Fire Season : Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout Paperback
'I've watched deer and elk frolic in the meadow below me, and pine trees explode in a blue ball of smoke.
If there's a better job anywhere on the planet, I'd like to know what it is.' For nearly a decade, Philip Connors has spent half of each year in a small room at the top of a tower, on top of a mountain, alone in millions of acres of remote American wilderness.
His job: to look for wildfires. Capturing the wonder and grandeur of this most unusual job and place, Fire Season evokes both the eerie pleasure of solitude and the majesty, might and beauty of untamed fire at its wildest.
Connors' time up on the peak is filled with drama - there are fires large and small; spectacular midnight lightning storms and silent mornings awakening above the clouds; surprise encounters with smokejumpers, black bears, and an abandoned, dying fawn.
Filled with Connors' heartfelt reflections on our place in the wild, Fire Season is an instant modern classic: a remarkable memoir that is at once an homage to the beauty of nature, the blessings of solitude, and the freedom of the independent spirit. Advance praise for Fire Season: 'A masterwork of close observation, deep reflection, and hard-won wisdom ...an unforgettable reckoning with the American land' Philip Gourevitch 'His adventures in radical solitude make for profoundly absorbing, restorative reading' Walter Kirn
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date: 29/03/2012
- Category: Memoirs
- ISBN: 9781447208143
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Review by clfisha
Sublime musings from a fire look out.<i> 'I've seen lunar eclipses and desert sandstorms and lightning that made my hair stand on end. I've watched deer and elk frolic in the meadow below me, and pine trees explode in a blue ball of smoke. If there's a better job anywhere on the planet, I'd like to know what it is.’ </i>Philip Conor is fire lookout in USA's Gila National Forest, 5 months of the year he spends his days, miles from civilisation looking for wisps of smoke. It’s a stunning piece of nature writing; blending an engaging memoir, fascinating histories, wry musings on solitude, evocative descriptions of the wild and passionate pleas of conservation. His enthusiasm and literary flights are always grounded in irony, humour and robust facts.<i>'For most people I know, this little room would be a prison cell or a catafalque. My movements, admittedly, are limited. I can lie on the cot, sit on the stool, pace five paces before I must turn on my heel and retrace my steps. I can, if I choose, read, type, stretch, or sleep. I can study once again the contours of the mountains, the sensuous shapes of the mesas’ edges, the intricate drainages fingering out of the hills.' </i>A beautiful, bittersweet eulogy to a life he loves. Perhaps not for those who dislike a gentle pace, intolerant of a tiny amount of repetition (how bad fire repression is) and the odd, uneasy digression. It is on the whole is almost perfect. Highly Recommended.