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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Anyone who believes that adventure stories are just for kids hasn't taken a look at the bestseller list recently. Americans have an unquenchable thirst for danger, if only to be experienced vicariously between the covers of a good book. In Mountains of the Mind, Robert MacFarlane adds a new twist to the adventure genre with this combination of a memoir depicting his own experience as a mountain climber and an intriguing historical exploration of the shift in cultural perceptions of mountains over the centuries. The rocky crags, once frightening places of mystery, have become sources of inspiration that ignite the imagination and compel adventurers of every ilk to risk life and limb in order to scale their heights.
MacFarlane traces the roots of our love affair with mountains and includes advancements in geology and our growing understanding of how the earth was formed. He also offers an insightful reflection on what drives climbers to pursue their goals so obsessively despite the potentially tragic consequences. But while MacFarlane's research is extensive, he's careful not to let it overwhelm his story. He rhapsodizes so eloquently about the beauty and peace he has experienced while climbing that it's clear this talented writer understands the seductive power of his subject all too well. (Summer 2003 Selection)