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The Woods [Kindle Edition]

Ronald Geigle
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $13.00 (77%)

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Book Description

Blasting railways into the side of mountains, scaling Douglas firs that tower 200 feet. These are the visions that draw 18-year old Albert Weissler to a job with the Skybillings Logging Company in the high mountains of Washington State in 1937. But a train crash on a mountainside that kills a friend, and Albert’s discovery that it was sabotage, quickly dash boyhood dreams and launch a saga of love, grand dreams, and transformation in the turbulent world of big-timber logging and labor unrest in late-1930s America.

This is The Woods, part coming of age story, part historical novel. It is the story of Albert learning to survive in a dangerous and unforgiving environment; Albert’s mother, Lydia, struggling to restart her life after Albert’s father is killed in the woods; WWI veteran and Skybillings owner, Bud Cole, trying to rebuild his dream after the market crash destroyed him; and savvy firebrand Clare Ristall campaigning to win a political election, build a new union—and win Lydia's love.

The Woods is a beautiful panorama of lives and dreams during one of the most defining moments of American history, as have’s and have-not’s, the powerful and the ordinary, struggle to survive in the wake of economic upheaval. This is a book that paints the inner complexities and nuances of its characters as beautifully as it portrays the raw splendor of the Northwest’s ice-topped peaks and unrelenting, natural power of the woods themselves.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus Reviews, February 2014:

Geigle brings to life the logging industry in the late 1930s in his historical fiction debut. 

Geigle's sweeping novel opens with a dramatic train derailment, which may have resulted from sabotage. Set against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest logging industry, the epic narrative goes on to follow a large cast of characters devastated by the Great Depression, including Bud, the owner of the Skybillings Logging Company; Albert, a young worker; Clare, a union boss; and Lydia, Albert's mother and Clare's love interest. Bud tries to keep his company from going under by taking out loans to build a railroad trestle that would enable his men to work in a dangerous, remote area. Clare, a man of wealth and a champion for the poor, may not be whom he appears to be. Albert, whose late father co-owned Skybillings, searches for his place in the world as he tries to understand his fellow workers and the political games of the unions. Also in play is a larger story--at times hard to follow--of real historical events such as the disputes between the CIO and AFL labor unions.... Geigle handles his main characters well, ...giving each an interesting background and inner life. Standout moments come in the form of the daily struggles and comradeship of Albert and his co-workers, who talk--often in rough language appropriate to their work--of God, life and women. In the dangerous business of logging, these men must trust each other to stay alive. The novel captures the voice and character of each, yet brings together all the plot elements to create a suspenseful conclusion played out dramatically on a railroad trestle where people's true colors emerge and not everyone makes it out alive.

From the Back Cover

Everything is broken. The foundations of society have been split wide open by the Great Depression. Yet the people and their dreams persevere.

Blasting railways into the side of mountains, scaling Douglas firs that tower 200 feet. These visions draw 18-year-old Albert Weissler to a job with the Skybillings Logging Company in the high mountains of Washington State. But a train crash on a mountainside that kills a friend, and Albert's discovery that it was sabotage, quickly dash boyhood dreams and launch a saga of love, grand dreams, and transformation in the turbulent world of big-timber logging and labor unrest in late-1930s America.

This is The Woods, part coming of age story, part historical novel. It is the story of Albert learning to survive in a dangerous and unforgiving environment; Albert's mother, Lydia, struggling to restart her life after Albert's father is killed in the woods; WWI veteran and Skybillings owner, Bud Cole, trying to rebuild his dream after the market crash destroyed him; and savvy firebrand Clare Ristall campaigning to win a political election, build a new union - and win Lydia's love.

The Woods is a beautiful panorama of lives and dreams during one of the most defining moments of American history, as have's and have-not's, the powerful and the ordinary, struggle to survive in the wake of economic upheaval. This is a book that paints the inner complexities and nuances of its characters as beautifully as it portrays the raw splendor of the Northwest's ice-topped peaks and unrelenting natural power of the woods themselves.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1181 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0991271319
  • Publisher: Polidais LLC (January 7, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H59NIHQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,591 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The Woods, is an amazing book - a sweeping examination of an era, an industry, and the political forces that swirled around both. But more than that, it is story of emotions and relationships that are timeless.

I describe Geigle, the author of, The Woods, as a landscape artist of the word. His descriptions are so finely layered and crafted, whole pages flew through my mind as if I was watching a movie. If I close my eyes now, I can see the trestle bridge that spanned the Three Sisters Ridge, high up in the Cascade Mountains, the depression era streets of the town of Seakomish, the remote Skybillings Logging Camp, the Shay locomotive chugging along, loaded with huge logs, the shantytown - Hooverville - on Seattle's waterfront.

