Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had [NOOK Book]

Overview

COLTER pairs one of America's most treasured writers with our most treasured "best friend." Colter, a German shorthair pup, was the runt of the litter, and Rick Bass took him only because nobody else would. Soon, though, Colter surprised his new owner, first with his raging genius, then with his innocent ability to lead Bass to new territory altogether, a place where he felt instantly more alive and more connected to the world. Distinguished by "crystalline, see-through-to-the-bottom prose" (Rocky Mountain News),...
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Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had

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Overview

COLTER pairs one of America's most treasured writers with our most treasured "best friend." Colter, a German shorthair pup, was the runt of the litter, and Rick Bass took him only because nobody else would. Soon, though, Colter surprised his new owner, first with his raging genius, then with his innocent ability to lead Bass to new territory altogether, a place where he felt instantly more alive and more connected to the world. Distinguished by "crystalline, see-through-to-the-bottom prose" (Rocky Mountain News), this interspecies love story vividly captures the essence of canine companionship, and yet, as we've come to expect from Rick Bass, it does far more. "With an elegant, often erudite flavor to this story" (Book Page), COLTER illuminates the heart of life by recreating the sheer, unmitigated pleasure of an afternoon in the Montana hills with a loyal pup bounding at your side.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
For many of us, it doesn't require much writing skill to make a dog story endearing. But even the most avid pet fancier will recognize the Rick Bass's tribute to his hunter Colter is the best in the litter.
Vicki Croke
Again and again, Bass is experiencing that great lesson dogs have to teach: to accept the ones we love for who they are, to embrace even the faults…There is something interior, something luminous, a spirit yet invisible to the world in the bond between people and dogs.
Washington Post
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
[A] gorgeous, heart-tugging man-and-dog memoir.
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Splendid...a tribute to great dogs everywhere.
Boston Globe
The most impressive work from Bass in years...as clean and clear as the human and natural landscape it explores.
Detroit Free Press
Breathtaking...If any writer can awaken a taste for outdoors, Bass can.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"How we fall into grace. You can't work or earn your way into it. You just fall. It lies below, it lies beyond. It comes to you, unbidden," writes novelist and essayist Bass (Where the Sea Used to Be, etc.) of the arrival of his "goofy little knot-headed" genius of a pointing dog. As they roam the remote western Montana valley where Bass lives, and hunt the golden autumn plains in the eastern part of the state, Colter unfailingly ushers Bass into "an unexplored land" where the two become "as alive as we have ever been: our senses so sharp and whittled alive that we could barely stand it." Their prolonged hours of "wanting only one thing, a bird, wanting it so effortlessly and purely that [we] come the closest [we] will ever come to a shared language" are a blessing. But always, for Bass, there is the undertow of paradox: of living for the hunt but being a comically rotten marksman; of being a hunter yet an environmentalist; of his tendency to love with "a passion so intense it borders on gluttony," inevitably followed by the crushing numbness that marks the loss of what he loves. Bass's exhaustless appetite for natural beauty and his propensity for "bragging on" his dog occasionally lead to exuberant repetition ("It was just so damn great to be out in such open country with my dogs"), but more often result in luminously transcendent passages on the education and sorrowful loss of a brilliant and mischievous chocolate brown pointer that will transfix anyone who has ever loved a dog. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
KLIATT
Here is a very readable book in the line of The Voice of Bugle Ann and Old Yeller. Rick Bass owned dogs before Colter, and he will own dogs again, but there will never be another dog as dear to him as this brilliant (although slightly goofy) shorthaired pointer. Bass writes in a breezy tone, as if he's talking to the reader, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Even an anti-gun, anti-hunting "peacenik" who can't even picture the vastness of a Texas meadow or the vista of the Rocky Mountains in Montana and who knows virtually nothing about the birds that Colter can scent from miles away can find herself caught up in tales of Colter's abilities. Bass is realistic about Colter's goofiness and doesn't hesitate to laugh at him. The laughter is often at Bass himself, though—for a man who hunts with his dog as much as he does, he's a remarkably bad shot! But he doesn't care. The point is to be outside with his dog. Of course dogs don't live as long as humans, and the story of Colter's death is particularly wrenching. Bass is training one of Colter's brothers (who will never be the hunter Colter was) as he is grieving, and though some might underestimate Bass' depth of feeling, and his degree of mourning, for "just a dog," the reader will understand perfectly. The only objections I have to the book are in Bass' use of profanity (although words like "dipshit" and "fucked-up" are almost standard in much modern writing) and the occasional typo (indenting some but not all in a set of paragraphs that should have matched) but these are minor complaints.A good read. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Houghton Mifflin, Mariner,188p., $10.00. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Judith H. Silverman; Chevy Chase, MD , November 2001 (Vol. 35, No. 6)
Library Journal
This delightful book is really a love story about the special bond and level of understanding that can exist between a man and his dog. It is also a story that celebrates nature, describing life in the Montana woods and the thrill of hunting in the never-ending fields at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. In his latest book, nature writer Bass (The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness) tells the story of life with a very special hunting dog. Colter is the runt of the litter, and Bass ends up buying the pup because no one else wants him. But as he grows, Colter's instinct takes over, and his passion for hunting is unequalled. The dog's abilities are so outstanding that Bass, admittedly a poor shot, feels guilty when he misses a bird because he feels that he is letting his dog down. His enthusiasm is contagious and somewhat amusing: Bass loves to hunt, but does not particularly care whether he shoots anything; it is the thrill of watching his dog work that he finds exciting. Recommended for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/00; BOMC selection.]--Deborah Emerson, Monroe Community Coll., Rochester, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Richard Conniff
Bass is a wonderful writer, adept at drawing out the glory and momentousness of an autumn afternoon with a dog in the Montana hills.
New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
"...luminously transcendant passages on the education and sorrowful loss of a brilliant…chocolate brown pointer that will transfix anyone who has ever loved a dog." Publishers Weekly, Starred

