The subtitle of Matthias Leue's Fish Camping promises "amusing family adventures." Unfortunately, I found neither to be the case. Only a handful of thThe subtitle of Matthias Leue's Fish Camping promises "amusing family adventures." Unfortunately, I found neither to be the case. Only a handful of the stories seems to involve Leue's sons, and with a few exceptions to prove the rule, their travels don't really qualify as adventures, at least to me. Leue's writing is quite clunky, containing many five dollar words (SO MANY five dollar words!) and awkward attempts at jokes. I also find several of Leue's actions to be rather unpleasant, such as leaving "cheese gone bad" on a stranger's doorstep (and then picturing the reaction of the finder before driving away), and sneering at a park ranger who leaves a note explaining a violation at Leue's campsite. This sort of behavior makes me hard to sympathize with a writer when they don't even seem to realize that they might be in the wrong!
Many of the drawings Leue included with his stories are quite lovely, but they couldn't save the book for me. I wish the author all the best with future endeavors, but he should find a good editor.
Copy received through the Goodreads First Reads program....more
Copy received through the Goodreads First Reads program.
I am a pretty avid hiker (at least when the weather is nice). I have hiked extensively in ShenCopy received through the Goodreads First Reads program.
I am a pretty avid hiker (at least when the weather is nice). I have hiked extensively in Shenandoah National Park, including parts of the AT. I've also hiked some in the western part of the country, but never on the PCT. That will have to change.
This reader can be thought of as a trail in words. It's part of a two-volume series. The first book covers California, and the second volume, reviewed here, covers Oregon and Washington. You can thru-hike both volumes, section hike one or the other, or even do day hikes of an essay or two. I read the volume cover to cover for reviewing purposes, but I can see how reading a chapter at a time in preparation for hiking the particular section referenced might be just as satisfying, if not more so.
Every chapter here, whether it be in historical essay, memoir, short story, or humor, really speaks to the soul of the hiker. The writers here know what it's like to slog along a trail with a sodden pack, muscle through knee and foot pain to continue making mileage, or be suddenly stopped in their tracks by the pure euphoria that can overtake you when you come across an unexpectedly beautiful view. (Wow, that sounded a LOT less cheesy in my head.)
Some chapters explore the origins of the trail though the history of the U.S. westward expansion, or through allegory or legend (the recounting of a Coyote tale comes to mind). Although not directly referencing hiking, these pieces demonstrate a knowledge of the history of the region which will deepen the appreciation of a hiked area. It's not all reverence and nature, though! One of my favorite chapters, called "A Fine and Pleasant Misery: The Backpacker" pokes fun at the attitudes long-time hikers of the PCT in a particularly hilarious way.
It's December now, and is pretty cold where I live. I won't go on any long hikes for a few months. However, if I have books like this to see me though the winter, I think I can last until the spring. I might not be out on the trail myself, but the feeling of it is captured here. I wonder if there's a similar volume for the AT......more
This was not about what the title suggests. 95% of the book is self-indulgent rambling about 3 women Klosterman is in love with. I liked Sex, Drugs anThis was not about what the title suggests. 95% of the book is self-indulgent rambling about 3 women Klosterman is in love with. I liked Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs so I thought I would enjoy this. Mistake....more