This review would be remiss if it didn't highlight a few snippets of Geigle's descriptive voice. In every case it is the juxtaposition of images that is so riveting. The horizon swam from its blackness to a murky grey; St. Bride hitched up his pants over a melon belly; he scrambled easily over the matchbox chaos of fallen firs; the feathery blue water of Puget Sound; most people wrote him off as another meaty logger, uneducated and coarse; describing the city of Everett - a small, ugly fighter, never standing a chance in the fight; describing the Seakomish River - the white-water anger at the upper elevations churned clouds of pine needles; ravines so steep winter leaves only on the summer wind; an image of the loggers at work - stripped to their waists, the steam rose from their shoulders as the sharp curls of red, oily wood sprung outward from the ends of their saws, like spools of confetti in New York ticker-tape parades; and finally, Lummi Island - rising like a humpback whale out of the water.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable historic novel September 18, 2014
Format:Paperback
Details details details!!! This guy is a tried and true writer and it shows. The story is set during such a tumultuous time of US history, both in an economic and political way and the author captured the time period perfectly in my opinion. His writing style is very detailed (as I already noted) and descriptive, making me want to go back out west to visit again and soak in the landscape and beauty. He writes in a way that you easily hear the voices of the characters and feel their emotions in the moment. In that respect, it was a very easy read because it was a well put together story that flowed just right. Transitions were natural. Dialogue was realistic and not contrived. And I personally am fascinated by this time period - so it was a joy for me to read.

If you enjoy political or historical novels, I highly recommend picking up this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really a wonderful historical fiction. July 14, 2014
By Lynelle
Format:Kindle Edition
I received the book from the touring host for an honest review.

I must admit, after reading two or three chapters of this book I had to serve the net, looking for pictures of Seakomish Valley, I was not disappointed. The author gave an actual account of this beautiful place. As a hiker, I would have loved to walk the hills, finding it fascinating at every turn, enjoying the towering trees the author recounted in his book with deliberate strokes of his color pallet of words that really puts you inside the Fir woods. You can smell the sawdust, and oil, the sweat of the laboring men, and even feel the rain as it pelts down on you, soaking you to the bone, and eyeing the view that he so frequently describes. It was such a realistic description of the Valley that you really feel that you know the place.

The characters in the books feels like acquaintances, as if you will walk down the road and meet them as old friends. The book is filled with so many interesting personas that made them life-like and believable. You get a real sense of the hard times the people faced, the conditions they lived in but also the care and love that was still there. The hope that kept them moving forward.

The book was written right after the Great Depression of the 1930's. Work was scarce, money even scarcer and people's need to be heard demanded attention from the Empires that still excited.
Failure was not an option, not for men like Bud Cole. His willingness to fight with all his might, to use the resources to his disposal, still believing in the goodness of men; really stood out the most.
The young eighteen year old that just started in life, Albert Weissler who is working hard in the company his father once owned.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful historical story! July 10, 2014
Format:Paperback
Ron Geigle’s experience growing up in the Pacific Northwest shines through in his eloquent writing of Washington, both the rural and urban areas. I appreciate how easily he captures the beauty of the land in his story.

The Woods is a historical fiction novel rich with interesting and believable characters. It’s set in the 30s during a time of unrest with loggers and unions, including the not-so hidden political pulls as well.

A tragic accident on the logging site has the Skybillings crew uneasy about it’s future. The deaths of three men shake up the blue and white-collar men involved in the small logging company. One of the young loggers, Albert, unknowingly begins to unravel a mystery.

This is a deep and exciting story about a piece of American history. It’s well written and researched. I highly recommend The Woods for fiction lovers, especially those who lean towards the historical side.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical fiction
I love historical fiction, and having grown up in a lumber family in the Pacific Northwest, this was particularly interesting to me. Very well written.
Published 6 months ago by M. L. Cisar
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book
Set in the late 1930′s, in the Cascades Mountains area of the state of Washington, centered around the city of Everett, you just know logging is goingb to enter into the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tom Phoghat Sobieski
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the Woods We Go
Laws a-mercy! what a beautiful book! I really LOVED this book!

It is set in the late 1930's, in the Cascades Mountains area of the state of Washington, centered around... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Marti Freedman
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good novel captures the time and place well.
This very good novel tells the story of a small logging operation -- show -- in the North Cascades in 1937 and its place in the fictional town of Seakomish. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Steve Michel
5.0 out of 5 stars History comes alive
History made vivid, suspenseful to the very end, and wonderfully believable character development. Felt like I was right there in the midst of the drama. Read more
Published 10 months ago by France
5.0 out of 5 stars Took me back to how some of my family lived and worked in that area.
I read it and it and didn't want to put it down. I also related to a lot of it from family stories. It was very well written. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Loni Fischer Mooers
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely compelling dramatic work WITH excellent historical facts
THE WOODS was first and foremost a compelling read and in addition has intriguing and well-researched history and context. Read more
Published 11 months ago by jfri
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting look into the Northwest Woods
Living in the Northwest and logging for a very few years, it was interesting to read how the rail lines
were used in the early years. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Ronald Lee Geigle grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He attended the University of Washington, then headed for Washington, DC, where he has spent the past thirty years as a speechwriter, congressional aide, and public relations consultant. He worked for Washington State Senator Warren Magnuson and US Representative Norm Dicks, and founded the public relations firm Polidais.

"You learn a lot about people over that many years," says Geigle. "And you learn a lot about politics. It is always a surprise to me--despite all these years in DC--what those two do to each other."

Geigle makes politics a central part of his novel, The Woods, which tells a coming-of-age story set during a period of significant labor unrest in the Pacific Northwest during the late 1930s. As the nation emerges from the Great Depression, both haves and have-nots struggle for financial survival and, more importantly, to achieve their dreams in the face of adversity, danger, and political ambition.


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