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Platte River

Overview

Rick Bass is one of the foremost writers of his generation, charging headlong past the hard surface of modern life to illuminate human beings and their relationship to the natural world. Platte River is a collection of three novellas, each a singular exploration of the human heart set against the backdrop of God's creation. 
 
Filled with arresting images—chinook winds flying through a valley, couples skating in the dark on thin ice, ...

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Overview

Rick Bass is one of the foremost writers of his generation, charging headlong past the hard surface of modern life to illuminate human beings and their relationship to the natural world. Platte River is a collection of three novellas, each a singular exploration of the human heart set against the backdrop of God's creation. 
 
Filled with arresting images—chinook winds flying through a valley, couples skating in the dark on thin ice, tools made from animal bones, a delicate shape frozen in a river—“Mahatma Joe” is about an evangelist who settles in Grass Valley, Montana, and the woman who becomes obsessed with his vision of the world. In “Field Events” a woman falls in love with a man even larger than her discus-tossing brothers. And the title novella, “Platte River,” portrays one man's lyric meditation on loneliness, the nature of peace, and the quest for love.

In his latest literary effort, the award-winning author of The Ninemile Wolves explores the human heart amid the beauty and brutality of the natural world--a stunning achievement in the tradition of Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway. "Lyrical, vivid, engaging."--USA Today.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist

“Bass writes beautifully.”—Booklist
Midwest Book Review

“A warm, introspective read, filled with lush imagery of beautiful natural wonders.”—James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

— James A. Cox

Midwest Book Review - James A. Cox

“A warm, introspective read, filled with lush imagery of beautiful natural wonders.”—James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The characters in this impressive collection of three novellas are all outsized--in body, and in longing for the sanctuary and protection of love. Water is a unifying factor, a symbol of the free-flowing clarity and strength they aspire to achieve. The tales have an almost magical intensity, born of clear, supple prose animated by stark and startling imagery. In ``Mahatma Joe,'' an obsessed, aging preacher who has tamed the passions of the residents of Grass Valley, Montana, brings a curious salvation to the young woman who tests her physical strength as she comes to share his vision. ``Field Events'' introduces Paul Bunyan-sized A.C., whose muscular power moves him to dance in a field with a cow on his back. His mute need for love leads him to join the Iron family, among whom he learns to throw the discus--and much more. The protagonist of the title story is Harley, an aging former linebacker, whose visit with a former college buddy gives him a glimpse of the limitations of his body and of the elusiveness of human connection. Bass The Ninemile Wolves is known primarily for his lucid and lyrical writing about nature, and this collection has plenty of that--all three stories take place within a stone's throw of the Canadian border in harsh environments briefly made idyllic by warmer seasons. But what makes this a compelling book are his finely detailed, complex characters, simple men and women crafted with sympathy and understanding. Author tour. Feb.
Library Journal
Bass's short stories, collected in The Watch LJ 12/88, have appeared in numerous magazines and volumes like Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards . He has also authored books on nature writing The Ninemile Wolves , LJ 5/15/93 . The three novellas collected here feature a range of characters, but they are all shaped by the Montana wilderness that Bass calls home.
USA Today
POWERFUL...[Rick Bass] reminds me of D. H. Lawrence, who also relied on the power of his own voice to mesmerize the reader... Lyrical, vivid, engaging.
San Francisco Chronicle
STUNNING...[A] compassionate exploration of what learning to love feels like, smells like and sounds like...Spellbindingly articulate.
New York Newsday
"THIS COLLECTION SHINES...You get the feeling you're seeing how Rick Bass dreams.
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Marvelous...The title story is stunning...It's the best single piece Bass has written to date.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803259737
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 148
  • Product dimensions: 0.33 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Bass, a recipient of the PEN/Nelson Algren Award in 1988, is the author of numerous short stories, novels, and nonfiction works, including The Diezmo: A Novel and The Roadless Yaak: Reflections and Observations About One of Our Last Great Wilderness Areas.

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Table of Contents

Mahatma Joe 1
Field Events 43
Platte River 97
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