Jenny Brown's Reviews > The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod

The Outermost House by Henry Beston
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Feb 26, 2012

it was ok
Read in March, 2012

Thoreau he's not.

The introduction says that his wife described him spending hours on a single sentence, and it shows. Rarely have I read such self-aware constipated prose or descriptions that did such poor job of bringing a scene alive.

I enjoy reading about nature, but when "nature" turns out to mean long lists of Latin names for birds with nary a word about what it is about that bird that makes it interesting, the author loses me.

I loved Thoreau's book about Cape Cod because, like everything Thoreau writes, it's not about some alien unconnected "nature" but but about people, and how they live and think, and the same for the animals that surround us. Thoreau makes me feel like I'm with him on the beach, Beston that the beach is some kind of abstract poetical invention that he made up. And Thoreau has a wicked sense of humor, a facutly, which, sadly, Beston totally lacks.

I feel sorry for any college kids forced to read this book and even sorrier if they were taught that this is good writing.
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