Thom Geier
July 26, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Hermit's Story

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Rick Bass
publisher
Houghton Mifflin
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

It’s a rare writer who would compare guys on a fishing trip gossiping about their office mates to raccoons scavenging mussels at night, ”turning them over with their paws, feeling every ridge, every bump.” But in ”The Hermit’s Story,” collection, Montana-based author Rick Bass eschews wussy suburban melodrama for characters deeply at home in the natural world: hardy men and women capable of living 50 miles from a ”real” store or hiking across a frozen lake in a harsh midwinter storm. While some stories falter with a narrator who tells too much, Bass mostly succeeds in chronicling a contemporary, Starbucks-free America too seldom seen in print.

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