All of this is immensely engaging, mostly because Charlotte herself is such excellent if occasionally astringent company. But the book really catches fire when Charlotte herself gets lost in the woods. The diary continues through the harrowing days of wet, cold, hunger, hope, despair, and then her fantastic rescue by a band of semihuman giants of the deep woods. Introducing the Sasquatch legend into an otherwise scrupulously realistic historical novel might seem like a risky narrative ploy, but Gloss brilliantly pulls it off. Indeed, so deft is her fusing of the fantastic and the actual that by the end, the narrative transmogrifies once more into a profound and troubling meditation on wildness, nature, and human nature.
Wild Life brings to mind the works of Jean M. Auel, Marilynne Robinson, Ken Kesey (that dank Oregon setting of Sometimes a Great Notion), and more distantly Willa Cather--but the breadth and daring of Gloss's imagination really puts it in a class of its own. In a sense, unifying all of the many strands of this fictional tour de force is a fiercely candid portrait of the artist, an artist who in Charlotte's words fears "coming face-to-face with my Self on the printed page--it would chill me through to the heart," but who does it anyway. --David Laskin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I think I was expecting something like the other two books and had a hard time getting through this one.
The end result is a fragmented, confusing and incomplete story that takes too long to get off the ground, and then when it finally does, it's way too brief.
I found this book a great way to journey to the Lower 48's last wild era, the early 1900s Pacific Northwest.
Good book. I have read many of Molly Gloss' books and have enjoyed this, as I have the others.Published 1 month ago by Mary Beth Barker
I just can't believe that this is the same author who wrote the fine books, "Jump off Creek" and "The Hearts of Horses. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sharon Snyder
A poignant study of human identity: personally, socially and naturally. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Read morePublished on December 5, 2012 by Iain Mavro Coggins
Having read all of Molly Gloss's previous books, I was eager for this to arrive. However, I found it bitterly disappointing. Read morePublished on October 30, 2012 by Marguerite Arnold
I was interested in the premise of this book; very much so. Charlotte Bridger Drummond, a cigar-smoking, trouser-wearing writer living in Washington state, writes popular adventure... Read morePublished on July 4, 2012 by Black Plum
Molly Gloss is a master of the language. Her setting in Skamokawa and environs is unique, along with the tale she spins. Have to put the book down to get back to reality.Published on April 6, 2011 by Maggie
AFter reading "The Hearts of Horses" and "The Jump-Off Creek I was disappointed in "Wild Life". I think I was expecting something like the other two books and had a hard time... Read morePublished on March 28, 2011 by Janice Stimpson