“This book is a collage in essays about the kind of life I found worth living so far,” writes author Stephen J. Bodio. On the Edge of the Wild is a stunning collection that shares Bodio’s love for the country, wilderness, literature, and much more. With compelling stories about moving to Montana, treasured shotguns, and his absolute love of cooking, readers will be hooked by the beautiful way in which Bodio shares his feelings about life and the outdoors.
The thought-provoking essays in On the Edge of the Wild will appeal to those who enjoy living off the land as well as those who appreciate the detail and way that Bodio paints a picture of his travels. The incredible array of stories shows the deep appreciation and respect that he has for nature, including the wonderful animals that grace his presence. From dogs to falcons, the love shared by this naturalist will be something that readers treasure and hope to one day be able to share through experiences similar to the ones Bodio has lived.
"This life of mine believes in intimate contact, in eating and wallowing and breathing the dust, in sometimes getting the blood on its hands," writes Bodio (A Rage for Falcons) in this often lyrical paean to a rugged lifestyle of catching and eating meat, and respecting the outdoors, dogs and birds of prey. Bodio, who grew up in an Italian family in Boston, fly-fished at age four; his father kept homing pigeons. These essays, written between 1988 and 1997, explore those influences. Most center around hunting or the joy of working with and studying falcons, golden eagles and goshawks, but a few reflect the writer's literary inspirations and his favorite foods. He also writes of mentors, wives and old dogs. The book evokes many areas: New Mexico, Montana, southern France and Massachusetts, where Bodio, an unembarrassed member of the NRA, grew up. Bodio defends his controversial viewpoints cogently and poetically. He defines his writing purpose this way: "If writing essays means anything to me it is as an act of celebration and inquiry, like, if lesser than, poetry and science." His book, which includes some book reviews as well, should most appeal to other hunters and fishers, but a nature lover or even a vegetarian can gain new perspective by reading it.