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Soul of Nowhere Paperback – October 14, 2003
Scientific Teaching Series
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Top Customer Reviews
So what happened this time? Craig finds and reveals to his readers what it is that he searches for out there in the desert wilderness. Maybe I didn't like so much introspection. I know more about his friends and their private lives than I want to know. And (I don't want to sound prudish...everything has its place) I really don't want to know the color of his wife Regan Choi's various body parts.
That said, I must also say that I think it would be impossible to read anything by this author that does not inspire and impress. He is a gifted, very gifted, writer. And he is a crazy-man explorer of the wild places that are left in this world.
When I finished, I felt a little disappointed. Yes, there are some harrowing tales but there is also a little too much new-age prose and speculation for my taste. And I agree with the reviewer who complained of too much personal information.
Still, Soul of Nowhere is overall an enjoyable read. My favorite chapters are Passage, Labrynth, and Island. It is in these three chapters that Childs' storytelling comes alive. Emotion leaps off the page, the reader feels at one with the narrator as he traverses this wild and dangerous country. Since I have hiked in some of this same country, albeit on marked trails, I could very nearly feel the trembling fear Childs felt when he lost momentum climbing the sandstone arch or when the rock crumbled beneath his boots as he decended the old Anasazi passage into the Grand Canyon, or when he found himself nearly lost in a thicket of cactus in the searing mid-day heat as his every avenue of escape seemed blocked.
Childs has a definite talent for painting a life-like picture with his words, but he also has a talent for obscuring that picture with a lot of pseudo-intellectual mumbo-jumbo that gives the reader the impression that he is just trying too hard to write a "serious" book.
Despite those drawbacks, Childs' otherworldly escapades are like a magnet to the adventurous spirit. I look forward to reading more of his work because he sure does seem to have an interesting lifestyle.
The first book focused on his adventures looking for water sources in deserts of the southwest. In this book, the focus is more on finding archaeological relics in the deep desert. In some cases it's ruins, in others jars or petroglyphs. One can sense his desire to find evidence of and connect with long vanished people of the desert.
I thought the inclusion of the other people was interesting. It places Childs in a social context - we encounter others who share his passion, and they're memorable characters. Other reviewers have said that Childs shares way too much here - it may not be to their taste, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. In any event, he shares some fascinating stories with us. I will definitely be reading more of his books.