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The Best of Outside: The First 20 Years

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3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  196 Ratings  ·  20 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
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Vintage (first published November 4th 1997)
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Eric_W
Jan 27, 2013 Eric_W rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays-and-misc
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.
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David R
Sep 18, 2016 David R rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave it 5 stars because it is a good collection of writing. However, I have a hard time reading these collection of magazine articles. I never seem to get drawn in. It is a good read to have with yourself when you need a quick read.
Valerie
Mar 26, 2009 Valerie rated it it was amazing
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
Mads
Jun 23, 2007 Mads rated it it was amazing
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
Connie
Aug 03, 2009 Connie rated it really liked it
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
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Carolyn Oliveira
Jan 01, 2010 Carolyn Oliveira rated it really liked it
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
Terry
Jun 22, 2016 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
The fun thing about this collection is that it inspires me to adventure. Each of the stories reminded me of something I saw or felt but there were plenty of new insights as well. Some of my favorite modern authors are here and of course many I hadn't read. Sometimes it seems like the Internet has gobbled up the last wild places but, happily, I'm reminded that it is largely a matter of keeping an adventurous perspective.
Marty Greenwell
Jul 20, 2014 Marty Greenwell rated it it was amazing
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.
Matt
Feb 15, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing
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.
Marcie
Feb 13, 2009 Marcie rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2009
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.
Stefan Martiyan
Jan 08, 2014 Stefan Martiyan rated it liked it
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.
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.
Matt
Mar 31, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
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.
Peregrine 12
Dec 06, 2010 Peregrine 12 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-outdoors
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.
Diana
Jul 10, 2010 Diana rated it it was amazing
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.
Stephen Flanagan
Dec 26, 2007 Stephen Flanagan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: outdoor enthusiasts!
Good read... nice compact format without the magazine glossies to interfer, quite an eclectic set of authors.
Jessie
Apr 06, 2012 Jessie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love
All these short stories are SO GOOD! Cris and I read this one together. A great book to read aloud on long car rides!
Justin Dove
Jun 19, 2014 Justin Dove rated it really liked it
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."
Oggie Ramos
Oggie Ramos rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2013
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Aug 02, 2007
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David Barnes
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Derrick
Derrick rated it it was ok
Mar 22, 2010
Eric Simons
Eric Simons rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2008
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Patrick Hendy
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Apr 09, 2011
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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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