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Illumination in the Flatwoods Paperback – August 1, 1998


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Paperback, August 1, 1998
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 1st edition (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558216944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558216945
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,556,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Turkeys, Joe Hutto writes, have gotten a bad rap for being, well, stupid creatures. In his account of a year spent studying a flock of wild turkeys in the loblolly pine woods of Florida, he aims to improve their reputation. They are, he notes, masters of disguise, blending in with their surroundings in ways so subtle as to make the work of predators--especially human hunters--difficult. And, he writes, they are "curious to a fault, want a working understanding of every aspect of their surroundings, and their memory is impeccable." His affectionate portrait may not convince English speakers to stop calling each other turkeys, but it will make welcome reading for birders and wildfowl enthusiasts. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Wildlife artist Hutto embarked on an unusual study of wild turkeys: he obtained two dozen eggs, incubated them and imprinted himself on the hatchlings, with unexpected results. It was, he says, exhausting, enlightening and one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. His account of raising the brood is an engaging story of an unlikely relationship between species. For six months Hutto spent nearly every waking moment with the young turkeys (four males and 10 females reached maturity), accompanying them on walks in the flatlands of northern Florida, roosting with them at night (until they went to sleep) and observing their behavior. By late summer, he felt so much a part of the flock that smooth green grasshoppers began to look appetizing. In October, Hutto's flock met native wild turkeys, and they dispersed. In an epilogue, he tells how they fared. This tale should have wide appeal to hunters and nature- and animal-lovers. Who would have dreamed turkeys could be so interesting? Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The book was very well written and easily kept my interest.
paul ashby
A friend gave me this book and I told her to get a copy for herself after reading the first few chapters.
JGTexas
I loved this book about Mr Hutto spending a season with wild turkeys and befriending them.
Dawn Dellarocco

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Katharine L Cooley on September 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
My review is not unbiased because Joe Hutto, author of "Illumination in the Flatwoods," and I have been friends for almost 25 years.
Joe is the most humble man I've ever known. I am honored that he brought me the original manuscript to read. It was so beautiful I could have cried.
With the same graceful writing skills used by conservationists Aldo Leopold ("Sand County Almanac") and Herbert Stoddard ("Memoirs of a Naturalist"), Joe gives a masterful mix of documentary-style nature reporting and heartfelt thoughts on the meaning of life. As dramatic as that sounds, I think most readers will agree that "Illumination in the Flatwoods" is a life-changing book.
You will never regret the dollars you spend to buy this book nor the time it takes you to read it. . .
Kathy McCord Cooley
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Hutto's book trancends its subject. Through an account of his relationship with a flock of wild turkeys, Hutto better defines the human qualities of understanding, respect, and decency. I began reading this book because I have always been interested in wild turkeys. I finished it because I felt its sincerity and character were exceptional. The respect that Hutto shows for all creatures, down to the snake that ingests one of his beloved poults, gives us insight to the relevance of all creatures. Hutto seems to have a rare quality that allows him to avoid judgement, and to achieve a level of peace and acceptance that seems so foreign in today's society. Yes, this book is about the wild turkey. But, it if you follow Hutto's responses to the events into which the turkeys lead him, you find a much richer story that tells us more about ourselves than the turkeys Hutto follows.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By "peejay714" on November 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an incredibly beautifully written book. I never thought I would find it so interesting and spellbinding. I was doubtful when first beginning the book that the author would be able to maintain his observer status, but he did so remarkably well, raising the turkeys to be real wild turkeys. As I read the final line in the book, I felt I was closing a chapter in my life in which I had personally been involved with the turkeys and the author. I was impressed with Mr. Hutto's dedication to these remarkable birds, his keen observations, and also with his obvious "connection" to them. I hope he will write again in the future.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Roland D. Mundhenke Jr. on June 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Beautifully written and truly amazing feat accomplished by Mr. Hutto. Many can raise wild turkeys in their own world, however, it took a man with great conviction and love for the bird and it's environment to reverse the process and let the poults raise him. I couldn't put this book down and fell in love with the characters. In closing, I truly admire Mr. Hutto for his dedication and am thankful I don't hunt anywhere near TurkeyBoy's range as I don't believe I could pull the trigger on a bird that has survived the perils he has faced throughout his life.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn Johnson on October 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
I knew turkeys (domestic)are really cool animals but these wild ones of Joe Hutto's are something else.
Easily the best book I've read in 2009, maybe even a decade and I read a LOT of books. I'm puzzled it hasn't made a bigger splash and become more well known; I think it's a sure classic; right now it's still underground. I think "Desert Solitaire" took a while to get noticed too. Yes, I put this book in that elite category.
Eagerly awaiting Hutto's new book "The Light In High Places"(sorry, forgot how to italicize...)
The down side is I don't know how I can eat turkey again and it was always my favorite
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By sarah on November 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I admit that I grinned and chuckled when a friend - whose taste I trust - offered to lend this book. Was she serious? She was indeed and and she was so right to urge me to give it a chance. It's wonderful. HOWEVER, the newest edition (2006) does not have the color photographs from the two earlier editions and that's a shame. You need to see Turkeyboy, et al. I'll be the only reviewer rating Illumination in the Flatwoods fewer than 5 stars and I hope this captures the attention of potential buyers. Get an older edition.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By geoffrey2300 on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book made me laugh at times, at times touched me deeply with awe at the complexity of this creature, and its joy in life, as clearly revealed by the author. Makes me wonder how much we just don't know about the wild life around us, and yet how wonderous it all is. The pictures speak volumes, showing their intense curiousity. One of my favorite books in my library now.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By jodickbike@Mhv.net on December 23, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is a profound book in subtle ways and should change anybody's views of the relationship between 'wildlife' and human life. It can be read by anyone who has the slightest empathy with pets but perhaps not with animals otherwise, so don't be put off by the subject. It is perhaps people who think they are not interested in turkeys or animals in general who would find the book most inspiring.
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