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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Pages clean & crisp, spine very good, glossy cover with small bump at corners, small light stain along bottom corner edge of pages. Ships in poly bag.
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Pieces of the Frame Paperback – May 1, 1979

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“One always has the sense with McPhee of a man at a pitch of pleasure in his work, a natural at it, finding out on behalf of the rest of us how some portion of the world works.” ―Edward Hoagland, The New York Times

About the Author

John McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time magazine and led to his long association with The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. Also in 1965, he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are, with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in the years since, he has written nearly 30 books, including Oranges (1967), Coming into the Country (1977), The Control of Nature (1989), The Founding Fish (2002), Uncommon Carriers (2007), and Silk Parachute (2011). Encounters with the Archdruid (1972) and The Curve of Binding Energy (1974) were nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science. McPhee received the Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. In 1999, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Annals of the Former World. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (May 1, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374514984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374514983
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #913,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott Underwood on April 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
The always excellent McPhee gives us a collection of short pieces on a wide variety of subjects, including the monsters and whisky and Macbeths of Scotland, playing basketball and tennis in England, racing horses, paddling canoes, and several more.
My favorite is "The Search for Marvin Gardens," an examination of the famous game Monopoly from two perspectives. As McPhee plays several games of Monopoly with an unnamed partner--they take no more than 20 minutes for these masters--he takes us on a tour of Atlantic City. Names of avenues like Vermont and Ventnor, Illinois and Indiana, Pacific and Park Place are given form by McPhee's fine prose.
Fans of "The Crofter and the Laird," McPhee's description of his months on a Scottish island, will appreciate three pieces in this collection: "Josie's Well," about the wonderful small whisky distilleries of Scotland (written in 1970, well before the recent fad for single-malt scotches); "From Birnam Wood to Dunsinane," his quest for the locations in Shakespeare's "Macbeth"; and the title piece, in which we are treated to the serious folk who are investigating the Loch Ness Monster.
An enjoyable book from start to finish, there is truly something for everyone here.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book that introduced me to John McPhee's work. I fell in love with his writing from the first essay and have not been disappointed since. When I was handed this book, I looked at the table of contents and thought to myself, "There's not a topic in here that I'm interested in." However, I trusted the friend who'd given it to me, so I started reading . . . and discovered a writer who seems capable of making anything interesting.

I've since read a great many other of McPhee's books, and all of them enchant me. He has the ability to discover what makes a topic interesting to those people who love it, and to bring it to readers in a way that they can discover and share the afficionado's pleasure; and he has a way with language that is delightful, at times lyrical.

"Pieces of the Frame" is a great place to start a journey that will broaden your horizons painlessly and entertainingly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
John McPhee is one of the very best non-fiction writers of the past century, and has the rare ability to find what is most interesting and compelling in even the most mundane subjects. Is there anyone else who could write an entire book about oranges that is a true page-turner?

Instead of digging in deeply to one subject, Pieces of the Frame offers shorter glimpses at several different subjects. Even working with a more constrained length, McPhee finds the most compelling angles of each subject, and the limitations actually benefit him at times, forcing him to focus on what is truly essential.

Not every piece is a winner - even the best ballplayers strike out - but McPhee's batting average is higher than just about anyone else's. Even the less successful pieces are enjoyable reads, and the best are masterpieces of long form journalism.

In an age of fewer and fewer outlets for high-quality long form journalism, "Pieces of the Frame" gives readers a taste of what a true master of the form can do.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John McPhee has been one of the best writers, a "literary journalist" who is capable of writing about just about any subject at all, from a book about the geology of the U. S. to descriptions of the "Beefeaters" in England and the making of Scotch whiskey. An excellent writer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A wonderful author. His prose is terrific! The ranges of subjects that McPhee is always astounding. I can only imagine the hours of research he puts in and then describes the topic with great, easy to read, simplicity.
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