Out of the Noosphere: Adventure, Sports, Travel and the Environment: The Best of Outside Magazine

Outside Magazine, Author, Mark Bryant, Introduction by
Outside Magazine, Author, Mark Bryant, Introduction by Fireside Books $29.95 (484p) ISBN 978-0-671-75466-2
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-684-85233-1
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Outside 's wide-open definition of its subject leaves great opportunity for diversity of material and expression. Sometimes this anthology succeeds in exploiting that opportunity, and sometimes it fails. Women are generally absent from these articles, and only two of the 40 pieces are even authored by women. The volume's subjects--people, home, nature and travel--are defined so broadly that David Roberts's heartwrenching story about losing friends in rock-climbing accidents is followed by Bob Shacochis's self-deprecating account of climbing Mount Ararat with the lungs of a smoker. Some of these highly personal tales manage to be both sensitive and funny, such as the story of Peter Nelson, who, revisiting the Boy Scout camp of his youth, wonders whether MTV has ``sounded Nature's death knell'' then learns soon after that his scoutmaster has died of a heart attack at 47. Others rely heavily on ironic understatement, like Bill Vaughn, who ``sails'' on the railroad tracks of Montana and whose reaction to an oncoming freight train is ``Bummer.'' Although some of these are one-joke articles that go on too long, most will broaden an armchair traveler's horizons. (Oct.)
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