Rick Bass's new collection contains a broad range of characters and settings: the title story concerns a woman recovering from cancer; "Pagans" tells, at forty years' distance, of a girl and two boys -- one of whom was in love with her -- and the dangerous games they played; in "Her First Elk," a woman reflects on her first elk hunt and on her memories of her father and two brothers, now all dead. These stories, distinguished by their maturity, are narrated by men and women with compelling life tales. Filled with Bass's hallmark lean and beautiful prose, they are further proof of his mastery of the short fiction form.
The Seattle Times - David Flood
All told, Rick Bass effectively metamorphoses character, theme and setting into pleasing new wholes — highly polished gems to be turned over in the mind, again and again.
The New York Times - Jeff Turrentine
... this collection is a reminder that in addition to being a tireless voice for wildlife and forests, he's also one of this country's most sensitive and intelligent short-story writers, adept at capturing people during those moments when they first realize they are indeed component parts of complex organic systems: parts of nature.
Starred Review. These graceful stories are connected through Bass's invocation of elemental forces, but at the same time each is deliciously distinct.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Starred Review. Compassionate and hard-hitting, knowledgeable and transcendent, Bass is essential.
Known for his honest portrayal of nature and equally adept in depicting urban settings, the award-winning Bass ...continues to impress with lyrical prose and philosophical thoughts. Strongly recommended.
It reads like a spiritual parable and proceeds to a resolution so bleak it could break the reader's heart. Bass makes his impassioned points through fiction that rarely resorts to polemics.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Linda Hedrick The Lives of Rocks I loved it and was left wondering afterward. Wondering is not always such a bad thing. I wanted to know more at the end and intend to reread it after my son, who leans toward tragic novels, reads it and we can discuss his thoughts. I think I may... Read More
In "Titan" a man recalls a boyhood
vacation spent on the coast of Alabama
in which he experiences a "Jubilee".
Jubilee is a natural phenomena that
occurs in Mobile Bay from time to time,
usually before dawn on a warm summer
night, when large numbers of fish, crabs
and shrimps swarm close to shore, making
themselves easily available to locals
who come out with all sorts of
containers and scoop them up in
Jubilee appears to be caused by the
natural stratification of the Bay
waters, with the heavier saltwater
beneath and the lighter fresh water on
the top. When the Mississippi River
dumps an unusually high amount of fresh
water into the bay (i.e. after heavy
rains), it also dumps large amounts of
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