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Graphic the Valley

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  128 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Tenaya has never left Yosemite Valley. He was born in a car by the Merced River, and grew up in a hidden camp with his parents, surviving on fish, acorns, and unfinished food thrown away by the park's millions of tourists. But despite its splendor, Tenaya's Yosemite is a visceral place of opposites, at once beautiful, dangerous, and violent. When he meets Lucy, a young wom ...more
Paperback, 271 pages
Published July 18th 2013 by Tyrus Books (first published June 18th 2013)
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Abigail Padgett
Nov 14, 2013 Abigail Padgett rated it it was amazing
There are those who either will not or cannot grow up. Fixating within the magical realm of prepubescent childhood, they flee from authority, discipline, cleanliness, all the despised and tedious demands of the adult world. Some are drunks, druggies, criminals – the ugly underbelly of all civilizations. But not all.

Among the vast subculture of grown-up children (mostly boys) are countless categories that divide into endless sub-categories – gamers, surfers, boarders and hackers, to name a few. A
Julianne (Outlandish Lit)
It took me a while to get comfortable with this book. The writing style is sparse, but lyrical. Often written in fragmented sentences. After a while, though, it fell away and all I had left to see was the story and the beautiful Yosemite valley. This book is about the life of Tenaya, a young man who has been raised his whole life camping in the Yosemite National Park. It starts with his accidental killing of a new, corporate park superintendent. Tenaya has gone through some other horrible things ...more
Charlie Quimby
Jan 11, 2014 Charlie Quimby rated it really liked it
A positive review on the Tattered Cover blog brought this book to my attention. I'm interested in the collision of values in the west where love for nature meets the exploitation of it—and also wanted to see how Hoffmeister dealt with characters who live on these fringes.

As a volunteer with homeless people who camp as a way of life, I'd say he does a very realistic job of showing that side of the world and the range of motivations among people who drop out of society, especially the "dirtbag" cl
Oct 25, 2013 Jackie rated it really liked it
The author knows Yosemite like the back of his hand, which adds a detailed beauty to what is a stark opposite of what is happening in the area. Tenaya (the main character) has been living in the park his entire life, illegally camping with his mother and father in the usually pristine and quiet places, away from the tourists, hunting and fishing to stay alive. But things are changing with corporate restaurants and gas stations beginning to creep into the park more and more deeply. With his paren ...more
Robyn Russell
Apr 10, 2013 Robyn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rarely have I stumbled upon a novel as powerful, original, and mesmerizing as Graphic the Valley. (Lucky me got the opportunity to read a prepubbed copy). Peter writes with grace and incredible skill, combining the history of Yosemite and Bay Area Native Americans with taut and yet sensual prose and staggering imagery. This book is raw and fierce, poetic and brave, with scenes so captivating I often found myself breathless--or needing to go on walks just to digest, and appreciate, the depth of e ...more
Nov 10, 2016 Jen rated it it was ok
I have no idea what that was about. The descriptions of Yosemite were amazing, though.
Jul 09, 2014 Lori rated it liked it
Read 6/26/14 - 7/2/14
3 Stars - Recommended to fans of literature that delves deep into rights and wrongs without being preachy, of characters that appear to move very little but create wide ripples
Pages: 271
Publisher: Tyrus Books
Released: 2013

Tyrus Books is one of the more generous publishers I know. It feels as though, every time I turn around, they enthusiastically give away copies of their backlist titles, no strings attached, to anyone who happens to be online at the moment the request is br
Ann Lemon
Beautiful. Sad. Poetic tale of Yosemite.
Aug 02, 2013 Paula rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from the Goodreads Firstreads giveaway program. Thank you author/publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review your newest book.

Graphic the Valley by Peter Brown Hoffmeister is an absolutely beautifully written novel about the Yosemite Valley. I did not know anything about Yosemite National Park when I started this book but came to learn that it spans 761,000+ acres of land. The "Valley" is just a small portion of the park where most tourist visit and stay and t
Aug 11, 2013 Megan rated it liked it
20-yr-old Tenaya (no last name?) was born in a car and grew up in Yosemite National Park. The description on Audible says that this is a coming-of-age story, but I'm not sure it qualifies; I leave the book unsure if it's protagonist has been able to process anything useful from his experiences or even if he's going to live long enough to become an adult.

I'm glad I listened to this book (even though I kind of hated the actor's voice); I felt like it gave me a peek into a lifestyle that exists and
Sonja Jvh
Mar 09, 2016 Sonja Jvh rated it it was amazing
Absolutely LOVE this book. I tried to savor it by only reading one new chapter at a time, and then I'd re-read the previous chapter before starting the new one, just in case I missed something. Made me want to be in Yosemite while reading it, spending nights in the caves, and hiking and climbing all day. While reading it, I'd catch myself wondering "what would Tenaya do," in the activities and situations of my own life. On a flight that I took shortly after finishing the book the first time, som ...more
Rebecca Hughes
Aug 20, 2013 Rebecca Hughes rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of this book in the goodreads giveaway. The book is supposed to be a sort of modern day retelling of Samson and Delilah and while I did see some similarities between the characters I did not find the whole story to be so much of a retelling. To me I mainly found similarities just in the characters. I did like the story even though it wasn't what I expected. There were parts of the book that even after I have finished the book I still feel a little confused about some things. It ...more
Dec 09, 2013 Moon rated it it was amazing
First, I have to say that this is a book that I won on goodreads, but never received... so I made it a point to seek it out myself... it sounded so good and the other reviews are so great.

