Coast Range: Book summary and reviews of Coast Range by Nick Neely

Coast Range

A Collection from the Pacific Edge

by Nick Neely

Coast Range by Nick Neely X
Coast Range by Nick Neely
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2016
    200 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

Coast: the edge of land, or conversely the edge of sea. Range: a measure between limits, or the scope or territory of a thing.

Coast Range, the debut collection of essays from writer Nick Neely, meticulously and thoughtfully dwells on these intersections and much more. The book's title refers to the region in which these essays are set: the California and Oregon coastal ranges. In deeply moving prose equal parts exhilarating and pensive, each essay explores an iconic organism (a few geologic), so that, on the whole, the collection becomes a curiosity cabinet that freshly embodies this Pacific Northwest landscape.

But the book also employs a playful range of forms. Just as forest gives way to bluff and ocean, here narrative journalism adjoins memoir and lyric essay. These associative, sensuous, and sometimes saturnine pieces are further entwined by the theme of "collecting" itself - beginning with a meditation on the impulse to gather beach agates, a semiprecious stone. Another essay follows the journey of salmon from their "collection" at a hatchery through a casino kitchen to a tribal coming-of-age ceremony; a third is a flitting exploration of hummingbirds.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Neely capably explores the complexity of his subjects with polish and finesse, looking carefully and thinking deeply." - Kirkus

"Neely clearly spent a lot of time watching and listening, both to the people and animals that call the area home, and his observations have real staying power." - Booklist

"Fans of Joseph Wood Krutch, Henry David Thoreau, and John Muir will enjoy these essays even if they are not familiar with the specific geographic area." - Library Journal

"Imagine Wallace Stegner in conversation with Ed Ricketts, when they are both young and still astonished. Then you can begin to understand the creativity, the power, the beauty, and the fun of Coast Range." - Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Great Tide Rising

"I don't know if "God is in the detail," as the saying goes, but I think much of nature is. Nick Neely's Coast Range is an erudite, eloquent demonstration of that, from the vividly evoked details of ancient mollusks scraping their way into rocks to those of even more ancient fungi lacing themselves into tree roots." - David Wallace, author of Mountains and Marshes and The Untamed Garden

"Precise, gorgeous and imaginatively wed to both science and myth, his rendering of Coyote brings the creature smack-dab into twenty-first-century America, as soul-troubling as ever he was in myth and landscape. A fine collection to read and savor." - Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Zoologies and The Edges of the Civilized World

"[Nick Neely] is a precise writer and his essays are brilliant in the shining sense. But as well as being an accurate observer of the natural world, he is an exuberant participant, and we are both pulled in and lifted up by his generous, buoyant and ever-curious spirit. An important book, and one full of life and joy." - David Gessner, Author of All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West

The information about Coast Range shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Nick Neely

Nick Neely grew up south of San Francisco, in the oak and chaparral on the bay side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. He holds an MA in Literature and the Environment from the University of Nevada, Reno, and MFAs in nonfiction and poetry from Hunter College and Columbia University. His nonfiction has appeared in magazines such as Orion, Audubon, Mother Jones, High Country News, Kenyon Review, The Threepenny Review, The Georgia Review, and Ecotone. He is a recipient of PEN/Northwest's Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, a UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship, and the 2015 John Burroughs Nature Essay Award. He lives in Hailey, Idaho, with his wife, the painter Sarah Bird.

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