Summary and book reviews of The Lives of Rocks by Rick Bass

The Lives of Rocks

Stories

by Rick Bass

The Lives of Rocks by Rick Bass X
The Lives of Rocks by Rick Bass
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Nov 2006, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2007, 224 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Rick Bass's new collection contains a broad range of characters and settings: Filled with Bass's hallmark lean and beautiful prose, they are further proof of his mastery of the short fiction form.

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.

Her First Elk

She had killed an elk once. She had been a young woman, just out of college — her beloved father already three years in the grave — and had set out early on opening morning, hiking uphill through a forest of huge ponderosa pines, with the stars shining like sparks through their boughs, and owls calling all around her, and her breath rising strong in puffs and clouds as she climbed, and a shimmering at the edge of her vision like the electricity in the night sky that sometimes precedes the arrival of the northern lights, or heat lightning.

The hunt was over astonishingly quickly; years later, she would realize that the best hunts stretch out four or five weeks, and sometimes never result in a taking. But this one had ended in the first hour, on the first day.

Even before daylight, she had caught the scent of the herd bedded down just ahead of her, a scent sweeter and ranker than that of any number of stabled horses; and ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Without exception, these are graceful, thoughtful, compassionate and powerful stories, many of which have the staying power to be recalled for many years to come..continued

Full Review (549 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

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.

Publishers Weekly
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.

Library Journal
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.

Kirkus Reviews
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.

Reader Reviews

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

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Did you know?

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 quantity. 

Jubilee appears to be caused by the natural stratification of the Bay waters, ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Rick Bass

If you liked The Lives of Rocks, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Curious Toys
    Curious Toys
    by Elizabeth Hand
    In Curious Toys, Elizabeth Hand tells the story of Vivian, a 14-year-old girl disguised as a boy ...
  • Book Jacket: Your House Will Pay
    Your House Will Pay
    by Steph Cha
    Steph Cha's novel Your House Will Pay shows how a legacy of violence and injustice can ripple ...
  • Book Jacket: Divide Me By Zero
    Divide Me By Zero
    by Lara Vapnyar
    Divide Me By Zero begins with an encounter between the narrator, Katya Geller, a 40-something mother...
  • Book Jacket: Mighty Justice
    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree , Katie McCabe
    What it's about:
    Dovey Johnson Roundtree was one of two lawyers who won the landmark case "Sarah ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Nothing to See Here
    by Kevin Wilson

    A moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning caring for two children with remarkable abilities.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The In-Betweens
    by Mira Ptacin

    "A fascinating history of an American community of Spiritualists... a fabulous read."
    —Elizabeth Gilbert
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.