“Heading Home” Receives Glowing Review from Midwest Book Review
The Midwest Book Review has given a glowing review for Peter Anderson’s latest book Heading Home: Field Notes in their May 2017 issue:
Many autobiographies chart journeys and discoveries, translating them into experiences directed to travel and self-discovery enthusiasts; but when was the last time that a collection opened with an introduction that popped the reader onto the road right away? “I folded up the map of home I’d made and it was adios old shack, adios old town, and hello to a road I couldn’t help but ride.”
Heading Home: Field Notes isn’t just about leaving a home. It is more about the author seeking and finding a new place to sink in roots and tracing the journey that gets him there. The powerful opener is only a portent of the riches to come as the author begins his journey with a succinct vision of what sparked his decision to hit the road:
“… When the mine at Climax shut down, it was the bust that finally got to me-storefronts boarded up from Leadville to Salida, down-valley friends leaving the country, nights darker than the shafts inside the mountain above town.”
The collection holds the gritty landscapes and experiences of the West, but incorporates all these into an exploration that captures every nuance of minute details, whether it is the different perspectives and determinations of two mountain loners or the early snowpack described by a forest ranger on a trip into the backcountry to help a seasonal employee pack out. “Snow came early that year. Had a kid named Jackson cruising timber on the mountain and it was time to pack him out. Sky was full of mare’s tails-another front coming in. I made good miles through the high spruce. Post-holing hip-deep snow on the way down, I saw something up ahead-a black sheep, left behind from the summer graze.”
Wonderfully evocative in its phrasing, Heading Home holds the rare capacity for immersing readers in the ordinary and highlighting the extraordinary in every moment . . .
Wonderfully evocative in its phrasing, Heading Home holds the rare capacity for immersing readers in the ordinary and highlighting the extraordinary in every moment, whether it be a bat emergence from an old iron mine (“Here, in the foothill twilight, what matters is the way they rise into a vast whirling column. What matters is the breeze and the sound, like moving water, they leave in their wake. What matters is this great river of wings that ends as it begins. In darkness. Now you know where the night comes from.”) or, in a more humorous vein, the imagined survival experience of a couple of Barbie dolls who accompany his young daughters on a backcountry pack trip.
“When the Barbies make their next appearance, I am secretly happy they have been liberated from my daughter’s pack, stripped naked, and set afloat in a very cold mountain stream. The Barbies ride the current, their long, slinky legs goose-bumping off creek bed cobbles and their carefully coiffed hair trailing like algae behind them. Get me . . . like .. . out of here. How strange this must be for the Barbies . . . to be without their closets full of Barbie clothes, without their pink corvettes and mini cell phones, hundreds of miles from the nearest mall, headed into a long night with a cold bivouac ahead of them.”
Think a wider-ranging version of the philosophical, evocative fly-fishing literary classic, A River Runs Through It. Heading Home has the same kind of feel for land, people and places in the West. It is a powerful cocktail of evocative, beautiful prose that is not to be missed by any who appreciate a literary voice from this part of the country.
Think a wider-ranging version of the philosophical, evocative fly-fishing literary classic, A River Runs Through It. Heading Home has the same kind of feel for land, people and places in the West. It is a powerful cocktail of evocative, beautiful prose that is not to be missed by any who appreciate a literary voice from this part of the country. It is award-quality writing that should please readers who appreciated A River Runs Through It. Yes, it’s that good.