Category Archives: The West

Review of Jack E. Davis’s “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea” in the Dallas Morning News

So last Sunday my review of Jack E. Davis’s The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea appeared in the Dallas Morning News, and can be found here. It’s a terrific book about the Gulf of Mexico, on the shores … Continue reading

Posted in Birding, Climate Change, The West, books | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Captain Fantastic”: Matt Ross’s Ode to Life Off the Grid

So I caught the indie-hit Captain Fantastic (2016) recently, and after my post not long ago about adventure stories gone wrong, this is a paean to adventure as a lifestyle choice. It’s also something of a genre mixer: adventure tale … Continue reading

Posted in Good TV, The West, books/film | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“The Sailor’s Gift”: Short Essay in the Dallas Morning News

So as I noted in my previous post (The Goodwill Genius: On Discovering Vladimir Nabokov’s Bend Sinister) I actually wrote the “wrong” essay for my editor at the Dallas Morning News, remembering it only to be about a book that … Continue reading

Posted in The West, Uncategorized, books/film | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Adventures Gone Wrong: Stephane Gerson’s “Disaster Falls” and Jason Kersten’s “Journal of the Dead”

So I stumbled upon a book that touches close to home for me, as a naturalist who drags his young daughter with him to various outdoor locales seething with both beauty and danger, filled with the confidence and aplomb that … Continue reading

Posted in Bears, The West, Uncategorized, books | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On HBO’s Westworld: Where Humans Go for Fun, Known to the Hosts as Hell

So out of pity for my poor blog that never gets attention, I’ll download myself out of the iCloud in which I reside to report that I’m jazzed about the new HBO series Westworld. For one thing it takes me … Continue reading

Posted in Horror Films, The West, books/film | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

On Ian McGuire’s “The North Water”: a Revisionist “Moby Dick,” With Echoes of “Blood Meridian” and “The Revenant”

So last week I had the gripping-if-ghastly reading experience of zooming through Ian McGuire’s new novel, The North Water. I’ll try to be circumspect in my comments here so as not to spoil the reading “fun” for others, as I … Continue reading

Posted in Cormac McCarthy, The West, books/film | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

On T.J. Stiles’s “Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America”: a Pulitzer That Deserves It

So I’ve been a fan of both (the celebrated myth of) George Armstrong Custer and the excellent historian/biographer T.J. Stiles for many years, and when these two worlds collided, it’s not surprising that I read Custer’s Trials: A Life on … Continue reading

Posted in The West, books, books/film | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monsters Within & Without the Bunker: On “10 Cloverfield Lane,” Which High-Fives “The Revenant,” With a Nod to the Original “Cloverfield”

So I was amused by the original Cloverfield (2008), with its cool poster of the Statue of Liberty and tagline: Some Thing Has Found Us. It’s no great film or anything—kind of a Heineken ad spliced with (the film version … Continue reading

Posted in Bears, Film, Horror Films, The West, books/film | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

They Eat Horses, Don’t They? “The Revenant” v. “Backcountry”: A Tale of Two Bears, With Nods to Peter Stark’s “Astoria” and David Roberts’s “A Newer World”

So I’ve been getting caught up on some of the Oscar-bait for this year, as in watching Matt Damon’s improbable space rescue in The Martian, and seeing The Revenant in a local theater, where I laughed and made too many … Continue reading

Posted in Bears, Cormac McCarthy, The West, books/film | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Year Without a Winter: Two Centuries Later, a Climate Switcheroo

So some years back I read a good book titled The Year Without a Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History (2013), by William and Nicholas Klingaman (that name makes you wonder: or are they … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Politics, The West | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment