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Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness…
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Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout (vuoden 2011 painos)

Tekijä: Philip Connors, Sean Runnette (Reader)

Sarjat: Gila Fire Season (1)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
4803652,353 (3.86)25
The author discusses his time spent ten thousand feet above ground as a fire lookout in a remote part of New Mexico, a job where he witnessed some of the most amazing phenomena nature has to offer.
Jäsen:tnoble
Teoksen nimi:Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
Kirjailijat:Philip Connors
Muut tekijät:Sean Runnette (Reader)
Info:Blackstone Audio, Inc. (2011), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto, Parhaillaan lukemassa
Arvio (tähdet):****
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Fire Season: Field Notes From a Wilderness Lookout (tekijä: Philip Connors)

Viimeisimmät tallentajatMagpiebooks, yksityinen kirjasto, firewalkwithryan, skyfet, Amateria66, lisaross, jilcatt, chenderson623, saunterthrulife
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 36) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
A book that compels the reader to read it at a leisurely pace, Philip Connors' Walden-like memoir Fire Season sees its author remove himself from the urban rat-race of 21st-century American society to spend four months of each year as a fire-watcher in one of the last few remaining wilderness landscapes in the United States. In the Gila wilderness, atop a lookout tower on a mountain peak, with little more technology than a radio, he lives a solitary existence as he looks out on impressive natural vistas where there is not another human dwelling for a hundred miles (pg. 22).

It is to Fire Season's great credit that it avoids the clichés and pitfalls that this scenario immediately evokes. Connors does not rail against the modern life, only recognises its inferiority – indeed, he acknowledges that it is the life he lives outside of these four or five months of the year. While he writes eloquently about the natural world he finds himself immersed in, he does not rhapsodize, and in fact even recognises that – thanks to the conservation efforts of the last eighty years or so – this 'natural', 'preserved' world he retreats to is in some ways as planned and artificial as the world he has fled from. And while the book is necessarily a slow-paced, introspective narrative, there is nothing so trite in these pages as "finding oneself".

With these traps and clichés carefully avoided, Fire Season becomes a sincere and erudite account of a modern man who wrestles to balance his soul: the logical self-assessment that one must work, pay tax and take part in society, combined with that other noble and atavistic yearning we all possess to one extent or another; "that part of ourselves that relishes a campfire under a sky berserk with stars… completely reliant on our own dexterity" (pg. 91). Connors reaches no hugely profound revelation on this divide in every human heart, but he does document the experience well.

While Connors has much to say on the natural beauty of the region he inhabits, the solitude it offers and the thoughts that result, much of his book is transfixed by fire; that phenomenon which it is his job, as a fire-watcher, to look out for. Not only does Connors do the reader a service in fleshing out our understanding of the intricacies of this job, but also leads the reader to a more nuanced appreciation of forest fires, which are necessary for the bio-diversity of the land and are sometimes deliberately left unfought.

It is in stepping outside his firewatch tower that Connors begins to stretch himself, in ways that perhaps warp the effects of Fire Season on the reader. Sometimes, his reaches work well, as in the final chapter when he deftly links his experiences of fire in the Gila forests to his experience of fire in the urban jungle of New York, where he was present on 9/11 and walked the streets covered in ash. Elsewhere, the reaches fail to grasp: much of the book diverts itself with impersonal, journalistic accounts of the history of the Forest Service or conservation efforts in the United States. On one hand, it is good to see these highlighted by an astute commentator, particularly as contemporary narratives in American society seem to be so toxically negative, and the success of such historical endeavours show what can be done in the country if one looks to it.

That said, as worthy as such discussions are, they make a thoughtful and already-slow book almost static. It's something I see a lot of in modern travel memoirs: editor-induced padding and filler to make a slight book – and what's wrong with a book being slight, when the writing is fine? – more substantial. Connors does it better than most, due to his skills as a writer, but an affecting story of his encounter with a beleaguered fawn late on in the book (pp217-22) shows that it is the personal stories Connors relates which retain the most power. For all his in-depth discussion of the history of American conservation or forest-fire theory, it is a passing mention of sitting in his isolated tower on the Fourth of July, watching fireworks "blooming like tiny flowers" in the distance (pg. 192), that will have more staying power with the reader.

A good writer and a reasonably independent thinker, Connors might be a little too analytical at times for Fire Season to emerge as truly special, failing to allow himself to be taken away by the magic and majesty of his surroundings. But that still puts him in the first-rank, considering the dearth of truly deep writers and artists in our time. Connors draws heavily on Aldo Leopold for his nature writing, and on Norman Maclean for his discussions of forest-fire, and in such storied company he is not found wanting. In Fire Season, he proves himself a worthy successor, seated in crisp mountaintop isolation, naming emergent fires the way American wanderers once named creeks and canyons and land. Even if, at such a height, he remains in the shadows of Leopold and Maclean, they are at least cool shadows to be in. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Apr 14, 2024 |
Predivno. ( )
  p.vasic | Jan 2, 2024 |
This was an excellent read. The author is bright, lively, and engaging in his style. I admit to being fond of the general topic having studied fire use and ecology in relation to my degrees. He cites several well known authors in the genre and talks about where he is and what might happen. In case you are squeamish he does not get graphic with the events of the past, nor of the present - he does describe them sufficiently to give a good overview and leave the reader to locate more books or information on the topics if desired. ( )
  Kiri | Dec 24, 2023 |
This book is full of beautiful moments and reflections on society from afar. Not consistently engrossing, but well worth reading (especially if you're feeling some despair about urban life). ( )
  mmparker | Oct 24, 2023 |
Fantastic book. The writing was both direct and beautiful, a powerful combination. Highly recommend. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
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Until about fifteen years ago I thought fire lookouts had gone the way of itinerant cowboys, small-time gold prospectors, and other icons of an older, wilder West.
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The author discusses his time spent ten thousand feet above ground as a fire lookout in a remote part of New Mexico, a job where he witnessed some of the most amazing phenomena nature has to offer.

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