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The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir's Greatest Adventures Paperback – March 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Yosemite Conservancy (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597140937
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597140935
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lee Stetson portrays America's foremost conservationist John Muir. His productions have been presented in Yosemite National Park since 1983 to more than a quarter of a million visitors. Stetson has also produced three audio CDs as John Muir, in addition to collecting Muir's adventures in print.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

I bought multiple copies of this book for my GT students to read.
Stacy Holland
This book makes a fabulous gift for kids as well...but you'll be reading it as much as they do!
Doc Sarvis
He infuses all of his tales with vivid descriptive words and a dose of humor.
Candace Scott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Doc Sarvis on September 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This absolutely wonderful volume distills some of John Muir's more memorable wilderness adventures into an absorbing, thrilling read. Lee Stetson, who for years has brought the spirit of John Muir alive to audiences in Yosemite and elsewhere, has assembled some of Muir's most hair-raising stories of mountain exploits into this single volume. Fiona King provides delightful illustrations that effectively compliment the narrative.
John Muir was many remarkable things: Explorer, adventurer, environmentalist, inventor, and much, much, more. This volume shows off two of his most prodigious talents: His literally stunning writing ability (as fresh and delightful today as it was when it was written a century ago) and his penchant for daredevil adventures. Muir's boundless, heartwarming enthusiam for the wilderness and all its wonders somtimes led him into truly precarious situations, which will both amaze and fascinate the reader. Of course he escaped them all with nary a scratch, as if guided by a divine hand, and went on to proselytize his message of conservation to a waiting world. Muir's entire life is the stuff of legend, these true-life stories transform it into a mythic adventure.
I purchased this book from Lee Stetson himself, at his performance in Yosemite Valley. See him there if you can, but if you can't, buy his book here. I guaranteee that Muir's words will never disappoint. This book makes a fabulous gift for kids as well...but you'll be reading it as much as they do!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on July 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a delightful book and will be enjoyed by adults as well as children. John Muir was a remarkable man and I was surprised that he was also a truly gifted writer. Muir writes in a fun, infectious style similar to Mark Twain. He infuses all of his tales with vivid descriptive words and a dose of humor. It's a pure joy to read and shows what an incredibly courageous, physically fit man he was. I decided to buy this book because for years I have hiked larged sections of the famous John Muir Trail in California. The scenic beauty is so overwhelming that it stimulated my interest in the man for whom the trail was named. All I knew was that Muir was a Scottish-born enviromentalist who had lost his sight and then miraculously regained it. But there is so much more to his story than this.
This book will fill you in on many of the adventures Muir experienced. It's amazing that he was able to forge trails and do the things he did in an era when convenience was unheard of. He mapped out the wilderness with nothing more than a compass, a hard set of leg muscles, basic clothing and no comforts. Muir didn't rely on sunglasses, sunscreen, maps, granola bars or cell phones, he was the "real deal" and my respect for him is endless. I can't recommend this book highly enough, it's a joy to read and to learn about this magnificent and underrated man.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Chelle on April 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
There is one, though certainly not the only, thing that sets Muir apart from other naturalist writers in my mind... adjectives. You will not find minimalist prose in any of the condensed tales found in this beautifully bound book. However, you will find wonderfully descriptive passages that engage the senses and provoke imagination. The Wild Muir is a great introduction to Muir's exploits and beyond that to the creative non-fiction field in general. This book will provide a wonderful escape for adults and children alike.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By aer on June 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This collection of Muir tales condenses his longer works - it was recognized with awards from the American Association of Museums and the National Park Service. This group of John Muir's most exciting adventures represent some of his finest writing. Each adventure shows the extent to which Muir courted and faced danger, living wildly throughout his life. From the famous avalanche ride off the rim of Yosemite Valley, to his night spent riding out a windstorm at the top of a tree, to death-defying falls on Alaskan glaciers, the renowned outdoorsman's exploits are related in passages that are by turns exhilarating, unnerving, dizzying and outrageous. Compiler Lee Stetson has carefully chosen episodes from every stage of Muir's life, prepared short introductions to place each in context, then arranged them chronologically so the reader can vicariously enjoy one man's life of adventure. The text is nicely complemented with striking black-and-white scratchboard drawings by Fiona King, a talented illustrator. The Wild Muir is the first book to assemble the best of John Muir's thrilling experiences in the out-of-doors that he loved so much. Muir enthusiasts, lovers of nature writing, friends of wilderness, and fans of adventure and outdoor lore will find the volume unique, enthralling and timeless.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Scamp Lumm on July 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
Lee Stetson, an actor who regularly has played Muir in Yosemite, compiled these 22 tales in this very readable, short book which I obtained in Tuolumne meadows visitor center in Yosemite National Forest. The Wild Muir has been on my Amazon wish list for a long time, so glad I bought my copy in the heart of Muir Territory, where one cannot escape some mention of his name in the many trails and areas he regularly trekked through. What a nice backyard, I constantly repeated to myself while hiking several days at Tuolumne! Every twist and turn of the trails revealed a new, pristine vista that the best panoramic camera could not capture. I felt like I needed a 360 degree camera to capture the beauty of this place, but I don't think anybody makes those these days! Muir expressed these same feelings when he writes: "Pursuing my lonely way down the valley, I turned again and again to gaze on the glorious picture, throwing up my arms to inclose it as in a frame. After long ages of growth in the darkness beneath the glaciers, through sunshine and storms, it seemed now to be ready and waiting for the elected artist, like yellow wheat for the reaper; and I could not help wishing that I were that artist. I had to be content, however, to take it into my soul."

It was here in Tuolumne and Yosemite that Muir would gather those who shared his desire to preserve this wilderness area like Theodore Roosevelt and others, and thankfully, they did just that. The waters still as clear as crystal, teeming still with trout.

Muir's "scootchers" began as a child in Dunbar, Scotland, his mountaineering prowess seemingly inbred, though his brother David, seems not to have shared the same level of fearfulness.
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