It is a voice that echoes off canyon walls, springs from the rush of rivers, thunders from the hooves of horses It belongs to award winner Mark Spragg, and it s as passionate and umcompromising as the wilderness in northwest Wyomingin which he was born the largest block of unfenced wilderness in the lower forty eight states Where Rivers Change Direction is a memoir of childhood spent on the oldest dude ranch in Wyomingwith a family struggling against the elements and against themselves, and with the wry and wise cowboy who taught him life s most important lessons.As the young Spragg undergoes the inexorable rites of passage that forge the heart and soul of man, he channelsPeter Matthiessen and the novels of Ernest Hemingway in his truly unforgettable illuminations of the heartfelt yearnings, the unexpected wisdom, and the irrevocable truths that follow in his wake....
|Title||:||Where Rivers Change Direction|
|Number of Pages||:||301 Pages|
|File Size||:||963 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Where Rivers Change Direction Reviews
As I read I liked the book more and more. I stopped trying to make the book follow a timeline, I read and enjoyed each chapter. Most of the chapters do stand alone. The first part of the book is about a boy and the last is about a sensitive grown man. The boy grew up tough. At age 14 he slept in the bunkhouse with the ranch hands and did men's work. He was responsible and worked hard. He loved the land, the horses, all animals, the cowboys, early morning, the cold. He smoked, drank bourbon and hung out with the rough men. He was the bosses son but at an early age he was accepted and treated as an equal. There is a break in the story and we find him grown, graduated from college, and he appears to have suffered a life altering event. What happened, we are not told. I rather think he is in a deep depression. Our brave young lad is no more. This new person wants only solitude. He signs on as caretaker to a large remote home that will be snowed in until spring. He is troubled, and unstable. The next part of the book finds him more gentle, yet choosing to live a totally different way of life., He no longer has horses, and he no longer hunts.
There are books that I do want to reread in my lifetime and this is definitely one of the few; I probably won't for lack of time (& too many others to read for a 1st time) but just to know that it will still be on my shelf and will be on my mind for a long time is a comfortable feeling. I will praise it to family and friends and maybe lend it out but will always demand my copy be returned to me. Memoir writing has no finer example than found in this book, and others, past, contemporary and future, can only hope to come close to its sense of place, thoughtful profundity and fearlessness. There is lyricism, almost poetry in much of Mr. Spragg's narrative, and I for one enjoyed reading it slowly and going back over many paragraphs just for the pure beauty of the prose or the sense of place and time (in the life of a boy and young man) that is conveyed. I do think that on reading it every reader will wish he or she could examine his or her own life with the same precision as achieved by Mark Spragg. I have read one of his novels to date but now want to read whatever else he has written.
I found this book round-aboutly after watching the movie "An Unfinished Life", I wanted to read the book. Other readers put me on to this one and I bought them at the same time. Spragg is a phenomenal writer! I live in an area where there is sprawling vistas and animals and cattle,cowboys and horses. I thought I had eyes to see all there was before me, but after reading Spragg, I realize what I have NOT been seeing. On page 23 he writes: "The ground and trees were dirty white with frost. It looked as though we stood inside the skeleton of a cloud." Wow! You realize how you DON'T see nature until you read this book! And this is only one of these exquisite descriptions.
Other reviewers have eloquently described the power of this book. Keeping it simple, if you like thoughtful, descriptive writing that won't wear you down with pedantic arguments or over stressed points of view, read it. If you you love the west, know its depths including the sound and smells of livestock, wind in the winter (spring, summer, and fall), and the challenges of holding (or losing) your soul against the power of landscape, read it. Each essay is a gem and stands alone but joins with the others to share Bragg's life vision/experience. This book calls for many rereads.
If you've ever wanted to be a cowboy (or marry a cowboy) you need to read this book. Mark Spragg is a fantastic story teller and the fact that he lived it makes it even better. At times I was laughing as he helped the elderly sodded camp cook (who owned a circus before he became a chef) and then I was sobbing as he humanely destroyed his beloved horse and I wanted the story to go on and on. I felt his love for the horses he rode and the wild animals he hunted.. I "listened" as he told tales about his elders who treated him as an equal and yet were tough on him as they taught him not only how to survive but how to be a man. There was no part of this book that I wanted to skip, to get on with the story. I really wanted to know more and I will definitely keep Where Rivers Change Direction in my personal library. .