Going Back to Bisbee

Going Back to Bisbee

5.0 4
by Richard Shelton
     
 

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"A memorable ride through time and experience from booming Tucson to struggling Bisbee, Ariz., with fascinating sidetracks into botany, history and biology."--New York Times Book Review

"Humor, poignancy, humaneness, word magic--these all make Going Back To Bisbee fit company with Dillard, Eiseley, Abbey, and Graves. . . . A beautiful

Overview

"A memorable ride through time and experience from booming Tucson to struggling Bisbee, Ariz., with fascinating sidetracks into botany, history and biology."--New York Times Book Review

"Humor, poignancy, humaneness, word magic--these all make Going Back To Bisbee fit company with Dillard, Eiseley, Abbey, and Graves. . . . A beautiful book."--Journal of the West

"Shelton's literary touch is sure, and he seemingly achieves his effects--nostalgic, witty, inspirational--with little effort."--Kirkus Review

"A poet of elegance and precision."--Harvard Review

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Poet Shelton has created a powerful annal of place--a paean to the Sonoran desert south of Tucson, a landscape as prickly as the cacti that grow in it and yet as refreshing as a rainy-season rainstorm. Shelton imbues landscapes, flora and fauna with resonance, imprinting themes of memory, history and human nature in the reader's mind. The opening description of a Sonoran monsoon is a masterful evocation of weather, vibrant and violent. Shelton's ( The Tattooed Desert ) tour of the desert includes descriptions of a six-foot snake that rescued him from the local squirrels who were infiltrating his house; his disastrous attempt to harvest a yucca as a native Christmas tree; an attack by raging bulls on the Mormon battalion in the U.S.-Mexican war; his abrupt discovery of an adobe ghost town; and the sociology of an old mining village. Shelton knows the lore and the life of Southern Arizona, and his diction, both precise and evocative, reflects his poetic skills. Indeed, the only fault here could easily have been repaired: the end of the book tends to repeat observations made earlier. (Aug.)
Library Journal
This book, winner of the 1992 Western States Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, offers the reader a glimpse into life and landscape in a mountainous mining region in extreme southeastern Arizona. Shelton, the author of several works of poetry ( The Bus to Veracruz , LJ 12/15/78. o.p.; The Tattooed Desert , LJ 2/15/71) became enraptured with the area as an army draftee and stayed to teach junior high English in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Now living in Tucson, he recounts a recent nostalgic journey back to the area that incorporates natural history with a marvelous sense of place. This book should appeal to fans of Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness ( LJ 1/1/68) and Charles Bowden's Desierto: Memories of the Future ( LJ 6/15/91). Recommended, especially for southwestern and natural history collections.-- Tim Markus, Evergreen State Coll. Lib., Olympia, Wash.
Booknews
Poet and professor (English, U. of Arizona) Shelton sets off for Bisbee on a day trip, along the way reflecting on the history of the area, on the beauty of the landscape, and on his own life. Learned, passionate, and poetic--winner of the 1992 Western States Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Paper edition (unseen), $15.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
Winner of the Western States Book Award for Creative Nonfiction""From Tucson to Bisbee is only a hundred-mile trip through the basin and range country of southeastern Arizona, but Richard Shelton makes it a memorable ride through time and experience. . . a memoir rich in the history of the area and in wisdom about the natural world. . . . Shelton has a generous sense of humor, a clear vision of the world and, ultimately, wonderful stories to tell." —Michael Pearson, New York Times Book Review"Humor, poignancy, humaneness, word magic—these all make Going Back To Bisbee fit company with Dillard, Eiseley, Abbey, and Graves. . . . A beautiful book."—Journal of the West"A poet of elegance and precision." —Harvard Review"Poet-professor Shelton offers his first full-length prose work—and it's cause for celebration. . . . recalls the violent history of this long-isolated border area. . . . Shelton's literary touch is sure, and he seemingly achieves his effects—nostalgic, witty, inspirational—with little effort. A delightful companion piece to Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence." —Kirkus Reviews"He's a magician, hypnotizing his audience one moment with a tribute to coyotes, then waking them to a discussion of the Apache wars. . . . Shelton possesses great generosity of soul, a gift for observation, and golden sense of humor." —Booklist"A powerful annal of place. . . . Shelton imbues landscapes, flora and fauna with resonance, imprinting themes of memory, history and human nature in the reader's mind. . . . Shelton knows the lore and life of Southern Arizona, and his diction, both precise and evocative, reflects his poetic skills." —Publishers Weekly"There's so much in this book to discover, so many evocative passages and entertaining side trips." —Los Angeles Times Book Review"A heartfelt memoir, a spectacular natural and social history of a spectacular land. It is as fine a book as you will read this year." —San Diego Tribune"It enriches the life of the reader by reminding him of his own past. . . . A lyrical search to determine what has happened during a life lived and experienced." —El Paso Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816512898
Publisher:
University of Arizona Press
Publication date:
05/01/1992
Pages:
329
Sales rank:
546,145
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

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Going Back to Bisbee 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Charlottes-son More than 1 year ago
Now this is one of those light reads that will linger for years. It made me want to go. I feel like I went with him. So chillingly written. So easy to read. so worth the time. 
Pit More than 1 year ago
Shelton is an artist who takes us into his mind and soul and brings understanding and enlightenment to what we see of the southwest and the human spirit
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading Mr. Shelton's book back to Bisbee was like sitting in the passenger seat of 'old Blue' his trusty van and listening to a master storyteller take you on a journey through time and place in a way that leaves a true appreciation for the desert southwest and the 'funky' little town of Bisbee - it certainly explains a lot about my first impressions of Bisbee - like the shops that tend to open 'when they want to' and close 'when they feel like it' - I loved this book and thank you very much for the journey Mr. Shelton!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Richard Shelton is probably the best poet in the Southwest. His books on the Sonoran desert and the odd surrealistic quality of his verse have captured everyone who has lived there. His prose is less well-known, but this book is in the process of changing all that. Even though the book has been out for a few years, I just got around to reading it after reviewing Michael Hogan's 'Mexican Mornings' where he encapsulates Shelton's work in a loving essay. There is in Shelton's prose the delight and enthusiasm of a popular and gifted teacher as he takes us 'back to Bisbee, historically and literally, travelling through space and time in an old pickup,through the desert, up the Mule Mountains, and then down into this old Phelps-Dodge mining town which, next to San Miguel Allende, is probably the most charming village on the continent. Let's hope it stays that way and that, as Shelton's readers increase in the 21st century, Bisbee itself stays pristine in its 19th century time warp.