Sunday, June 26, 2022

The High Sierra: A Love Story

The High Sierra contains memoirs and ruminations on life, philosophy, wilderness, and how access to physical exercise outdoors can benefit humanity written by Kim Stanley Robinson. Released 10th May 2022 by Hachette on their Little Brown & co. imprint, it's 560 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback due out in 2024. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

The author is a gifted and renowned craftsman and, as a good friend said, "I'd willingly listen to him read his grocery list". This is certainly a departure; it's not fiction, it's more of a ruminative recollection of a life spent outdoors in a place which he loves deeply, it's not written as a cohesive linear experience, he hops around, and it varies wildly in pace and style from travelogue to non-fiction/science. It is eminently readable and enjoyable however. 

There are pictures included in the print version of the book. On the other hand, the unabridged audiobook version has a run time of 16 hours and 30 minutes and is read by the author himself. He has a warm and gravelly baritone voice which is by turns lulling and full of conviction, meaning, and passion for the Sierras and spectacular nature. Sound and production quality were high throughout.

Five stars for both the print and audio formats. I personally think the additional materials in the print version make me lean toward that format as a preference, but he does a good job with narration. Highly recommended for public or school library acquisition, for fans of the author's oeuvre, and for nonfiction/natural history/travel readers.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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