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The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir's Greatest Adventures Paperback – March 12, 2013
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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!
Even so, after receiving my third copy, I sat down and read the whole thing through in a sitting, and thoroughly enjoyed it. As the prologue dictates, this book is an entertaining series of vignettes in the life of John Muir that gives the reader a little more insight into the man and the broad mythology surrounding him. Whether it was stumbling about like a drunkard in an earthquake, 'riding' the trees in the wind, or descending a mountain on an avalanche, Muir had no shortage of incredible adventures that he was relentless in chronicling.
This novel is a concise and very readable collection of some of Muir's best adventures; with helpful forewords by Lee Stetson to give context to each entry. While this doesn't tell the entire story of John Muir, this brief anthology gives the reader a delightful sense of how adventurous and brazen the man was, and leaves them wanting more.
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.