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Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound
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Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  492 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
From Captain George Vancouver to Muriel "Curve of Time" Blanchet to Jim "Spilsbury's Coast" Spilsbury, visitors to Desolation Sound have left behind a trail of books endowing the area with a romantic aura that helps to make it British Columbia's most popular marine park. In this hilarious and captivating book, CBC personality Grant Lawrence adds a whole new chapter to the ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Harbour Publishing (first published September 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 884)
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Nov 14, 2011 Dorothy rated it liked it
I enjoyed the first half of this book very much. The author describes Desolation Sound, its exploration by Captain George Vancouver, and the colourful characters who first settled the area with great humour. Lawrence became familiar with the area as a child when his father developed a piece of land for holiday cottages, and then returned as an adult, bringing with him many of his friends.
It was at this point in the book that I found the narrative rather irritating. There were some accounts of id
Michelle Gaudet
May 05, 2016 Michelle Gaudet rated it it was amazing
So so so good. I always forget how much I love biographies, especially nature-related ones. This had me laughing every few pages and making me want to buy a cabin and a boat.
Bookworm Smith
This book was funny! One of those rare books where the stories went from mental chuckles to laugh-out-loud (LOL) laughs. The few paragraphs about mullet clad Terry in his jean shorts (jorts), smoke in mouth, tubing behind the motor boat was so funny I reread the page four times, cracking up each time. The countless hilarious stories set a good natured tone throughout the book, but, there was so much more beyond the laughs. There was a much deeper story about Grant's life and the many changes he ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Alexis rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I really enjoyed this book and it made me homesick for the West Coast. Grant Lawrence is a music journalist whose father was a bit of an adventurer and bushman. His dad bought up properties in an isolated area called Desolation Sound and Grant and his family started spending their summers there when he was a kid. The early chapters are filled with their misadventures which include a lot of pot smoking hippies and nudity. When he reaches his later years, Grant rediscovers his love for the Sound a ...more
Amanda Rose
Feb 24, 2011 Amanda Rose rated it it was amazing
I'm giving this book 5 stars because I enjoyed it whole-heartedly from beginning to end. It's not an incredible story, nor is the writing divine. However, I devoured it in about 5 days, laughed out loud to the point of embarrassment on public transit, and then proceeded to try to convince everyone I know to pick up a copy. It's a wonderful light read, ideal for summer afternoons at the beach when you're too sun-drunk to really focus, or winter evenings curled up in a cozy chair with an old croch ...more
Sherry Monger
Aug 11, 2015 Sherry Monger rated it really liked it

I received this book from my BC niece in June and only got around to reading it now - am I ever glad I did! Grant Lawrence is apparently a CBC personality - he has also fronted an alt music band in addition to being an author. This book recalls his childhood and teenage years spending his summers in Desolation Sound with a father who was determined to get back to the land and live simply with other dropouts from the hippie era. Grant describes himself as a book loving nerd in coke bottle glasses
Jan 21, 2016 Klay rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book, full of first-hand experiences and historical information about Desolation Sound, one of my favorite places in the world. The hilarious, often wry observations are so entertaining, but there's also a lot of love and appreciation woven through.
I loved the descriptions of the people and the place itself, but also the general attitude and vibe which is difficult to express to anyone who hasn't grown up in a coastal BC area. It's the strange, disparate mix of people banding
Aug 06, 2012 Jacquie rated it it was amazing
Started reading this book as I waited for a ferry and was immediately smitten by the author's observation that the designer of the the ferry terminals must also have designed concentration camps!

We were in the terminal for 4 hours (no reservation -- what were we thinking!!) and this book kept me totally occupied for the wait & the subsequent ferry ride. I just kept reading until I was finished.

I really enjoyed the first half of the book and am not sure if my dissatisfaction with the second w
Brock Wilson
Jun 21, 2015 Brock Wilson rated it it was amazing
Maybe I'm too emotional on Father's Day but what Grant Lawrence writes about in this book is what I think everyone would line in their life whether they know it or not. I'm not particularly prone to expletives but Grant Lawrence is a lucky guy to have found something so awesome, and not always easy, in life and to be able to express it so well. I think it was Bernard the German who said "This is fucking awesome."
Ryan McKenzie
May 31, 2016 Ryan McKenzie rated it it was amazing
Laugh out loud funny! Wonderful stories about a remarkable melting pot in BC. Having said that, Grant Lawrence is one of the last people I'd want to meet on a kayak trip in Desolation Sound.
Jan 27, 2011 Krista rated it it was ok
I have to clarify--this was not a bad book, just not what I expected and not completely interesting to me. Also, I was desperate to read a new book that came in the mail, so finishing this seemed a bit like a chore! I expected this book to be funnier, based on what I had heard about it, but it was more on the pensive side. For those looking for a historical and personal profile of a unique piece of Canadian wilderness, this would be a good pick.
Oct 12, 2015 Tikiri rated it it was amazing
A romping fun read, especially if you have traveled to the Pacific North West of Canada. Highly enjoyable, especially if read on a sunny day on the deck of a British Columbian ferry ride going to Vancouver Island!
Lauren Fairweather
Apr 01, 2013 Lauren Fairweather rated it it was amazing
Absolutely hilarious, with the added bonus that I learned a lot about a beautiful part of the province I live in! Recommended to anyone in need of a few belly laughs.
Dec 28, 2014 Geoff rated it really liked it
I am familiar with the west coast and the summer vacations that people take there. This book could have almost been my memoir. We didn't row out to an island and build our own house there, but the stages where we would spend hours at BC ferry terminals in the relentless heat, separated from the beach by a fence to the teenage apathy to the re-discovery of our childhood summers really did resonate with me. While the writing is nothing spectacular, Grant does a great job of conveying the environme ...more
Kay McCracken
Jan 15, 2011 Kay McCracken rated it really liked it
Hilarious. I also learned about a part of the BC landscape that I wasn't familiar with. Desolation Sound is a unique place.
Maayan K
May 25, 2016 Maayan K rated it really liked it
This is a pitch-perfect personal narrative about Desolation Sound, a remote archipelago on BC's central coast from the king of Canadian indie music journalism, Grant Lawrence.

