On the Edge of the Wild: Passions and Pleasures of a Naturalist

Overview

Steve Bodio has always been on the edge of the wild: hunting since he was young--and eating all that he kills; leaving Boston to travel west, ending up in Montana, then New Mexico; falling entranced with raptors and becoming a falconer; traveling the world for other hints of wildness--in lifestyle, landscape, and food.
These thought-provoking essays are broken down into six parts: The Country, Raptors, Sport, One Review, Three Books I Live and Why, and Food and Life. As Bodio ...

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Overview

Steve Bodio has always been on the edge of the wild: hunting since he was young--and eating all that he kills; leaving Boston to travel west, ending up in Montana, then New Mexico; falling entranced with raptors and becoming a falconer; traveling the world for other hints of wildness--in lifestyle, landscape, and food.
These thought-provoking essays are broken down into six parts: The Country, Raptors, Sport, One Review, Three Books I Live and Why, and Food and Life. As Bodio writes: "This book is a collage in essays about the kind of life I found worth living so far." Read this book and enter Bodio's life--you'll find it enviable, outrageous, funny, sad, and breathtaking. It is a life that must be touched.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"This life of mine believes in intimate contact, in eating and wallowing and breathing the dust, in sometimes getting the blood on its hands," writes Bodio (A Rage for Falcons) in this often lyrical paean to a rugged lifestyle of catching and eating meat, and respecting the outdoors, dogs and birds of prey. Bodio, who grew up in an Italian family in Boston, fly-fished at age four; his father kept homing pigeons. These essays, written between 1988 and 1997, explore those influences. Most center around hunting or the joy of working with and studying falcons, golden eagles and goshawks, but a few reflect the writer's literary inspirations and his favorite foods. He also writes of mentors, wives and old dogs. The book evokes many areas: New Mexico, Montana, southern France and Massachusetts, where Bodio, an unembarrassed member of the NRA, grew up. Bodio defends his controversial viewpoints cogently and poetically. He defines his writing purpose this way: "If writing essays means anything to me it is as an act of celebration and inquiry, like, if lesser than, poetry and science." His book, which includes some book reviews as well, should most appeal to other hunters and fishers, but a nature lover or even a vegetarian can gain new perspective by reading it. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Bodio can be described as an ethical huntersomeone who knows well and respects the animals and cycles of nature that draw him to the wild and who does not kill indiscriminately. This book, his third, "is a collage in essays about the kind of life I have found worth living, so far." Part natural history and part hunting literature, it is organized into six sections. His descriptions of life and nature in New Mexico and Montana are full of insight and color, reflective of nature writers he admires like Ernest Thompson Seton, William Least-Heat Moon, and Richard Nelson. In addition to hunting, Bodio describes adventures with raptors, dogs, grouse, fishing, his favorite books, wife Libby, cooking (risotto and chili), and the nature-writing course he teaches at the Wildbranch Writing Workshop (founded by E. Annie Proulx). Some of the essays have appeared previously in Big Sky Journal and Sports Afield. Despite a personal aversion to hunting, this reviewer found herself hooked on Bodio's excellent prose and witty, perceptive insights. An optional purchase, but recommended for audiences of nature essays and Western literature.Laura E. Lipton, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
Booknews
Six essays (some of which have been previously published) center on living on the edge of civilization and what remains of the wild<-->in the authors words, "..about the kind of life I have found worth living so far." Subjects include country, sport, birds of prey, reading and writing, and food. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592281190
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2003
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

STEPHEN J. BODIO is a full-time writer, an old-fashioned naturalist, and a sportsman. He is the author of a number of highly respected books, including A Rage for Falcons, Querencia, and Aloft. Bodio has been a book review editor for Gray's Sporting Journal ("Bodio's Review") and a resident member at Sterling College's Wildbranch Writing Workshop. His essays and articles have appeared in Smithsonian, Big Sky Journal, Sports Afield, and widely elsewhere. Born and educated in Boston, he has lived in Magdalena, New Mexico, for over twenty years.

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Table of Contents

Apologia and Acknowledgments vii
I The Country 1
Struck with Consequence 3
Moving to Montana 15
From Tiger Country 20
An Unexpected Eagle 26
II Raptors 35
Eagles 37
Why I Love Goshawks 51
The North-of-the-Waste White 57
Lost Partner 63
Grouse Camp 67
III Sport 83
A Canvas, Ever Changing 85
Home Again 97
Why Grouse? 106
My Shotguns 112
Evolution of a Hunter 117
Old Dog 121
A Long Way from Home 126
The Catfish Heretic 134
IV One Review 143
The Great Debate 145
V Three Books I Love, and Why 153
T. H. White's The Goshawk 155
Rob Schultheis's The Hidden West 162
Gavin Maxwell's Harpoon Venture 168
VI Food and Life 175
Risott': A Letter to John Thorne 177
Private Reconciliation Chili 181
Meat 185
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