- 16,99 €
A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year: “Uniformly excellent” stories about our relationships with each other and with the treacherous natural world (Publishers Weekly).
In the title story, a man and woman travel across an eerily frozen lake—under the ice. “The Distance” casts a skeptical eye on Thomas Jefferson through the lens of a Montana man’s visit to Monticello. “Eating” begins with an owl being sucked into a canoe and ends with a man eating a town out of house and home, and “The Cave” is a stunning story of a man and woman lost in an abandoned mine. Other stories include “The Fireman,” “Swans,” “The Prisoners,” “Presidents’ Day,” “Real Town,” and “Two Deer.” Each is remarkable in its own way, sure to please both new readers and avid fans of Rick Bass’s passionate, unmistakable voice.
“Bass focuses a naturalist’s eye not only on the frozen lakes and interplay of predator and prey often found in his work but also on the ebb and flow of human emotions and relationships . . . Thought-provoking and entertaining, these stories move along quickly but continue to resonate long after the reader is done; several have been anthologized in award collections.” —Library Journal
“Beautiful in their magical imagery, dramatic in their situations, and exquisitely poignant in their insights, these stories of awe and loss are quite astonishing in their mythic use of place and the elements of earth, air, fire, and water.” —Booklist
“Bass puts his talent as a nature writer to terrific use.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Bass’s language glistens with the beauty of the landscapes he evokes.” —San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
Nature is as otherworldly as a line of bright birds frozen stiff, and as prosaic as a patch of grass, in this uniformly excellent collection. In the title story, a dog trainer and her companion, a man called Gray Owl, take six dogs out on a hunting exercise. Toward the end of their trip, Gray Owl falls through the ice of a lake, but instead of drowning, winds up on at the bottom of a dry basin covered with a layer of ice. He is joined by the trainer and the dogs, and together they cross the lake under the ice, an adventure that forces the trainer to examine her perspective, since every step presents a fresh challenge to the senses. "The Fireman" relates the dissolution of the title character's first marriage through the metaphor of fire, with Bass skillfully juxtaposing the blaze of human relationships and the searing, organic power of fire. The volume dips into humor with the pseudo-fantastical "Eating," in which an owl trapped in a canoe lashed to the top of a car initiates a memorable episode in a North Carolina diner; the ensuing gastronomical feats both amaze and amuse. The jewel of this collection, "Swans," introduces Billy, who has a preternatural connection with the trees on his Idaho homestead, and describes his idyllic life with his wife, a soulful baker. As the story progresses, Billy grows ill and slowly wastes away, even as the unnamed narrator eloquently and simply chronicles his decline. Billy's life takes on a stirring quality of pathos, and his graceful death leaves the reader deeply satisfied yet yearning for more. That sentiment might be extended to each of the lovely stories gathered here.