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The Wild Marsh: Four Seasons at Home in Montana

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The Wild Marsh is Rick Bass’s most mature, full account of life in the Yaak and a crowning achievement in his celebrated career. It begins with his family settling in for the long Montana winter, and captures all the subtle harbingers of change that mark each passing month — the initial cruel teasing of spring, the splendor and fecundity of summer, and the bittersweet memo ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2009)
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Kerri Stebbins
Sometimes I think Bass really gets it. And sometimes I think he's too far deep in his own head to get much of anything. And all the times I think he needs a good editor (or twenty) to help him curtail his repetitive sentences/sections/seasons.

My primary issue with this book remains the way it reads like a diary that's not been touched since each month was originally penned, and not in the masterful(ly beautiful) way Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek does. Rather, it reads as if it's not been at
Love the concept, love the imagery, would have loved to have seen some brevity. This is Dillard, without the sharp insight; Kingsolver, without the humanity; Leopold, without the ethic. It should not take a year to read the journal of a year, is what I'm saying.

(You could still probably convince me to live in Bass's corner of the world, though. It's not so different from this one, and it sounds lovely.)

[3 stars for feeling like home, even if the writing was overblown.]
Après un passage par l'étape Walden, qui était une bonne idée de lecture préliminaire à un nouveau tome de Bass, nous y voilà donc.
Ce livre est un peu plus long et à la fois proche et différent des autres contes de Bass sur la vallée de Yaak et son quotidien dans cet environnement rare et sauvage. J'ai beaucoup aimé ce journal de l'année, mois après mois, dans le Yaak, tout comme j'avais aimé ce type de découpage, beaucoup moins linéaire, ressemblant plus à une mosaïque pas vraiment chronologiqu
Andy Miller
A collection of essays about the Yaak valley and nature by one of my favorite writers, Rick Bass. There are twelve essays about living in Yaak, one for each month. I found that his writing made me want to be outside and doing the things he does, which is a testament to his writing skill and his love of being away from it all

I found myself enjoying the writing about his visitors, his kids, his neighbors and occasionally got restless during his long narratives about his observations on nature. I a
The sharpness of the seasons in the Montana Rockies as described by Bass is such a contrast with what I've known on the Gulf Coast. I'm sure I'd tire of snow from November to April - especially with the brutal cold of Montana. But the rapid change of it all - valleys to mountains, spring to summer, yellow larch to Douglas fir - I'd like to live there for one complete cycle. Bass occasionally gets a little too "literary" for my prosaic tastes, but overall his descriptions of a real wilderness and ...more
A lovely interpretation about land that most people don't know much about. Mr. Bass writes with simplicity about contemplations on mans place in nature. The sort of book and writing that one savors rather than chews up.

I really enjoyed it, the writing occasionally drags and drifts but I still found the diversions to be interesting.

I would like to point out that I don't think he is trying to write anything like either Thoreau or Edward Abby. I think Mr. Bass is trying to be thought provoking, but
Bass, noted storyteller and environmental activist, shares a month by month accounting of life in remote Yaak Valley of northwestern Montana. Both a journey and a journal, he recounts the day-to-day events of life in the midst of the truly wild. Lyrical, contemplative and loving, Bass invites you to share in the minor triumphs and misadventures of his family and leads you to appreciate all the small "grace moments" in any day, month, year. Compares well with Leopold's "A Sand County Almanac", Ab ...more
A lovely rambling read, with gorgeous prose.
his is a beautifully written book about the passing of four seasons at the author's home in the Yaak valley of NW Montana. If you like Terry Tempest Williams or Aldo Leopold, then you will enjoy this book. It is a little hard to get through because there is no real story, just observations of nature and the changing seasons, but it is a very poetic book and a good read to bring along on a picnic or to a secluded cabin getaway.
Sarah Boon
Rick Bass is a legendary nature writer, mixing poetry into his prose until you feel you're standing next to him in his forested Montana landscape. This was the first long Bass book I read, and it floored me with his intimate connection to nature and his ability to put us right there in it. I had it on interlibrary loan, but ended up buying my own copy so I could read it again and again and again.
Rick Bass not only loves the wilderness, but he has an exceptional ability to make this reader, who lives in the crowded Northeast, yearn to see the Yaak Valley area of Montana. Each month is explored and my only complaint is that the months pass too quickly.
Jori gave me this book for my birthday. It chronicles a year of Bass's life living by a marsh in the Yaak valley of Montana. The chapters are divided into months. So each month of this year I will read the corresponding chapter.
Complicated writing style. Beautiful thoughts.
Ted Ryan
Thick, abstract prose steeped in earth worshiping, not my cup of tea. I stopped at about 100 pages.

I enjoyed the author's book, Winter, but this one is wholly different and in a bad way.
Aug 26, 2010 Clint added it
I bogged down on this one. I've ripped right through most everything by Rick Bass I've read thus far, but I just couldn't make it through the second half of this book.
very nice, some of rick bass' most accessible work. you really get the feel of yak valley and the people, plants and animals who live there.
What a poetic look at a year in the northern Montana wilderness! I LOVED this book!
Bridget Everly
A chapter it...but I love all his books
So fat this is wonderful.
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Rick Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in Houston, the son of a geologist. He studied petroleum geology at Utah State University and while working as a petroleum geologist in Jackson, Mississippi, began writing short stories on his lunch breaks. In 1987, he moved with his wife, the artist Elizabeth Hughes Bass, to Montana’s remote Yaak Valley and became an active environmentalist, wo ...more
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