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Sky Time in Gray's River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place Hardcover – January 11, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gray's River, one of the earliest settled communities near the mouth of rural Washington's Columbia River, remains a relatively isolated place, connected to the rest of the state by just one narrow highway. Pyle (author of 14 books, including Chasing Monarchs and Where Bigfoot Walks) has lived there for almost 30 years, gradually fitting into the self-reliant community. There, villagers recently rallied, unsuccessfully, to save the local post office, located for decades on an elderly resident's enclosed front porch, and still take pleasure in phone service provided by a local company founded in 1927 and now run by the first owner's son. This luxuriant account of an ordinary year among the flora, fauna and folks of the countryside—where the author's daily walk to the compost heap "is the closest thing I know to sacrament"—focuses as much on bats, butterflies and the pleasure of fresh berries as it does on people. His pensive account of the role the Grange (once a radical farmer's movement, dating back to 1867) continues to play in village affairs includes a nugget of celebrity reporting: Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic is a stalwart member of the association. (Jan. 11)
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Review

Pyle has the ability to find wonder in the mundane and beauty in the unpretentious. Library Journal

[A] luxuriant account of an ordinary year among the flora, fauna, and folks of the countryside Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (January 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039582821X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395828212
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ROBERT MICHAEL PYLE is the author of fourteen books, including Chasing Monarchs, Where Bigfoot Walks, and Wintergreen, which won the John Burroughs Medal. A Yale-trained ecologist and a Guggenheim fellow, he is a full-time writer living in southwestern Washington.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Panayoti Kelaidis on December 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is the perfect antidote to the frenetic pace of urban life. Reading this book, I felt could practically see the mossy limbs of the ancient Bigleaf maples and every butterfly and bird and wildflower of that magical place seems to have been transplanted into the pages of this wonderful book. I am sure that many of us will now welcome bats into our bedrooms as the Pyles seem to: who but Bob, however, would not only tenderly give water to the dehydrated bat, but gently coax it back to vigor by enticing it with gnats and gradually larger insects, describing its increasing vitality by the very cadences of his deathless prose? Each book by Pyle is so different and precious, but this kaleidoscopic journey through the calendar year in a mossy corner of America channels not only the precision of Thoreau by the elegaic muse of John Muir, and yet is quintessentially Pyle! Buy it! Read and treasure this contemporary masterpiece. What on earth does this amazing writer still have in store for us?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Janna Lee on December 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Of all Mr. Pyle's books this one is the most lyrical and delicious. Just read a page before you go to sleep and you will dream of lush forest and lovely creatures on land and in the sky. Every sentence is filled with wonderful images of nature. It would make a nature lover out of any reader.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joe Beelart. on January 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I first heard RMP read at an outdoor conference in the late 1990s. Late that evening some of us shared single malt with him around a small table in a little trailer. I was hooked.

First I read his Sasquatch book, which is not about sasquatch, except for a little bit. Then there is his beautiful western butterfly book, a book to be studied and treasured. It opened my eyes to much I had never seen in my many years of wandering the hills.

Enough; this volume is near poetry.

But in it, you will find RMP a bit whimsically professorial. For instance when RMP walks through thistles in his shorts, he remarks on itchy scratches.

Incidently, Gray's River is in SW Washington across the Columbia River northeast of Astoria, Oregon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By UncleBob on December 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
is a great author. His books ebb and flow and carry you along with his tide. A great read and an introduction to his wonderful life near the mouth of the Columbia.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Zach Jorgenson on August 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
An imapssioned life, observing and enjoying all around him. A great read for those interested in people and nature, the interconnected web of a rural world. We can all learn something from this book. Thanks Bob!
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