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John Muir: Magnificent Tramp

3.22  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
An important protector of the American wilderness, John Muir emigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1849 and became a widely sought expert in botany, glaciers, and forestry. He also gained renown during his life as an explorer, naturalist, and conservationist. Best known for his long association with the Yosemite Valley and Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, M ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Forge Books (first published June 1st 2005)
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Dave Christensen
A good book overall. My only issue is that it is not chronological, so the author tended to repeat the same stories multiple times. At some points I thought I lost my place in the book and was re-reading a section, but it turned out the author was just re-telling an event. Not a bad introduction to a man I knew very little about.
Jul 09, 2015 Marty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
This is actually the second time around for me reading this book. I love the simplicity the author Rod Miller allows for an easy read of the iconic historical man and his many travels. Great read for all to enjoy.
Sep 13, 2007 Kim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was really disappointed by this biography. Thought it was disjointed and I really didn't feel I got to know John Muir the person. It was more like a summary of where he went and who he met and what he did but not much about HIM.
Janet Jensen
Nov 22, 2011 Janet Jensen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review: The Assassination of Governor Boggs by Rod Miller

Twenty-five years after the attempted assassination of Governor Lilburn Boggs, an outspoken opponent of the early Mormons, his son wants to know who the shooter was. The fact that the governor survived the four bullets that tore through his skull is remarkable; he lived another eighteen years, evidently with his wits intact.

William Boggs of Napa, California hires Pinkerton detective and Civil War veteran Calvin Pogue to find the answe
Renae Mackley
This is a strong 3 star rating. I'd really like to give it a 3.5. I liked it rather well and the writing is good.
From the back cover: After an attempted assassination, Governor Lilburn Boggs couldn't prove who'd taken a shot at him, leaving the identity of his assailant a mystery. Twenty-five years later and after the passing of Gov. Boggs, Detective Calvin Pogue has been hired by the Boggs family to open this cold case and find out the truth about the assassin. From Missouri to California an
Nov 09, 2011 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

In 1842, twenty years before the Civil War, people had their prejudices and had other wars as well. Lilburn Boggs, in his years as Governor of the State of Missouri had many prejudices and was an excellent helper in another war that a lot of folks don’t know about. Lilburn Boggs liked blacks far better than he liked Mormons and took every opportunity to banish them from his state; following them to Illinois to make sure they stayed gone.
He took every opportunity to torment the Mormons, holding J
Hugo Torres
It is apropos that I finished the audio-book experience on this work on Earth Day and that I had the opportunity to incorporate it into my Toastmasters Speech today on Water Conservation.

John Muir is a named that I have heard ever since I became aware that the more beautiful places on earth (and there are many) must be protected from those among us who believe progress trumps nature. Even then, in adolescence, I knew that there once was a man who fought with zeal for the majestic and the small a
Dec 15, 2011 Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“After an attempted assassination, Governor Lilburn Boggs couldn’t prove who’d taken a shot at him, leaving the identity of his assailant a mystery. Twenty-five years later and after the passing of Gov. Boggs, Detective Calvin Pogue has been hired by the Boggs family to open this cold case and find out the truth about the assassin. From Missouri to California and into the heart of the Utah territory, Detective Pogue relentlessly seeks clues that lead him to the legendary Mormon gunman Porter R o ...more
Jo Butler
Have you ever wished that you could swing up into a saddle and ride the trail behind a herd of longhorns? Here’s your chance. In Rawhide Robinson Rides the Range, Rod Miller, previous winner of the Spur Award, takes readers on a cattle drive from Texas to Dodge City, Kansas, and you couldn’t ask for a better guide than Rawhide Robinson. Though Robinson is introduced as an ordinary cowboy, he has ridden western trails for years; through floods, stampedes, across the Pacific …. That’s right, Rawhi ...more
Jun 04, 2014 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miller's account of John Muir's life was surprisingly uninspiring at first. Muir is, after all, an American hero and was one of its greatest adventurers. Some of the topics he wrote of in earlier chapters seemed like footnotes to Muir's life, and lacked the sort of excitement I was expecting. The story picked up quite quickly, though, and Miller did a nice job of building the story topically rather than linearly. So, by the time the adventure heavy topics were discussed, I had developed an emoti ...more
May 03, 2009 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
although the book is oddly arranged, the writer did forewarn us that he would show the complex life of John Muir in its myriad parts. he did. consequently the book could be shorter probably by 1/3 if reordered because of the details that were unnecessarily repeated.

on the other hand, John Muir was a complex man and his major accomplishments are well worth reading about. this book does justice to Muir's environmental and personal life as well as to his many journeys, his friendships, and his pol
Aug 09, 2008 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This book gave me exactly what I was looking for--the essential facts about the life of this incredible, original, unfettered soul. There is much to wonder at: his extensive travels throughout the world in an age before automobiles; his mystical connection to the natural world; his ability to maintain deep, lifelong, long-distance relationships with a wide range of people long before the advent of electronic messaging; the spartan toughness, stubbornness, and luck that saved his life time after ...more
Michael Avery
Aug 20, 2014 Michael Avery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, easy biography of Muir. It was interesting to read all about Muir's life. I had a vague idea of how he spent the first 40 years of his life, but knew little of after that. This biography gave me an overview of all the major events. He was married at 42 and had two children after that. He spent most of his 40's raising fruit in Martinez, California to support his family. But his wife encouraged him to keep traveling and writing because he seemed to like it so much. Not an in depth book ...more
Dec 09, 2009 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history enthusiasts
Excellent -- I was inspired to buy this book after watching the recent WGBH series on the national parks... this book provided a great insight to the life, passion, and gift of the John Muir who's name is common... but who's contribution to the preservation and conservation of natural environs (mostly, in the Sierras... and most profoundly in Yosemite) but all around the glove.