To me Grant has always been a cool music guy, as the original host of the first, longstanding, eponymous CBC radio 3 podcast (which he is still helms). So imagine my surprise to read of how he was a hopelessly nerdy knock-kneed, coke-bottle-glasses-wearing kid, who shied away from rugged nature and idolized his stoic and s
Dayna White
Feb 21, 2014 Dayna White rated it it was amazing
Quite funny in places. I kayaked to Desolation Sound from Lund and know its beauty although it took 7 hours to get there. I enjoyed this book because of Lawrence's clear descriptive words and his way of keeping all the stories interesting. His references to rock music in the 70's & 80's were lost on me, but others like Andrew would appreciate. I really enjoyed Lawrence's childhood memories and his transformations from nerd to rocker to outdoor enthusiast with compassion.
Bob D'Eith
Feb 17, 2014 Bob D'Eith rated it it was amazing
Grant truly captures the "feel" of Canada's west coast. Having grown up in Vancouver, I can testify to the fact that Grant's descriptions of life and the natural surroundings are very authentic. Grant also has a unique sense of humor which I really appreciate.

If you love to get lost in a new environment, then I suggest taking the journey with Grant Lawrence. It is well worth the trip.
Nov 14, 2015 Marian rated it it was ok
Possible other title: "Roughing it in the bush" West Vancouver style or "Tales of adventure for overpriviledged Vancouverites" Seriously, I didn't see any solitude or many adventures. The best part was the description of driving up the Peninsula to Earl's Cove. As a former Lundite (Not Lundoner!) I found the descriptions of the local people and sites somewhat exaggerated.
Jan 01, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful book about a family , specifically the father, who wanted to find a place they could go to get away from the crowds and busyness of Vancouver. They found such a place in Desolation Sound on the west coast of B.C. It is accessible only by boat or float-plane. The author started going there as a child and still spends as much time as possible there. He describes the beauty of the place and some of the weird and wonderful characters his family met. Some of the encounters are ve ...more
Daniel Brown
Apr 24, 2015 Daniel Brown rated it it was amazing
Grant Lawrence is a gem of a writer. I have read this and his other book The Lonely End of the Rink, in binge mode. This tale of the characters of Desolation Sound is a great story interspersed with just enough of the history of the place to give it perspective.
Aug 21, 2014 Evelyn rated it liked it
This book was good fun. The true story of a family who build a cabin on a hard-to-reach chunk of beautiful B.C. wilderness. So many little things rang true for me. I was reminded of how much work goes into getting to our little piece of paradise. An enjoyable read.
Emily Jones
Jan 24, 2012 Emily Jones rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is really wonderful. I found the writing straight-forward and poignant, and also very funny. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt uneasy in wildlife situations, anyone who was ever forced to go somewhere they didn't want to with their parents, or for those who have experienced a cabin or cottage situation.

The book is broken up into two parts, the first set during the author's childhood which involves rusty float planes, old row boats, and strange hermits near t
Janice Boychuk
I wasn't as jazzed about this as some readers... it was entertaining but not mind-blowing good. Perhaps it's the author narrating it - not a great choice. That being said, I did enjoy reading about another part of Canada, and a number of his stories about the locals were amusing.
Oct 22, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian
Lawrence's book about his family's cottage up in Desolation sound is pretty entertaining. It made me laugh out loud quite a few times. It is the sort of book that I like to have going on Kindle, because I can open it up on my phone and read small chunks at random times, and not feel like I have to remember what was happening before. (Fiction doesn't work so well for that.) So I read half of it like that, in odd intervals here and there, and then the second half in one fell swoop on a cross count ...more
Melanie Ting
Sep 17, 2013 Melanie Ting rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
If you have heard Grant Lawrence on his CBC Radio 3 podcasts, you'll know that he revels in revealing what most of us hide, and his tales here are no exception. He happily tells you the most embarrassing or disgusting incidents of his life, especially if the joke is on him. Although more anecdotal than plotted, this memoir is about how an isolated cabin in Desolation Sound began as a dream for his outdoorsman father and a nightmare for a nerdish young Grant, but evolved to become one of the most ...more
Lana Shupe
Apr 24, 2014 Lana Shupe rated it really liked it
I registered a book at!
Apr 25, 2015 Joanne rated it really liked it
This book was so much fun, and the author really brought Desolation Sound to life. I so much would love to see it.
James Sultanum
Jan 02, 2015 James Sultanum rated it liked it
Interesting read, although pretty much focused on local (yet gracious) West coast experience.
Melissa D'andrea
Jun 07, 2014 Melissa D'andrea rated it really liked it
Great stories that harkens back to my childhood when my family and I would go up north, granted I'm a younger generation than Grant. Very accessible and funny.
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