Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

by Annie Dillard
3.6 47

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Pilgrim at Tinker Creek 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
theKale More than 1 year ago
Annie Dillard's writing at its best. Contrary to what the high school students who give this work one star seem to think, a book doesn't always have to chronicle a definite story with formulaic heroes fighting formulaic villains (I am tempted to say that these students have no soul, but I'll hold off). That said, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek does indeed have a plot. It is the plot of the whole world, and God's plan in it. Dillard's writing is poignant, profound, and sensual. She ties herself to the world she lives in, showing how the land we are raised in is a part of who we are. Pilgrim is, in its core, a soul-baring - it is Dillard letting us see the world through her eyes. And a beautiful sight it is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though most other high schoolers who reviewed this book disliked it, I read it as a sophomore and absolutely loved it. After nearly every single page, paragraph, or mind-boggling idea, I would literally jump up, elated, and try to explain what was so amazing to whoever happened to be in the room. Dillard manages to pack hundreds of original, thought-provoking images and ideas into the novel with vivid, striking language. The book isn't a particularly quick read, but Dillard retains the reader's interest with unexpected bits of science and stunning sentences sprinkled (and sometimes heavily poured) throughout. If you have, as Dillard does, "a brain-pouch, catching and absorbing small bits that fall deeply into [your] open eye," this book is for you. If the passage "...the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever-fresh vigor" makes you want to explode with appreciation for words, this book is for you. If you're struggling to find beauty or natural (but not necessarily religious) spirituality within our seemingly brutal world, read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The negative reviews on this page are not suprising (although they are very amusing.) You would be hardpressed to find another book with the polarity of responses recorded here, with the same strength of reactions. This speaks to the nature of this wonderful book. This narrative requires an appreciation of a strong literary voice, a patience not found in most readers, and an open mind. A love of the natural world helps as well, though if you can appreciate the tone of the book, there is a good chance that Ms Dillard will instill a love of nature, or at least portray the world in which we live in a new light. Every time I pick this book up I am amazed, every time I am enthralled and mesmerized. The writer of these pages possesses a mind of unparalleled originality and brilliance. How these words were assembled into one volume is at once mysterious and wonderful. The bottom line is that this is one of the best books ever put to print. Unfortunately, that which makes it great also makes it relatively unaccessable. This is not a page turner. It requires patience. Read ten pages at a time so as not to become oversaturated. So, either you will get it or not. Either you will cherish it forever, or wish to set it to fire. I hope beyond hope, however, you will not be one of the latter.
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
Listening to the audio version of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is like having a lovely conversation with Annie Dillard. She meanders through whatever subject crosses her mnds, exclaiming over muskrats, frogs, and praying mantis. She wonders about the meaning of the things she encounters on her walks along Tinker Creek and then she forgets about meaning and just admires the beauty of it all. Her prose is gorgeous, more poetry then mere nonfiction writing. She's young, and it shows in her exuberant sometimes overly gushing enthusiasm. Her musings can be random and seem disconnected, but are more often charming and conversational. I enjoyed this chance to get to know Annie Dillard and the landscape she loved. I listened to this book on audio read by Tavia Gilbert. She does a fantastic job of capturing the energy, enthusiasm, and wonder of Annie's observations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a very fascinating and heavy read. I expected it to be pleasant and written with beautiful detailed writing. I was half right. It indeed had incredibly stunning writing with detail that almost bowled me over, but it was not pleasant nor calm throughout. She explained many things with gruesome detail which could be frightening at times, but very intriguing. One of my favorite sections confused me a bit a short section about how she allowed the spiders in her house to run freely about. I was confused as to why exactly it was my favorite because spiders are, and have never been, a spot of interest to me. ¿I figure that any predator that hopes to make a living on whatever small creature might blunder into a four-inch square of space in the corner or the bathroom where the tub meets the floor, needs every bit of my support.¿ This part of the section really struck me as great, thoughtful writing. I think it takes a great writer to make someone interested in a subject they have had no interest in. Some parts of the book struck me as a bit eerie. One example is the section from her past where she is describing the Polyphemus moth her 4th or 5th grade class had acquired. ¿He heaved himself down the asphalt driveway by infinite degrees, unwavering. His hideous crumpled wings lay glued and rucked on his back, perfectly still now, like a collapsed tent.¿ These two sentences completely enraptured me. The visualization was so clear and alarming that I was a bit subdued after reading this passage. I think I will read this book again when I am older. I feel that I will appreciate it more, and I will understand things better. For now, I think I will definitely recommend this book! You have to completely lose yourself in it to fully acknowledge the fine writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the first page, where she describes the tomcat who left roses on her body to the end where she tells the horrifying story of the Eskimo, Annie Dillard kept me glued to the pages. I never knew that philosophy and theology were so interconnected, nor that nature could inspire such thinking. Dillard takes us away from the cliched to a world we never even dreamed existed. It has changed my life
Guest More than 1 year ago
This text is one of my favorites--worth reading time and again. While many of the books I read have an impact on my beliefs and lifestyle, Annie Dillard's books have made an especially lasting mark on me, influencing not only my writing style and definition of beauty but also my sense of environmental ethics. Her writing is fabulous--each line is poetic and meaningful. The focus of Tinker Creek drifts from nature and the commonplace to profound spiritual concepts. The wealth of information she draws from even the most basic elements of life reflects her attitudes about the beauty of the simple. For those that have always loved nature, to internalize Dillard's work is to gain an appreciation for unique stones and tiny flowers on the south sides of hills, not just grandiose landscapes and majestic wildlife. All nature is awe-inspiring, regardless of scale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you've ever enjoyed being outside, this book will take you out there and bring you such joy! Annie Dillard is always a joy to read. Her language bejewels her observations in such a way that one is refreshed, relaxed, at peace. She is a fund of nature experiences and facts and ever interesting. A paragraph is sometimes enough. Perfect falling asleep thoughts.
