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Book Zoo

Come on in and talk about our favorite books in the Book Zoo!

Members: 7
Latest Activity: Jan 17

Edward Abbey - "Desert Solitare"

I've read everything Edward Abbey published. Feel like I know him. Thanks to the Web, I just watched this video and heard his voice for the first time today.

Writing is like magic. Words can take you places only your mind can reach. Edward Abbey went from nature lover to eco-warrior in the zigzags his life took. You can feel his love of nature and all it gave him in his early works. You can feel his pain in his later works, like the Monkey Wrench Gang.

Something special, something that shook me rang true throughout his writing. You get a sense of Abbey in this video. The best thing you can do to get to know him is start at the first of his books and read through them. They all stand on their own merit, though. So, if you want pure love of Nature, start with Desert Solitare. If you want to be incented to activism, try the The Monkey Wrench Gang.


Discussion Forum

The Empanada Brotherhood, by John Nichols

Started by Michael Levin Jan 17. 0 Replies

“The Empanada Brotherhood“ is one of my favorite books. It’s deceptively simple. it’s about a bunch of Latino expats and…Continue

Suttree, by Cormac McCarthy (review by Tim Kinney)

Started by Michael Levin Feb 29, 2012. 0 Replies

I just finished reading Suttree by Cormac McCarthy. Two of his books were…Continue

Tags: literature, zoo, fiction, tn, knoxville

Support Your Local Independent Book Store

Started by Michael Levin Apr 7, 2010. 0 Replies

Independent book stores are at risk of going out of business. Look around and see what's happening. I have always loved bookstores that are individually owned. But, they are a dying breed. Amazon,…Continue

Tags: inc, used, books

Figuring out how to make West African food

Started by Michael Levin Jun 7, 2008. 0 Replies

Senegalese food is spicy, nutritious and addictive. It's a healthy addiction. Spices have names like Tyson, as in boxer Mike Tyson, which give you an idea about their punch.There's a cookbook called…Continue

Tags: ceebu, jen, traditional, ethnic, tyson

Comment Wall


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Comment by Tim Kinney on February 29, 2012 at 10:13am

I just finished reading Suttree by Cormac McCarthy. Two of his books were recently made into movies; No Country for Old Men, and The Road.

On the surface, Suttree is a description of the River front in Knoxville, Tennessee toward the end of the depression era.  A time, place, people who are gone and will never be again.  Just underneath, the book is about so much more.

The River Front is a place where burnt and defeated drunkards go to suffer the remainder of their lives.  Suttree has ended up there, living on a decaying houseboat and making what living he can from fishing in the polluted river.

McCarthy shows us this dismal community from two perspectives.  We see it as the shameful, depressing place as it would be seen by an outsider.  People without cause or merit.  Urban rot.  But, we also see it as a community of real people, with a complex and subtle support network, some of the inhabitants of great skills, insights, wisdom.

Likewise, we are shown the two sides of Suttree.  His mother has always blamed him, implicitly or explicitly,  for the death of his twin who died as Suttree was being born. Though illogical, he internalizes the guilt from an early age, and so becomes the bad brother, his dead twin, the good brother who never was.  The left-handed Suttree and his right-handed twin.

While he is seen by polite society as a shiftless, aimless drunk, we also see him as a compassionate, loving friend and neighbor, a wise and thoughtful man.

In the end, we discover, there is only one Suttree.

I started this book several times before I got into its rhythm. Cormac gives sprawling descriptions of the landscape with a vocabulary which often exceeds my own, sometimes exceeding that of Daniel Webster.  But, you come to understand this jabberwocky all the same.

I highly recommend this book, but you'll need a shower when  you're done.

Comment by Michael Levin on February 3, 2009 at 12:55pm
Ellen, That's great. Maybe you'll be inspired to start a Discussion about it here at The Book Zoo! ...Mike
Comment by Ellen Bush on February 3, 2009 at 12:41pm
Hi Mike, I'm going to look for the book Atmospheric Disturbances when I get back from N.C. or today if I have time. It sounds very interesting indeed!
Comment by Lois Hudson on February 2, 2009 at 6:05pm
Hi Mike,
I just finished Atmospheric Disturbances,. What is real and what is only what we preceive.? Many worlds, and many time frames, and much left to the imagination. Lois

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