Crossing open ground

by Barry Holstun Lopez

Paperback, 1989





New York : Vintage Books, 1989.


National Book Award-winning author Barry Lopez explores the challenges and joys of the human experience through the frame of the natural world in fourteen arresting and extraordinary essays In Crossing Open Ground, award-winning literary writer Barry Lopez offers prescient, beautiful, and thought-provoking reflections on how the natural world can define and illuminate our sense of self. Whether he's traversing the Arctic tundra or the deserts of the American Southwest, recalling the devastating beaching of forty-one sperm whales along the Oregon coast or reveling in the remarkable migrations of wild geese, Lopez shows readers the world's special places, its remarkable people, and stunning natural events. He thoughtfully explores humankind's place in this vast natural scheme, and opens our eyes to its breathtaking complexity.   This ebook features an illustrated biography of Barry Lopez including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author's personal collection.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Very mixed bag of essays. Some were ivory-tower-on-dope pretentious, some were honest and fresh (I liked the one where he interviewed rodeo cowboys). Some folks would no doubt love it. I kinda skipped a couple when I felt like it was bogging down.
LibraryThing member co_coyote
The finest book of essays and beautiful writing I have ever read. Lopez is a master of evoking a sense of geography and place. These essays about the Arctic are best read after a hot shower and working all day on the ice in minus 20 degree weather. I had the privilege of seeing some of the things
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he writes about, but I felt as if I had known them already, just from the writing.
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LibraryThing member bas615
A fun and accessible book of essays that are enlightening and thought-provoking. I have been stuck in a city for too long and this book brought me back home to the open spaces I have been longing for. Lopez's writing is poetic and informative. His exploration of the marshlands that have been so
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diminished is tragic and moving. He touches on so much here and each part is done in a tasteful and subtle way. There is perhaps a lack of cohesion between these essays but every part is individually worthwhile. The natural world needs more spokesmen (and women) like Barry Lopez.
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LibraryThing member ElOsoBlanco
There's such a diverse amount of content, and I dig that! While some chapters were a little dry, others really made me think. Lopez writes beautifully throughout, and I enjoyed my time with this book.
LibraryThing member LovingLit
Barry Lopez is a nature writer, who writes passionately and beautifully about the world around him. This is a collection of his essays written between 1978 and 1986, and one which I devoured, reading til well past my bedtime.

It makes for lovely reading. This was a book that I carried around the
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house with me on the off chance I could grab a second here or there to read it. The man's gift for words is obvious, and his passion and advocacy for wildlife and wild environs is admirable. He makes a great philosophical case for preserving tracts of wild space for their sakes alone, and that it is only once they are lost that we as humans will feel what their loss really means.
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LibraryThing member m.belljackson
Because Barry Lopez is a good and evocative writer, I keep waiting for a book without animal cruelty.

This time he was the self appointed killer of seals, pretending that he just doesn't enjoy killing animals.
This time for "science," not for the ever numbing joy of hunting.

He never explains this
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allegedly primal urge to stalk and murder and the hideousness of an animal dying in a trap.

Well, it always gives him something exciting to write about, like the totally hopeless whale story.

THE STONE HORSE begs for the aerial map...a splendid tale.

GEESE needs the original photographs...opening our eyes to a new world.

The book reads like an unconnected novel, keeping readers alert for the next adventure,
which many of us which included ENLIGHTENMENT about the horrors of trapping, if not of hunting
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LibraryThing member b.masonjudy
After reading Arctic Dreams I wanted more of Barry, and I got it! Crossing Open Ground is a wonderful collection of essays that presents a real range of nonfiction writing going from more traditional long-form journalism, "A Presentation of Whales" and "A Reflection on White Geese," to a threaded
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collection of interviews, "The Bull Rider," to a more traditional essay, "The Passing Wisdom of Birds." Ultimately López maintains a consistent voice, one that is insightful, pensive, and deeply motivated by justice. While any collection can be a bit uneven there are some real gems in here for anyone interested in reading about our relationship to landscape, place, and that relationship within the context of narrative.
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LibraryThing member stravinsky
this guy has soil.

("soul" autocorrected to "soil" and that seems appropriate)


Oregon Book Awards (Finalist — Nonfiction — 1988)



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