I ended up finding it at my library... I am so glad I did.

I learned so much about Yosemite! It really really made me want to go back and visit there again.

This man is an incredible writer... he paints the scenes so real that you feel as though you are there. wow wow wow

Now, I really wish I had gotten the copy I
Pamela DiFrancesco
Oct 18, 2013 Pamela DiFrancesco rated it liked it
The first half of this book was very beautiful and an odd mix of surreal and super-real. The entirety of the scenes with Tenya's first lover Lucy and their subsequent marriage were strange, violent, tender, and sweet in turns.

However, books two and three of the novel felt like a different work all together. The richness of detail that was present in the earlier chapters fell off into a vague meandering tone, and even the action of the last books and the introduction of another love interest did
Aug 29, 2013 Erika rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I got a copy of this book from the goodreads giveaway. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It's not the kind of book that I'd reach for, but I'm glad a won a copy and read it. Its very well written, it draws you in and gives a graphic picture of the lives of the characters and what is going on in their environment. It was such an interesting read, I liked all the characters and loved the descriptions of Yosemite life. There's a lot more to the story than what you would think, it inv ...more
Dec 27, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing
Wow, this was epic. Tenaya is born and lives his whole life in Yosemite. He is many things: a man-child, a mythic hero, and just a kid trying to grow up with only his parents (who also grew up in the valley) and what the tourists leave behind as examples of human behavior. No iPhone, no TV, no internet. Covers big moral questions like what is right for the land, but also what is right for Native Americans who were there first, what is right for family and for oneself. A very thought-provoking re ...more
Jane H
Oct 09, 2013 Jane H rated it really liked it
I had a hard time with this one, but by the end, was glad I read it. The story felt very disjointed to me, I think on purpose, and by the end it all tied in and made sense. By the end I actually really liked it a lot and I find myself thinking about the themes and also about specific incidents in the story. Worth a read, but be prepared for some violent scenes.
Tim Martin
May 18, 2016 Tim Martin rated it it was amazing
Peter Brown Hoffmeister is a rare guy. He knows something important about life, and he also knows how to tell you about it. If you care to slow down, read this book and get with the flow, you might find yourself changed.

There were a few holes he'd plugged in this one. I suspect his weave will be a little tighter from the start the next time around.

I look forward to his next book.
Richard Kravitz
Jul 29, 2016 Richard Kravitz rated it liked it
A pretty good book, although it started out kind of weird. I have spent a lot of time in the Valley as a climber and know about he Lodestar crash and that helped in understanding a lot of what the author wrote about. Someone who is not a climber and has not spent time in the valley would still enjoy the mystery and the story, but would not be able to picture the places as well. A unique story.
Mar 24, 2014 Judy rated it really liked it
Hoffmeister has a gift for words and characterization. This story touched me deeply. Set in Yosemite Valley, Tenaya was born in and has lived deep in the Valley all his life, living off the tourist leftovers. Each chapter is introduced with a brief history lesson about the 1851 Native American wars between the Miwoks and Yosemiti tribes. A worthy read.
Oct 13, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it
A wild story that made me think about a lot. Why do we live where and the way we do? What (and who) influences us to see and experience life the way we do? Who owns the land and regulates its use? Why? What affect should and does history have on access to land? How removed from the land are you?
Very good read.
Jan 14, 2014 Alaina rated it really liked it
An outsider culture portrayed in a magnificent setting, the book speaks of societies attempted commercialization of nature versus the importance of honoring natures magnificence.
A really well written book in a unusual style that kept me turning the pages. I enjoyed it immensely !
Diane Calderon
Jun 05, 2014 Diane Calderon rated it really liked it
Found this while searching for books about Yosemite. This was a great read after having been to the Park and seen all of the places Tenaya, the main character, frequents. Makes you really think about the problems inherent in conserving our natural resources!
Oct 11, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it
Pretty good, but it must have been Weird Week at the new books shelf at the library. Of the three books I picked out, and read, though, this one was the least weird.
Aug 26, 2013 Kat rated it it was amazing
This book is so beautifully written. A love story mixed with violence, truth and deep beliefs that the past comes back to life in the present. I couldn't put this book down.
Garrett Peters
Dec 01, 2014 Garrett Peters rated it it was amazing
The ending! That ending! Biblical, awe-inspiring, liberating, comforting in its chaos, righting of its wrongs.
Nov 12, 2014 Claire rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Filled with a rich world and interesting lore, anyone who enjoys stories that teeter between starkly real and other worldly will have a great time with this read.
Oct 28, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
Goodness there was a lot going on here- so many big themes- politics, nature vs nurture, family. very interesting book...
Jul 12, 2013 Robert rated it liked it
Beautifully written - set in the great outdoors (Yosemite Valley) ... very colorful characters fully developed - plot was tough to follow and fragmented thought processes at times ...
Apr 24, 2014 Nichole rated it it was amazing
I considered calling in sick to work, so that I could stay in the book. Powerful, haunting, lyrical, tender, violent, fantastical and also very real.... I loved this book.
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Peter Brown Hoffmeister is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Graphic The Valley, the memoir The End of Boys, the nonfiction text Let Them Be Eaten By Bears, and the forthcoming YA novels This Is The Part Where You Laugh and Too Shattered For Mending (Random House, Knopf).
A former troubled teen, Hoffmeister was expelled from three high schools, lived for a short while in a Greyhound bus
More about Peter Brown Hoffmeister...

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