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Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide Paperback – June 18, 1997

30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

A search for the Pacific Northwest's fabled Bigfoot provides a jumping-off point for nature writer Robert Michael Pyle's lyrical ruminations on wilderness, isolation, and the occasional triumphs of mystery over so-called progress. Pyle's well-researched stomping ground is Washington State's Dark Divide in the Cascade Mountains--this rugged country of loggers and recreationists has been the scene for many sightings of the elusive man-beast. Pyle's route alternates between desolate clear-cuts and majestic ancient forests, between the inroads of civilization and the dark recesses of the wild. But never does the author get too caught up in proving anything to himself or the reader; this search for Bigfoot has as much to do with locating the wild nature within each of us as it does with finding a legend.

From Publishers Weekly

Pyle, eminent naturalist (The Thunder Tree), ecologist and expert on butterflies, conducted his search for Bigfoot or Sasquatch, the perhaps-mythical giant, hairy, apelike humanoid, by trekking across the mountains and plateaus of Washington and northern California. In this leisurely, gracefully written meditation, he talks with Northwest Coast Indians who describe their purported encounters with Bigfoot; attends a Sasquatch conference in British Columbia in 1994; hobnobs with Bigfoot hunters and retraces some of their sightings. Pyle found some 16" footprints and heard eerie whistles that tallied with Sasquatch sounds as described by Native Americans, but the evidence he presents is inconclusive. Nevertheless, this enlightening report will intrigue skeptics and believers alike. Reviewing the battle between those who advocate finding and killing a Bigfoot specimen and those who only condone live capture, Pyle sets forth a protocol designed to protect our giant hominoid relatives, if they exist. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; New edition edition (June 18, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395857015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395857014
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,229 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By no longer a customer on October 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are a "Bigfoot Believer", a "Cryptid Connoisseur", or looking for photographs of huge hominids emerging from UFO's with Greys looking on, this ain't your book. If you are a regular person who loves nature and is intrigued by a good tale of "What If", this IS your book and you'll love it. Pyle shares with us his love for the Northwest and his concerns for its future. Yes this is largely a symbolic book, with "Bigfoot" symbolizing all we love, and fear, of those far forest places dark and deep and why we are fascinated with them. There is also a tinge of sadness in the book; the ravages of thoughtless environmental damage, the childish quarrels of Bigfoot "Experts". But this is largely a love story, about one last Wild Place, and how such places Haunt our imaginations. You'll love this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 1996
Format: Hardcover
Where Bigfoot Walks
Crossing the Dark Divide
By Robert Michael Pyle
Houghton Mifflin Company, US$25.00
The thing with most books about Bigfoot, the North American counterpart of Yeti, is that they often reveal more about their authors' obsession with their illusive subject than the actual beast itself. Robert Michael Pyle's book Where Bigfoot Walks is an exception to this general rule because Mr. Pyle is not obsessed - he's fascinated. And as an ecologist his fascination takes in the whole landscape from boletus and ghost moth to the tantalizing possibility of a huge, hairy hominoid living in the forests of Western U.S. and Canada.
Mr. Pyle's report is written around accounts of his numerous treks into the Dark Divide a rare and beleaguered remnant of virgin forest in Washington State, U.S. Rich in Bigfoot mythology and sitings the Dark Divide could be one of the last redoubts of the mythical monster. It is certainly one of the last holdouts of old growth timber in the American Pacific Northwest most of which has succumbed the devastating efficiency of clearcut logging. It's from this setting that Pyle reflects on the myth of Bigfoot and the possibilities of a real flesh and blood beast. His often lyrical ruminations range from Bigfoot's implications for "forest management" - what if putative animal's existence is proven and old growth timber is its natural habitat? - to whether the land could biologically support a large reclusive ape. He even considers the ethical problems of how any "specimens" should be collected. All this is mixed with anecdotal accounts of sitings and portraits of the colorful and eccentric gang of Bigfoot aficionados - from charlatans to credible researchers - who in Pyle's words "don't want to find Bigfoot - they want to be Bigfoot.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By VampireCowboy VINE VOICE on October 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
Face it, if you are looking for a book "about" Bigfoot, it is necessarily going to be slim. With no definitive proof that Bigfoot exists - no data to analyze, no pictures, no fossils, no bodies - the basic gist of purportedly "scientific" Bigfoot books boils down to a lot of speculating about second hand information. Interesting perhaps, but never convincing. You either believe or you don't. (And to be clear, I am a believer.)

On the other hand, a book about what it is in man - and his relationship to wilderness - that gives rise to the Bigfoot legend is far more compelling. Where Bigfoot Walks is just such a book. Beautifully written and engaging, the book uses the search for Bigfoot as a metaphor to characterize the endless search for meaning that occurs inside our own souls. Rooted in the holiest of wilderness areas, the Gifford Pinchot (luckily for me a stone's throw from Portland), Mr. Pyle takes an amazing journey into the heart of nature and emerges with a lesson for us all: man simultaneously is sustained by and seeks to tame, the solitude and endless potentials inherent in wilderness.

That the author fails to offer definitive proof of Bigfoot is of little consequence. His book stands as a testament to the power of the journey, no matter what destination is sought. It is also a glorious ode to the natural world. Bigfoot believers and nonbelievers alike should read this book. It won't convince skeptics, but it will frame the quest, quite elegantly, in a language accessible to all.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By JoeLana on August 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
As somewhat of a skeptic, but still keeping an open mind, I enjoy topics such a `bigfoot' when they're written intelligently and with a base of reason. As for "Where Bigfoot Walks", I should've looked at other reviews of this book a bit more, but when Midwest book review stated things like "...fascinating study of Bigfoot legends and realities..." I gambled- and lost. For outdoor enthusiasts, this is a rich story of a man's travels through the wilderness. And I must hand it to Mr. Pyle, he really does write well. It almost seems as if he anticipated readers interested in bigfoot to get bored with it quickly, like when he goes on about hitching rides from Indians because he runs out of water- or something like that, but his timing is right and just as you're about to toss the book aside he throws in something interesting enough to get you to keep reading. In the end though, it's all rather anticlimactic, and not what I was looking for.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By on February 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
In this book you will take a trip through some of America's last unexplored wilderness. The Author takes you on his travels hiking thru the forested wilderness in Washington State in an honest attempt to seek out the animal Bigfoot. Along the way the Author stops to interview the big names in bigfoot research (thereby adding his own to this group). The text is a "good read" and the suspense is present as the Author narrates his own encounter with Sasquatch. That's towards the end of the book, but the entire journey is worth the read. The only bigfoot book that tops this in scientific inquiry is "Big-Footprints" by Grover Krantz. Nice work Pyle!
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