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|Prologue: Quaking Aspens||xiii|
|1||Lynx to the Past||3|
|2||Pete 'n Earl Went up the Hill||9|
|3||"The Whole Mountain's on Fire"||19|
|6||Barbarians at the Slopes||47|
|7||An Inside Job?||65|
|Part II||Usual--and Unusual--Suspects|
|8||Bummed-Out Ski Bums||77|
|9||What about the Little Guy?||89|
|11||Footprints in the Snow||103|
|12||Minturn: "We Won't Surrender"||111|
|13||"No Tenemos Nada"||119|
|14||I'm the Sheriff Here||125|
|15||Bunny Huggers Meet the Tree Huggers||135|
|16||Schussing with the President||141|
|18||Tequila Stunt Man||167|
|19||What the Poodles Knew||175|
|20||The Toniest Resort in the World||183|
|22||Barking up the Wrong Tree Hugger||195|
|23||Aspen versus Vail||201|
|24||Bring On the Batmobile||207|
|Part III||The Next Last Best Place|
|25||Won't Get Fooled Again?||221|
|26||The Next Eco-War||227|
|27||Avenue of the Americas||231|
|28||On a Mission||235|
|Epilogue: Who Gets to Decide?||239|
An Interesting and Thought-Provoking Story of Arson!
Powder Burn is a novel about the arson on Vail Mountain in October 1998. First, it was observed how the commando-like fires were set the same day Vail planned to begin construction of a controversial expansion into federally-owned lands near the resort’s boundaries at the time. Glick takes a look at several suspects and groups, analyzing their motives, potential method of arson, and just how likely it is they did it. He doesn’t miss a detail in the facts, and also gives insights on his own visits to Vail and his observations while in Vail.
The book has a deep look into the socio-economic theme, tying together all the tensions that existed between the locals of Vail and Vail Associates (VA). Vail began as a mountain for ski bums; but eventually developed an image of prestige, and thus began attracting famous and rich individuals. The middle to low income locals of Vail did not appreciate to see numerous multimillion dollar mansions popping up all over their once-peaceful town.
I think a major message of the novel is that deep analysis and intense interviewing is necessary to get to the bottom of what was labeled as one of the most costly acts of ecoterrorism in the United States. On the top of the list, throughout the whole novel, were the owners of VA and environmentalist groups.
I was most interested about Glick’s attention to every detail he observed and discovered through law enforcement. He wouldn’t just say why a group was a suspect of the arson; he would give his own insights about his encounters and interviews with the various groups. He would present the facts and connect them in his own way, but leaving it so the reader could connect the dots as they interpreted themselves.
I did not like, however, how he analyzed so many groups. There were the big suspects (VA, environmentalists, etc.), but Glick went as far as interviewing groups from somewhat distant counties, which seemed like a bit much. Although they may be under investigation by law enforcement, I felt like mentioning them would have been sufficient – focusing more of the book on details about the environmentalists, VA, and the events surrounding the time that Earth Libertarian Front released took claim for the arson.
Being an outdoorsman of Colorado, and being a frequent snowboarder, I took particular interest in the story behind the arsons at Vail – a ski resort just a couple hours from my own city. Anyone who skis/snowboards, or considers themselves an outdoorsman, would appreciate the story, as the novel focuses not only on the people, but on the environment around Vail. I would also recommend Into the Wild for anyone who liked this novel, as Into the Wild is the story of a young man who gives up a bright and successful future to become a bum, and make his way to the mountains of Alaska to live in nature and soak up all its beauty – a true outdoorsman.
Posted August 6, 2002
I found the book to be interesting because I know the area discussed. It is worth reading. It seems evident that Glick spent a good deal of time researching the book. He seems to have interviewed people on both sides of the issue(s). However, when he presents his findings, he tends to present the 'green' view in a favorable way while presenting the 'corporate' view in an unfavorable light. Additionally, he leaves the impression that the Town of Vail is virtually deserted at times other than ski season. For example, early in the book he terms Vail as a 'ghost town' outside of ski season. My experience is that Vail is a 'happening' town even during the summer, when there are concerts, dance programs, etc. Glick leaves the impression that the people that were involved in any part of the development of Vail Associates/Vail Resorts Inc. are disliked by the townspeople. However, I was vacationing in Vail when a memorial was held for Pete Siebert, one of the founders, and the Ford Amphitheater was packed with townspeople paying their respects.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 31, 2000
I have been a fan of Mr. Glick since he, somewhat involuntarily, began covering the JonBenet Case for Newsweek. I have eagerly anticipated his first full length work in an area more dear to his heart:the environment. It was worth the wait. This is superb storytelling. His facility with prose and his joy of the narrative makes this an excellent read; as taut a storytelling as good fiction. The lack of a convicted suspect makes for the perfect metaphor for the problem of development in the West and, for that matter, the world. There are so many potential culprits that, without a smoking gun, or in this case a can of gasoline, no one stands out. In effect, everyone is guilty in the end because the crime is the circumstances of expansion where everyone is victim and villian. Of course, Vail seems to have suffered the least as Mr. Glick reminds us. There are some delightful anecdotes and some very funny moments. One quote I will put into my own repertoire comes from the snow groomer Rory who, when explaining the problems with too many men and too few women in a resort town, says: ' Here, the odds are good, but the goods are odd.' Only two criticisms, one small the other bigger, and both derive from his years as a journalist. First, he should remember he is writing chapters not articles and most readers will remember what has been said in prior chapters. Second, given the strength of this man's writing, I would hope he could adopt more of a Peter Matheisen(sp?) approach to factual storytelling. I want this man as an environmental advocate not a cautious truthteller. His true convictions do not really emerge until the Epilogue. However, these are minor comments. On with your inquiries Mr. Glick! I rest better tonight knowing you are my watchdog.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.