The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod

Overview

The seventy-fifth anniversary edition of the classic book about Cape Cod, ?written with simplicity, sympathy, and beauty? (New York Herald Tribune)

A chronicle of a solitary year spent on a Cape Cod beach, The Outermost House has long been recognized as a classic of American nature writing. Henry Beston had originally planned to spend just two weeks in his seaside home, but was so possessed by the mysterious beauty of his surroundings that he ...

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The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod

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Overview

The seventy-fifth anniversary edition of the classic book about Cape Cod, “written with simplicity, sympathy, and beauty” (New York Herald Tribune)

A chronicle of a solitary year spent on a Cape Cod beach, The Outermost House has long been recognized as a classic of American nature writing. Henry Beston had originally planned to spend just two weeks in his seaside home, but was so possessed by the mysterious beauty of his surroundings that he found he “could not go.”

Instead, he sat down to try and capture in words the wonders of the magical landscape he found himself in thrall to: the migrations of seabirds, the rhythms of the tide, the windblown dunes, and the scatter of stars in the changing summer sky. Beston argued that, “The world today is sick to its thin blood for the lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot.” Seventy-five years after they were first published, Beston’s words are more true than ever.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A colorful and ever-changing chronicle of movement that approaches the magnificent.” —Boston Transcript

“Clear and full of life.” —The Nation

Library Journal

Echoing Henry David Thoreau's life at the edge of Walden Pond, Beston's year on the beach of Cape Cod results in a classic record of a naturalist's encounter with an environment still unspoiled. Though Beston lives that year by himself in a small house built on the edge of the beach, he is never alone. Surrounded by a large variety of migrant birds, he delights in watching their habits up close and muses on the forces impelling them. Members of a nearby Coast Guard station offer occasional human company as well, but Beston's main focus stays on the rich variety of life around him. He describes the minutest detail of this world in thrilling language. He sees the full spectrum of colors in the waves, the sky, the topographical features of the Cape, the vegetation, and, of course, the fish and birds. While maintaining a respectful distance, he communicates an appreciation of the environment that is vitalized by his superb prose rhythms and a vocabulary that captures every nuance of his meaning. Brett Barry's narration is ideally suited to Beston's principal work, and Daniel Payne's interview with the author, though relatively brief, enhances the book's message. Highly recommended.
—Bernard E. Morris

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805073683
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/2/2003
  • Edition description: First Owl Book Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 49,567
  • Product dimensions: 5.17 (w) x 7.49 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Henry Beston (1888–1968) wrote many books, including White Pine and Blue Water, Northern Farm, and The St. Lawrence.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 17, 2008

    A Quiet Journey

    This simple and beautifully written book takes you through a year of living alone on the beach. A contemplative book, you will slow down to match the pace of simple happenings and get to know Cape Cod in a way few have.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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