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The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest (Vintage Departures) Paperback – December 3, 1991


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The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest (Vintage Departures) + Lasso the Wind: Away to the New West + The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (December 3, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679734856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679734857
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Egan succeeds in capturing the richness and beauty of the Pacific Northwest (and it's possibly imminent destruction) with rich description, appropriately chosen and reported interviews, and visits to exactly the places I would have chosen for such a book. From manicured gardens in essentially English Vancouver, B.C., to Indian reservations in western Washington, to the proud rural communities in eastern Washington, and visits to the precipitous peaks and brooding volcanos of the Cascade Mountains, Egan captures the presences and peoples of this region more effectively than most any other book I have encountered. Highly Recommended. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The Pacific Northwest, with its giant trees, fascinating coastline, mighty Columbia River, and not-always-dormant volcanoes, has inspired a number of personal narratives. In this book, reminiscent of Ivan Doig's Winter Brothers ( LJ 10/15/80), New York Times reporter Egan interweaves personal experiences and conversations with observations of nature and historical information. He travels through Washington, Oregon, and southern Vancouver, following the route taken by an earlier traveler, Theodore Winthrop, 150 years ago. A conservationist ethic pervades the book; Egan discusses major problems such as the cutting of the forests. A nicely done narrative for the general reader.
- Joseph Hannibal, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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More About the Author

TIMOTHY EGAN is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the author of seven books, most recently Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, named Best of the Month by Amazon.com. His book on the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time, won a National Book Award for nonfiction and was named a New York Times Editors' Choice, a New York Times Notable Book, a Washington State Book Award winner, and a Book Sense Book of the Year Honor Book. He writes a weekly column, "Opinionator," for the New York Times.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#91 in Books > History
#91 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

Nevertheless, this book is well worth reading.
Edward Bosnar
Timothy Egan is the N.Y. Times' former Pacific Northwest correspondent stationed in Seattle and he writes with love and insight about the region.
Stephen Kadel
Mr Egan's style of writing is vivid and beautiful, without being overly wordy.
Linda J. Patrick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Edward Bosnar on November 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is not a history of the Pacific Northwest, nor even a comprehensive contemporary profile of this region. It is one man's often very personal view of his home, the place where he grew up, and the political, social and economic issues that underlie everyday life there. Egan makes no attempt at cold objectivity; he is writing about something he loves, and this comes through in the text. He also makes abundantly clear what he doesn't like. Thus, this book is controversial and thought-provoking. Although "The Good Rain" is ostensibly about the Pacific Northwest, an area that at its widest extent includes Washington, Oregon, most of British Columbia in Canada and even the northern parts of California, Egan focuses mostly on parts of Washington, which is good, because this is what he knows best (even though the chapter on the Siskiyou forests of Oregon is very well written and informative). The book is well organized, and Egan selected the main topics for his chapters well; they cover the principal socio-economic and political concerns of the region: timber and loggers, salmon, fruit-growing, urban development, the local Native Americans, the Columbia River, etc. He also did a good deal of research on the region's history upon settlement (or conquest) by the Americans and the British, and his writing makes these often dry facts come to life. Probably the main theme of Egan's argument here is that as the Pacific Northwest makes its transition into a vital part of the Pacific Rim, it needs to discard the central resource extraction element of its economy which marked its early years of development (after the Indians were pushed aside).Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of essays by Seattle native and New York Times journalist Timothy Egan is stuffed to the gills with facts about the wildlife, water and land in and around the Pacific Northwest. Each chapter begins with a map of the area under consideration, categorized by region and topic, including: a reclusive mountaineer's conquests in the Cascade Range, local volcanos, the wild waters around "We Ain't Quaint" Astoria, the history of Seattle, apple harvesting in the Yakima Valley, the Native American Puyallups, and logging in the Siskiyous of southwestern Oregon. Although with a preachy style that would make Rachel Carlson proud, Egan is a fantastic storyteller with the ability to meld anecdotes, facts and opinion in such a way that every chapter is absolutely engaging. The Good Rain contains an abundance of information about all things environmental, and is at least as useful and relevant today as it was in 1990 when it was first published. Of his three works of nonfiction, (the others being Breaking Blue, and the National Book Award winning Lasso the Wind), this is the best.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Timothy Egan writes with the flair of a novelist, but with the insight and detail of a journalist. His "Good Rain" is the finest look at my home corner of the country that I have ever read. I actually put down a John McPhee book to read this one!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E. Martin on September 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm now a confirmed Timothy Egan fan. What a wonderful book! (And thoughtful, evocative writer.) He so skillfully brings together the multiple strands of this book -- human, natural, written, and personal histories -- that you feel physically drawn into the events and locations he describes. This is not a book just for lovers of the Pacific Northwest; anyone who is interested in people, politics, history, nature, or travel will be held captive by Egan's words. As someone born and raised in the Northwest (Pacific and Inland), I was astounded by his insight. Once again, he delves deep into the heart of our communal history to bring up forgotten (or unnoticed) truths.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By alexscully@aol.com on November 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
One of the best books I've read. I've lived in the Northwest all my life, but learned more about the region from this one book than from any other source. The book looks at how the Northwest has changed and how we have changed it over the last 150 years. Egan looks at specific places when telling his history like Crater Lake, Olympic National Forest, etc. I was surprised by how the changes in the natural history held my interest as well as the human history. This book led me to take a trip to the beautiful Olympic National Park in Washington and has led to my interest in Jon Krakauer's books. I can't wait to read Egan's new book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Linda J. Patrick on April 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is so richly textured, I read it in small sections, so I could savor the paragraphs a little at a time. Mr Egan's style of writing is vivid and beautiful, without being overly wordy. A lot of the history in this book, I already knew, but discovered anew; and some I did not know, and am thrilled to learn. My grandparents were immigrants to Seattle in 1906 from Poland, and I feel such a sense of belonging here, that it is wonderful to view the Northwest with someone else's eyes. I count myself as a fan of Mr Egan. I am recommending this book to many friends and family, as it was recommended to me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By 30knotwind on March 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book helped me make it through career moves to Boston and San Francisco. I would read it and feel impassioned about my homeland. It is a book for anyone who LOVES the PNW. Don't be surprised if it makes your eyes water! However, it is not for everyone, people without a passion for the PNW or those who do not espouse the importance of the environment will be disappointed.
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