Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Notes from The Century Before: A Journal from British Columbia” as Want to Read:
Notes from The Century Before: A Journal from British Columbia
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Notes from The Century Before: A Journal from British Columbia

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In 1966, Edward Hoagland made a three-month excursion into the wild country of British Columbia and encountered a way of life that was disappearing even as he chronicled it. Showcasing Hoagland’s extraordinary gifts for portraiture—his cast runs from salty prospector to trader, explorer, missionary, and indigenous guide—Notes from the Century Before is a breathtaking mix o ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 12th 2002 by Modern Library (first published 1969)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Notes from The Century Before, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Notes from The Century Before

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryThe Shipping News by Annie ProulxThe Blind Assassin by Margaret AtwoodAlias Grace by Margaret AtwoodThe Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies
Oh, Canada!
97th out of 524 books — 201 voters
A Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerInto Thin Air by Jon KrakauerIn a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Favourite Travel Books
271st out of 1,130 books — 2,201 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 233)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is ebullient prose. Travel writers are often so romantic. They work for the lovely simile the apt, powerful verb and here we have them. Hoagland sets the book up as a diary of his time in the wilds of British Columbia. He interviews the men who came out to look for gold and map the territory. It is the 1960's and Hoagland is a young man excited by the place, the people (mostly men here. The women are only stolid, crazy or both - one man Hoagland interviews tells him if he wanted to know the ...more
I read this over a period of about 6 months, which says more about my life at the time, than the book itself. I'd often only get through a few pages in bed before falling asleep. I'm not huge on the diary format, but past that pretty quick. I was initially worried that I wouldn't take to the format of interviews and profiles, but it worked fairly well for me. I was at times bored, but once I finally got to sit down and read more at once, I started getting into it more and more. Towards the end, ...more
A lovely story of the life up in the Caribou Country. Having visited British Columbia recently and hiked some trails, I can appreciate a lot of Hoagland's observations and experiences. The area of the province he visited is even further north than I was at. You have to be tough to endure such living conditions. Hoagland described life there as lonely, but it didn't seem like anyone wanted to leave. As the matter of fact, people kept showing up to stay. May be to test your strength in the wild? T ...more
Hoagland writes like I want to write, he lived like I want to live. I think Roth or Updike, both writers whose styles I do not care for---but their opinions?Yes---one of them said something to the effect of "he shoulda won a Nobel"..others have called him "Americas greatest essayist alive". I'd say he's our best, hands down. Whatshe write about isnt the question---what does he NOT write about.This particular book is one long essay, the characters are fleshed, as in a novel, the descriptions of t ...more
I've never read a book of observation (that's literal, by which I mean looking; at the mountains, at people, etc.) in which so much is obstructed from view. Hoagland plays it close to the parka in this book, infuriatingly and without recovery. The writing is superb, however.
Janelle V.
Fascinating reading about the author's stay in the interior of British Columbia.
Chris K
A must read if you like British Columbia history or wilderness, or both.
Makes you wish you lived in the northern B.C. backcountry.
Katie marked it as to-read
Dec 09, 2014
Evan marked it as to-read
Dec 09, 2014
Denise Yoh Meyer
Denise Yoh Meyer marked it as to-read
Nov 20, 2014
Will Member
Will Member marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2014
Susan Mohr
Susan Mohr marked it as to-read
Nov 18, 2014
Kevin Mohr
Kevin Mohr marked it as to-read
Nov 18, 2014
Paige marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2014
David Fleming
David Fleming marked it as to-read
Oct 28, 2014
Sarah marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2014
Carmen marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2014
Leah marked it as to-read
Oct 03, 2014
BrokenTune marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2014
Robert marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2014
Mike added it
Sep 07, 2014
Tara marked it as to-read
Sep 02, 2014
Tanya Sousa
Tanya Sousa is currently reading it
Aug 23, 2014
Alexandra Makini
Alexandra Makini marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2014
Lauriemcarpenter marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2014
Rhoslyn marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Going to Extremes
  • The Stars, the Snow, the Fire: Twenty-Five Years in the Alaska Wilderness
  • Farthest North
  • The Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness
  • The Oblivion Seekers
  • My Life as an Explorer
  • To the River: A Journey Beneath the Surface
  • Old Glory : A Voyage Down the Mississippi
  • A Year In The Maine Woods
  • The Good Rain: Across Time & Terrain in the Pacific Northwest
  • Misadventure in the Middle East: Travels as Tramp, Artist, & Spy
  • Canoeing with the Cree
  • Starlight and Storm
  • Shadows on the Koyukuk: An Alaskan Native's Life Along the River
  • Fatu-Hiva: Back to Nature
  • Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness
  • All the Strange Hours: The Excavation of a Life
  • The Curve of Time
Edward Hoagland (born December 21, 1932, in New York, New York) is an author best known for his nature and travel writing. His non-fiction has been widely praised by writers such as John Updike, who called him "the best essayist of my generation."
More about Edward Hoagland...
Children are Diamonds Sex and the River Styx The Best American Essays 1999 Walking the Dead Diamond River The Courage of Turtles

Share This Book