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The Best of Outside: The First 20 Years

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The man-eating proclivities of Komodo dragons.The complicated art of being a cowgirl. A picaresque ramble with a merry band of tree-cleaners.The big-wave crusaders of the world's best surfers.For the past twenty years, Outside magazine has set the standard for original and engaging reports on travel, adventure, sports, and the environment.

Along the way, many of America'sbe
ebook, 432 pages
Published September 29th 2010 by Vintage (first published November 4th 1997)
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A mixed bag of essays from Outside magazine. As with most collections, the interest level and quality (purely subjective on my part) varies.

Some of the essays are just weird. I had previously read Katz's "King of the Ferret Leggers" about a sport(?) which involves seeing how long you can abide having a ferret run up your pants and chew on your testicles. "Call of the Hunt" by Jane Smiley discusses the culture of the fox hunt and her love of riding. But she questions the blood-lust of the riders.
Marty Greenwell
People must think I give all 5 star reviews. I almost do. This was unusual as this book had 30+ vignettes of all great quality. Outside magazine would not have had them included if they weren't. Stories about almost first famous female bullfighter in Spain or the descriptions of Haiti in its worst (and best). Into Thin Air was was thirty pages so it was longer. The stories were so good it was expected.
I discovered the writing of Edward Abbey in this Outside magazine compilation, and I don't know how I missed his work before. His piece in this compilation was a great introduction to his acerbic wit, curmudgeonly style, and uncanny insight into human behavior while revealing the beauty and delicacy of the Alaskan wilderness. Little did I know that Abbey was an inspiration to the early radical environmental movement (via his novel The Monkey Wrench Gang), yet supported immigration reduction and ...more
I found this book in the bookshelves of a vacation cottage on the coast of Maine, and since I've enjoyed reading pieces from Outside before, I am giving it a try.
This is superb writing, whether it is about great, hair-raising adventures or just observations on back-yard outings and tamer wanderings.
These authors are the best at being real and sharing their observations and experiences.
I am not a mountain-climbing, scuba diving, safari-taking person, but love to read about those who do these th
I don't know why the editors of Outside put up two similar compilations one almost on top of another: "Out of the Noosphere" and "The Best of Outside: The First 20 Years." Anyhow, while a few articles are found in two (like McGuane's "The Heart of the Game" and E. Jean Carroll's "Cowgirls All the Way"), I find that I enjoy each compilation for different reasons. I love "The Best of Outside" because of articles like "La Matadora Revisa Su Maquillaje" by Susan Orlean who wrote about a top Spanish ...more
Stefan Martiyan
As expected from a compilation of short essays, some caught and held my attention more than others. This book does contain one of, if not thee best article I've ever read titled, The Last Pork Chop, by Edward Abbey. If you're hesitant or not interested in buying the whole book, maybe just pick it up in the library or your local book store and read TLPC. Pretty fantastic stuff.
Carolyn Oliveira
Most of these articles are incredibly well-written. The book is a constant surprise and mostly delightful. Some I found unreadably dull, others vivid and memorable. Women bullfighters, cannibal tribes so bored with their bland food that the taste of rice brings them to tears, a possessed environmentalist, Komodo dragons ripping goats apart, what champion triathletes do when they retire, men who stuff vicious ferrets down their pants for fun, smoke jumpers finding or not finding god in forest fir ...more
This book is what originally made me want to write for magazines. Even if you don't like Outside, the stories in it are great. Kate Wheeler goes in search of a crazed Peruvian utopian who married his daughter, Chip Brown learns to speak New Age in a trip to Tibet, Annie Proulx takes her acid wit in search of fun, and William Kittredge hangs out with the Young Roughneck, the Cornflower Bride and the Oilfield urchin in Wyoming. Plus Barry Lopez writes about snow geese.
I made the mistake of reading Jon Krakauer first in this book of essays from Outside Magazine. This essay was expanded into his bestseller Into Thin Air. Krakauer is an amazing writer. I read a few other essays in the book but nothing I happened upon really made a great impression and I'm about to return the book to the library.
Peregrine 12
A wonderful collection of articles and short stories about people who have been there. My wanderlust was kicked into high gear after reading (devouring, in some cases) these stories. Highly recommended to anyone who loves to read about corners of the world very different his or her own.
This is a great book of bite-sized long-form work from the first 20 years of Outside magazine. Some shine a bit brighter than others, but all are good. I'm partial to Krakauer, but Edward Abbey's "The Last Pork Chop" steals the show.
I love travel/outside stories SO MUCH. This is right up my alley. Read one story before bed, and then go on to another the next night. Some are alien, some are familiar, but they are all transporting.
Keith Kendall
Some of the stories were engrossing. Some just wandered around in a stream of consciousness. The stories I liked, I really liked. The best ones were at the start of the book, and at the end of the book.
Justin Dove
I love adventure stories, and this book is full of them. I was primarily interested because it had the stories that turned into the book "Into Thin Air" and the move "The Perfect Storm."
All these short stories are SO GOOD! Cris and I read this one together. A great book to read aloud on long car rides!
Stephen Flanagan
Dec 26, 2007 Stephen Flanagan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: outdoor enthusiasts!
Good read... nice compact format without the magazine glossies to interfer, quite an eclectic set of authors.
Nov 07, 2015 Michael marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, essays
This collection of dated long-format magazine articles is probably pretty good. But, life's short.
Shane Cross
Good one offs
For the traveling crew.
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Outside is an American magazine focused on the outdoors. The first issue debuted in September 1977 with its mission statement declaring that the publication was "dedicated to covering the people, sports and activities, politics, art, literature, and (especially) hardware of the outdoors..."
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