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Posted July 19, 2005
The Golden Bear represents only part of California, especially now when tourists line up at Yosemite in their cars to take photos of the beasts rumaging through camp ground picnic baskets. The coyote, on the other hand, scatches out a living on the fringes of the wild, mostly hidden from view except to those who know its ways and understand its crafty, cunning nature, and, yes, its wiley spirit. Haslam stories are evocative of this smaller and more agile animal and all it symbolizes, that relatively obscure inland, middle earth of California. It's a land in the midst of transformation and adaptation, especially the expansive dusty prairies, the tomato and cotton fields and oil fields of the Great Central Valley. To say these stories are authenthic cultural expressions, and they are, understates their value as experiential visions of a generation ago when 'wild' related to something natural, like survival, not the superficial hedonism, elitist snobbery, and literature-as-fine-art intellectualism so pervasive on either coast. Read these stories and you'll never listen to surf music again, at least not without a more universal sense of what it means to be a classic. So glad to see this collection is back in print, I hope by popular demand.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.