Steven's Reviews > House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest

House of Rain by Craig Childs
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May 27, 09

bookshelves: culture, history, geography
Read in May, 2009

This book is very different, and delightedly so, from what I expected. Childs intersperses discussions with leading archaeologists in the field and in their offices, encounters with native people, and his and his family's own expeditions through sites from the Colorado Plateau into northern Mexico to piece together a story of the migrations of the people we've come to know as the Anasazi.

His deep interesting and understanding of the topics at hand is apparent, but what I didn't expect was his ability to write so eloquently and lyrically about his impressions of the landscapes he wanders through -- mesas, canyons, cliff dwellings, pueblos, forests, rivers. It's really interesting to see someone write with both sides of their brain so well. In one sentence he can convey the terror of sliding down a canyon wall, while in the next discuss the development of different pottery styles in the southwest.

He does an excellent job of discussing Anasazi culture in the history of human occupation in the Southwest, where they came from, and where, if anywhere, they went. A great journey through a fascinating part of our world, told by someone who can really write well. If Anasazi culture is at all interesting to you, you'd do well to read this book.
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message 1: by Donna (new)

Donna So where did they go, if anywhere? When I camped at Chaco Canyon some years back, the said it wasn't known.
The people who left Chaco Canyon left full supplies there, as if they planned to return.

Donna


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