From the Publisher
"The Thoreau of our time, an essayist so intensely personal, so sharp-eyed and deep-sighted, so tender and tough, lyrical and elegiac, as to transmute a simple stroll into a full-blown mystical experience."The Washington Post
"Hoagland's writing is provocative, direct, raw, sometimes painful, and always full of his passion for life and living things. Highly recommended for nature and travel collections."Library Journal
"Hoagland is surely one of our most truthful writers about nature . . ."The New York Times Book Review
Acclaimed nature writer Hoagland offers a rich collection of 25 essays that records his travels to places that include the Arctic, Antarctica, and his rural retreat in the mountains of Vermont. Hoagland distinguishes himself from many other nature writers by being equally interested in people and their natural surroundings, and he often writes about the deadly interactions between the two. We learn of the Kadar of southern India, who live with the threat of elephant or tiger attacks; the Gwich'in Indians of Alaska, who struggle to maintain their traditional subsistence living in the 21st century; and Hoagland's strange mix of neighbors in rural Vermont, whose lives can be difficult and tawdry but who are always fiercely independent. In a very personal essay, "Behold Now Behemoth," Hoagland reveals his religious beliefs and unfettered joy at having his sight restored after three years of blindness. He ends the work with biographical commentary on nature writers Thoreau, John Muir, Edward Abbey, and Gilbert White. Hoagland's writing is provocative, direct, raw, sometimes painful, and always full of his passion for life and living things. Highly recommended for nature and travel collections.-Maureen J. Delaney-Lehman, Lake Superior State Univ. Lib., Sault Ste. Marie, MI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from pg. 21:
On the first hunt, we went to the Duck Pond Road in the township of Glover. It's a defunct jigsaw road, scarcely navigable, that twists past abandoned farmsteads and log houses for a dozen miles, with the acres of overgrown red clover and alfalfa fields and orchards everywhere that attract bears, mile after mile of new-fledged wilderness that has not been bulldozed because a strip through the middle of it is slated to become a superhighway. Tuffy, Doyle's strike dog, trotted ahead, urinating repeatedly as he warmed to the occasion. He was butter-footed in the beginning, as stiff as if he were walking on ice, having hunted in Holland, Vt., the day before and treed a yearling, which the hosts and landowners there shot. He has grasshopper legs, a long gazelle waist and a broad face for a dog, providing plenty of space for his teeth and for his smelling-chambers. He's even blacker than a bear, and doesn't lope or pace the way a wolf does, for instance; his gait is gimpier, pointier, pumpier, dancier; his legs seem to danglelong girlish legsand there's a trotting-horse quality to himhe has a thin tail and shaky, mile-jigging legs. His ears flop incongruously, like a cartoon puppy's, and yet he sniffed like a jackhammer as he started hunting more smoothy, after relieving his bowels and getting the excess of high spirits out of his system. The start, gaunt persona of a working dog, whether a sled, hound or attack dog, emergedthe scarred face flattening likea janissary's, the eyes going gaily daft. His tail swung with the degree of interest the smells he encountered aroused.