Holly_Furia More than 1 year ago
Book Review: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek This book, told from the perspective of an unnamed narrator who lives next to Tinker Creek, is written in a series of monologues and reflections. Over the course of a year, the narrator observes the changing of the seasons as well as the vegetation and various animals near her home. This book is divided into four sections, one for each season. The first chapter, "Heaven and Earth in Jest", is an introduction to the book. The narrator describes the location as well as her connection to it. “I live by a creek, Tinker Creek, in a valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge. An anchorite's hermitage is called an anchor-hold; some anchor-holds were simple sheds clamped to the side of a church like a barnacle or a rock. I think of this house clamped to the side of Tinker Creek as an anchor-hold. It holds me at anchor to the rock bottom of the creek itself and keeps me steadied in the current, as a sea anchor does, facing the stream of light pouring down. It's a good place to live; there's a lot to think about.” Touching upon themes of faith, nature, and awareness the book records the narrator’s thoughts on solitude, writing, and religion. I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the wilderness and the animals. I ended up learning some things about both, that I did not know before. Because the narrator is unknown, it gave the book a mysterious essence. At times, the book was somewhat boring because there wasn’t a lot going on. She mainly sat back and watched. Someone should read this book because it is very interesting and you learn things at the same time. After reading this book, I’ve learned that if you take a second to really look, you might notice something that you never knew was there. I recommend reading other books by Annie Dillard like “Tickets for a Prayer Wheel”, “Living by Fiction”, and “Teaching a Stone To Talk”.
lavenderlady2 More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book about 30 years ago and am re reading it. I purchased two copies for a friend and my sister. Hope they love it as much as I do. Annie is not only a nature lover but everything she write is so poetic and spiritual in nature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This a really beautiful book with strong and beautiful descriptions and metaphors. She doesn't hide any hideousness she finds or let anything magnificant in truth get by. It is as though she is writing straight from what she is feeling at that very moment,no plot is needed. These aren't a pile of memoirs, they are all woven together with central themes about seeing and realizations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would like to know this person. She is equally at home with minute observation as well as grand metaphysics. I reread this book every year or so.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After being perfectly enthralled by the chapter entitled, 'Seeing,' which I read in a compilation of essays for a memoir writing class I took, and after hearing many people rave about it, I finally decided that I needed to read the whole book. I couldn't have been more captivated; the author's honesty and fascination instantly grab the reader's attention, and with incredibly fine attention to detail she describes the wonderful world around her...and makes you put down the book viewing your own world with just a little more awe. I actually had to pace myself while reading this book, just to prolong the magic. Recommended to all devoted memoir- and journal-writers.
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I attempted to read this book in 1974, I believe. It was my summer of expanding my mind. I was a college student then and went on to receive advanced degrees in English and history. I was rather amazed to learn that this has become required reading for some students so I recently tried it again, believing that older and wiser would make a difference. I was wrong. I tried to make it to the bitter end and failed again. It may be for a special type of soul but I don't believe it's for the majority of us. I will say she's big on allegory, metaphor, classic quotes, et cetera. Sadly, though, many have been overused and beaten to death. Perhaps anyone contemplating a purchase should first read an excerpt or two. It's just not what I would call exceptional or classic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most boring book I have ever read in my entire life. Never should a book just spend a whole chapter just describing a tree or a pointless bug. If I wanted to lean or know what a tree looks like, I would just look it up!!! If you have about 10000 hours of spare times and be completely bored for the whole book, be my guest and buy this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some high octane stream of consciousness writing. It's perdy awwite.
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