On the Edge of the Wild: Passions and Pleasures of a Naturalist

Stephen Bodio, Author
Stephen Bodio, Author Lyons Press $25 (212p) ISBN 978-1-55821-648-8
Reviewed on: 12/01/1997
Release date: 12/01/1997
Paperback - 199 pages - 978-1-59228-119-0
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-62914-711-6
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""This life of mine believes in intimate contact, in eating and wallowing and breathing the dust, in sometimes getting the blood on its hands,"" writes Bodio (A Rage for Falcons) in this often lyrical paean to a rugged lifestyle of catching and eating meat, and respecting the outdoors, dogs and birds of prey. Bodio, who grew up in an Italian family in Boston, fly-fished at age four; his father kept homing pigeons. These essays, written between 1988 and 1997, explore those influences. Most center around hunting or the joy of working with and studying falcons, golden eagles and goshawks, but a few reflect the writer's literary inspirations and his favorite foods. He also writes of mentors, wives and old dogs. The book evokes many areas: New Mexico, Montana, southern France and Massachusetts, where Bodio, an unembarrassed member of the NRA, grew up. Bodio defends his controversial viewpoints cogently and poetically. He defines his writing purpose this way: ""If writing essays means anything to me it is as an act of celebration and inquiry, like, if lesser than, poetry and science."" His book, which includes some book reviews as well, should most appeal to other hunters and fishers, but a nature lover or even a vegetarian can gain new perspective by reading it. (Feb.)
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