Quite a colorful character. The book is well written, and easy to read; a great biography -- and, made me want to pursue
Marsha Ward
Dec 11, 2014 Marsha Ward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stellar writing, but carelessly edited.

Rod Miller retells the haunting story of King David in a Western setting that is so well done that you can't keep from reading on, chapter after chapter.

Unfortunately, the book's editing is not up to par with the writing. Sometimes the stuttering of repeated words or phrases, misplaced words, or missing words pulled me out of the story. Fortunately, I was able to overcome my distress to savor where the story led. I won't take away a star for the slipshod ed
Adam Kendrick
Jan 22, 2013 Adam Kendrick rated it it was ok
Though this book taught me a lot about a man whom I admired and possessed little background knowledge of, it just was not written that well. The chapters tended to be redundant, oddly ordered, and at times slow. I never once questioned if it was or was not worth finishing, but I did have to execute a bit of patience. Well worth the read if you want to learn about this intriguing, iconic man, and the country he did so much for to preserve.
Marg Corjay
Feb 08, 2016 Marg Corjay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can not get over how much I enjoyed this book! I have not laughed so hard in a very long time! The spoof of a story of a "cat-tail" drive across the Old West frontier captures the feline personality to a T. Rawhide's tall tales are told so convincingly that you can almost believe them. The cast of cowboys embodies the typical oldtime movie trailhand perfectly, right down to their names. Not your average Western.
D. Blaine
Oct 01, 2009 D. Blaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Love the man, didn't care for this book. The style was very confusing, as it sounded like 4 or 5 articles or essays that were cobbled together. The author backtracks many times over, telling Muir's life story from different contexts. This results in many facts and stories being repeated, many times more than once. I can't understand why the author didn't write a linear biography. By the last third of the book, I was very annoyed, but I finished due to the subject matter.
Jan 23, 2008 Jennannej rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
John Muir was such an interesting person, but you'd barely know it reading this book. It's a disjointed telling with fragments of stories stuck in here and there and everywhere. I only read 100 pages in, because I am certain there must be better biographies out there. The problem was, with each chapter, the author started Muir's life all over again and did a timeline with a certain topic in mind. Therefore, there was lots of ground covered and recovered, but not delved into very deep.
Apr 23, 2014 brotagonist rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
This is a surprising tale of the making of a (psychopathic, it seems) gunman. His life is examined from boyhood to adulthood, as told by the marshal, the preacher, his father, a prostitute, his victims, etc. There is a good degree of cynicism, but it also makes a statement about poverty, alcoholism and a broken home.
I was listening to this in January, 2017 and realized I have already listened to it. I guess I didn't retain much. I would prefer that the book be organized more chronologically with less repetition. I would like more detail about Muir and don't feel like I got to know him very well through this introduction.
I am in love with John Muir, he is the grizzly-adams of my dreams.

I can only imagine the thousands upon thousands of miles he walk across the US and the world.

He would be one of the people from history I would love to have dinner with.
Feb 10, 2009 Lara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So I actually listened to this as an audio book. It was very interesting but, the voice actor was super cheesy and had a very unfortunate Scottish accent. Very unfortunate.
Dec 16, 2009 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was good to learn a little bit more about John Muir's life before the Sierra Club and what led to his conservationism.
Mar 09, 2014 Martha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-school, 2014
I think I got half a book in this advanced reader copy. This is a collection of stories told by an old cowboy.
May 13, 2015 Carole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to help me develop a character in my own story and really liked it. What an interesting man!
Marg Corjay
A mixture of Paul Bunyon and Pecos Bill in the tall tale department, fun and outlandish. I liked "Tabby Trail' more.
Interesting way to present all the inconclusive information surrounding the shooting of Governor Boggs.
Whitney L.
Whitney L. rated it liked it
Sep 15, 2015
Jonathan Hal
Jonathan Hal rated it really liked it
Jan 25, 2010
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HIstorical Fiction Buffs 1 2 Dec 15, 2011 09:55AM  
Three-time winner of the coveted Western Writers of America Spur Award--for poetry, short fiction, and a novel--twice winner of the Westerners International Fred Olds Award for Poetry, winner of the Academy of Western Artists award for Best Poetry Book, and winner of a Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award for a novel, Rod Miller is a versatile writer. His books include fiction, history, and poetry ...more
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