"Bass is a masterly writer . . . Your dog loves you, Bass, and this reviewer does, too." USA Today

"Bass' writing is cinematic—he lets readers run with Colter through the fields . . . [we] feel Colter's energy as he experienced it." Denver Rocky Mountain News

"Has anyone ever written so perfectly of a dog shaking water from its fur, curled up tight during sleep?" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

". . . A book to be savoured. . . on a lazy summer afternoon, with your dog asleep on the ground below." Bookpage

". . . A book to be savoured. . . on a lazy summer afternoon, with your dog asleep on the ground below." Bookpage

"Colter is a dog of boundless spirit, all grace and wild genius. And his terrific master, Rick Bass, happens to be a national treasure. What a terrific team they make!"—Carl Hiaasen, author of SICK PUPPY

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547526362
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/1/2001
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 215,485
  • File size: 431 KB

Meet the Author

RICK BASS’s fiction has received O. Henry Awards, numerous Pushcart Prizes, awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, among others. Most recently, his memoir Why I Came West was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Read an Excerpt

Long before I became fully hostage to a life of reading, I was attracted to books like Fred Gibson’s Old Yeller and Savage Sam and Sterling North’s Rascal and The Wolfing, books that bore witness to (and gloriTed) the depths and breadth that the man-animal bond could reach. I had already felt the unmistakable and again comforting presence of grace when in the company of animals, especially wild animals: the stirrings of what Edward O. Wilson has labeled “biophilia” — our attachment to all living things.

— From Colter

Copyright (c) 2000 by Rick Bass. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.
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First Chapter

Long before I became fully hostage to a life of reading, I was

attracted to books like Fred Gibson's Old Yeller and Savage Sam and Sterling North's Rascal and The Wolfing, books that bore witness to (and gloriÞed) the depths and breadth that the man-animal bond could reach. I had already felt the unmistakable and again comforting presence of grace when in the company of animals, especially wild animals: the stirrings of what Edward O. Wilson has labeled "biophilia"

— our attachment to all living things.

— From Colter Copyright (c) 2000 by Rick Bass. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    Okay...

    I gave this book a three because it was written about thing I don't like. Sure, I love a good heartfelt book about a pet dog, but in this one the author was, like, obsessed with hunting. Was not the best book I have read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A book for people who 'get' dogs, NOT for the Marley and Me crowd

    A deeply layered and robust romp of a book. Bass writes with love and power informed by the experience of raising a joyous dog of the field. There are once-in-a-lifetime dogs and Bass' gift to us is sharing his. Writing to gratify word lovers, insight to satisfy dog lovers. What unfolds in the field is about hunting and so much more. Bass' pure prose and pure love is an honor to experience. The cover photograph is riveting on first look; after you've read Colter's story, it is piercing. A tribute to a great dog and an inspiration to sensitive dog people everywhere. Read the ending when you're unrushed and uninterrupted.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2008

    A great book for any dog lover!

    If you like bird hunting or dogs you are going to love this book. It¿s about Rick Bass¿s love for dogs, especially his first dog named Colter. In this book he experiences tough times and happy times. Colter is a great bird hunter and Rick loves him very much, until something happens that changes him forever. ¿Sitting there under the cedar tree, stunned and crying, and in the weeks that followed, and still today, I had ask the question Why?¿ Rick wanted a bird hunter Colter was sent away for bird hunting training when he was a puppy to the best bird hunting trainer in the world, Jarrett Thompson. When Colter was gone, Rick missed him so much he questioned whether or not he made the right decision of sending Colter away. When Colter came home, Rick realized he had a real talent. Colter was a great bird hunter, but Rick was not such a good shooter. He didn¿t feel worthy of Colter¿s hunting ability. Although he didn¿t behave very well when Rick tried to prove Colter¿s skills to a few veteran hunters, he failed. Colter was a little unstable sometimes he was wild and playful, and sometimes he wanted to hunt, get birds, and do a good job at it. The main point in this book that the author is trying to express is his love for animals, especially Colter. He loved dogs so much he even rescued two from an old abandoned house and raised them. I like the way the author describes the scenery in the woods because it makes you feel like you are in the book, hunting with them. He did lose some of his dogs in this book, and the way he describes his losses is very heartbreaking. Event after event, makes it hard to put down the book. in this book, Rick realizes that its not how many birds you shoot, or the miles you walk it¿s about the times you have and the love for your dog. I would recommend this book to any dog lover.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2002

    My Colter review

    I too have purchased a pup from the Old South Pointer Farm in Rosanky, TX. She's a 3 yr old english pointer named Dixie. I really enjoyed the first chapter of the book. Everything he says leading up to the Pointer farm is accurate and I could relate to how he felt driving down that red dirt road to see the pups. Again, I really enjoyed the first chapter and I hope to get my self a copy of the book some time soon.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2000

    WONDERFUL!

    This book would be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates the man to animal bond. The love that Rick Bass and Colter share for nature and hunting was a breath a fresh air. I did'nt want this book to end.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2003

    Dog lover/Bird hunter. LOVE SPRINGERS!

    Bird hunters every where should read this book.Its a great example of why you should use a training collar! Colter was a super dog and deserved a better fate.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Mist Clan Sleeping Area

    ~FireFlower

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2010

    I would like a pooch just like Colter

    This is a great story of a most loveable pooch. Just wish it had pictures of him in it.

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    Posted August 16, 2011

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    Posted June 4, 2009

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    Posted February 21, 2010

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    Posted April 4, 2011

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    Posted January 12, 2009

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