19, 2011), 384 pages.
    Review copy provided by the publisher.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 7, 2012

    Nightcrawlrr

    There is a prophecy told to my wolf pavk thst involves an apprentice named Tigerpaw. He will get mad and if not calmed down then...Well ull see. Just know be warned he is a strong cat.

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Pearlpelt

    Sits watching happily

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Fin

    Fin sighs. (•|•)

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    To aquafire

    rip her throat

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Splashpaw

    -beamed-

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Beaverpaw

    Splashpaw Splashpaw!

    0 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Fernkit

    Grumbles and pads back.

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Seedstar

    Ok. I understand. I will keep my eye on him. Thnx for telling me

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    Must read for king fans

    This book was a page turner. Its been a long time since a book has made my skin crawl. Truley a spine chiller. For fans of Stephen King you will love this book but its more along the lines of a Richard Bachman book. It is dark and creepy. I enjoyed this book so much. I cant wait to read more by this author

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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