[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[CDT-L] Re:"The G. D." - semi-review

>Back in 1988 we reviewed Pern's book.  We objected to his
>attitude -- "virtually everyone Pern meets is vulgar, deformed,
>stupid, greedy, paranoid, or otherwise disparaged."

Not to get in a pissing match, but had I read that review, I may
not have read the book. Although it may have seemed so to the
reviewer, I never got the impression that he felt that way until
I read the above. I think that the reviewer may be right in that
he does tend to mention the odd characteristics of people he met,
but 1) He's English (see "Monty Python" or "Benny Hill" as
classic examples of their particular style of humor :-), and, 2)
It's exactly those odder kind of impressions which are lasting
ones, the ones we as people tend to talk about. (How often do we
arrive at the office or at home and say "You know, the politest
drivers were on the road today. Noone sped, everyone used turn
signals, and noone was impatient or blowing horns". When it gets
mentioned it is of "that idiot who swerved across two lanes of
traffic, braking, to cut me off at the exit to the shopping
mall".) He did meet some quite interesting people, but I don't
think he was promoting the position that all people along this
Trail are some kind of freaks. My impression was that all-in-all
they were a very friendly lot, even those he initially had bad
thoughts of (like the drunken guys in the pickup, who after
roaring away, roar back, and as Pern expects confrontation, one
of the drunks gives his hat to Pern, having seen the sunburn on
Perns' face).

Further, in summation of his trip, the last two sentences at the
end of the book, he says in regards to "Problems" (section 7,
Appendix) -
" (iv) People. Very friendly, but avoid Sula, Montana. Also, wear
something fluorescent in the hunting season.

  (v) Temptation. I walked the whole way."

If that's "disparaging", perhaps it is - disparaging of being
held at gunpoint by store owners at maildrops, threatened, beat
up, and kicked out by the same - which is what happened at Sula,
and, according to local law officers, had obviously happened
before. I think that the friendliness of the people he mentioned
as part of the "Problems" section was said *very* much
tongue-in-cheek, just as was his following statement about
"Temptation", that he walked the whole way (who doesn't think at
least once during a journey of an easier way?).

All of this, and the preceding "semi-review", is solely my
opinion, and represents only that of an individual hiker. As with
everything, the color of your glasses affects how you see. I'm
looking forward to "Where the Waters Divide". If the reviewer
didn't like Perns book, this'un must be a knockout!<vbg> I'm
looking forward to it...


Message from the Continental Divide Trail Mailing List