Thursday, August 10, 2006


Rick Bass.

Rick Bass, The Hermit's Story (Houghton Mifflin, 2002).

Rick Bass has written a lot of books now in a variety of genres, but I came to him first through his short stories and so it is a small delight to see that he has a new collection. The Hermit's Story has been out for four years, and though I snapped it up immediately I haven't read it until now.

In many of these stories, Bass's characters find themselves encountering the wild, unknowable and profound. In the title story, a dog trainer recalls a winter trip in Canada years ago when the temperatures dropped and she found herself walking beneath the ice cap of a drained lake. In "The Cave," a couple shed their clothes and possessions and descend into an abandoned mine, emerging hours in a new, green world. "Swans" tells the story of a couple living in rural Montana, as Bass does; Bill, takes ill and declines, leaving Amy to care for the swans on their pond. Bass even finds the wild and unknowable in the most civilized of American built environments, Monticello, the scene for "The Distance." These stories did not excite me the way The Watch did fifteen years ago, but only because I my expectations are so high now.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?