Read Soul of Nowhere by Craig Childs Regan Choi Online


Childs answers the call of fierce places; the more desolate the landscape, the more passionately he is drawn to it. For Childs, these are the types of terrain that sharpen the senses, and demand a physicality the modern civilized world no longer requires. Includes black-and-white photos and pen-and-ink drawings by the author....

Title : Soul of Nowhere
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316735889
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Soul of Nowhere Reviews

  • Ralph
    2019-03-10 23:50

    More of a philosophical and introspective journey through the deserts of the Southwest. Interesting, but I never got the feeling I knew where he was; he seemed to want to keep every place secret to himself, but also write a book about it.

  • Yune
    2019-03-01 22:57

    Craig Childs seems to sort of breathe in nature -- not a deliberate inhalation, mind you, just a sort of unthinking absorption that occurs just by being in a place -- and then breathes out these words. His writing style can get a little heady, but hang in there; wait for a gentle mood, let yourself get intoxicated by the secret places in the desert you can only find by wild luck and sheer courage and craftiness and knowing friends. There is no thesis, no concrete point you can carry away from this book except how amazing these abandoned places can be, and how people of ancient times once fit their lives into their settings. What remains of them. How they echo into the present and move us upon their quiet, unexpected discovery.

  • Elly Sands
    2019-03-22 02:50

    I love Craig Childs and I thoroughly enjoy the way he honors nature. He treats the earth like a lover as she continually seduces him. This was not my favorite book of his but it's still poetic and stimulating. It's difficult to separate him as an individual from his surrounding landscapes. There are minimal boundaries. He inhales the natural world and we are fortunate to be the benefactors of his passion.

  • Amorgan
    2019-03-04 06:52

    I experienced unencumbered peace while reading this book in which Craig Childs, not for the first time, went into desert areas that showed little signs of habitation. He travels in a primitive manner, carrying minimal supplies and items of comfort. His ongoing curiosity draws him to wander in desert places, sometimes with intent but more often to renew his spirit as he gives himself over to the wilderness of arid canyons and lands. Going wild, he blends with the land, the past, and the ghosts of the ancients. He carries little and frequently travels alone. However, like him, his occasional companions become part of the harsh, remote areas where they wander.

  • David Arch
    2019-03-06 02:42

    A communion with the raw nature of the southwest.

  • Diana Biggs
    2019-02-27 00:50

    In a class all its own, a man after my own heart. Speaks to a love of wild places.

  • Sandra Poucher
    2019-02-22 06:36

    In what I feel is Mr. Child's most honest book, the author describes his experiences in a landscape both foreign and familiar. The land becomes the best protagonist yet. Beautiful descriptions make me want to race right out there, but caveats render me thoughtful and cautious. This is not a land to be taken lightly.

  • Antonia Hall
    2019-03-02 00:40

    Craig Childs -- he has my rapt attention when he starts wandering through the desert, seemingly without purpose, but possessed of a notion to discover the places where no one (at least in the recent past) has been. He has the keen eye of a desert traveler and the voice and writing style to keep you interested in a blank canvas of nowhere...but; is the canvas really blank? No, Craig actually finds things out there that haven't been touched for centuries and he takes a short time to admire them, then...put them back and not tell anyone where he is or where he found this ancient artifact. He finds the hidden and nuanced traceries of where water had once been and assumes that people might have been there too, so he is not disappointed when he finds traces of ancient civilizations. I was engrossed in this book, a collection of essays that take you into the vast outback of places relatively close to home -- the Mexican desert, the deserts of Arizona. A very good read that will transport you and make you want to get out and explore.

  • Nicola
    2019-03-02 01:49

    I just attended a writing workshop with Craig Childs and Amy Irvine. They both are great story tellers, with an emphasis on just that: the live telling of a good story. They did this presentation, something about a loincloth and the male hunter and the female gatherer. They switched off their tellings, and by the end of it, they had mucked up all genderizing and swapped roles. It was delightful. In the workshop, Childs emphasized the need to tell in stories, most of us end up trying to show too much. Get back to that telling. You could read most of "Soul of Nowhere" aloud and feel like someone was saying it to you.What saves the book from solipsism is Criag's fascination with past cultures and the way he brings them into his present, creating a larger narrative than just a man scrambling around on rocks or mere nature writing.My favorite scene had to have been when he goes a bit thirst/ration-crazy and almost cuts out his own tongue.Need to read more of him.

  • Eva
    2019-03-09 22:58

    Once again not counting toward my year end total books read. I tried; I really did, but Soul of Nowhere went nowhere for me after 2+ chapters in. I am familiar with the types of rugged Southwestern landscapes the author often describes, albeit not on the same intimate level, and I agree there is something awe inspiring and difficult to capture in words about these places (and likely the other types of crazy, beautiful locations he to which he has gone). The issue for me was that there was no story, no narrative, no skeleton on which he hung his descriptions of these landscapes, just a continual, unbroken stream of pretty words trying to convey their "soul" or magic. The prose struggled and, for me, failed to engage me or transmit the feeling of wonder I assume the author was trying to convey. I respect and on some level envy his engagement with isolated lands once populated by ancient peoples, but I just could not read this all the way through.

  • Yuki Schofield
    2019-03-24 05:34

    My first Childs book and I really enjoyed it, like many other reviewers have noted it really is escapism reading. I've spent a little bit of time in the desert and can still remember the dry heat on my skin, the dust on my parched tongue, and the complete silence broken only by the ringing in my ears which slowly fades away after a few days. Where every small sound echos for miles around and the horizon shimmers in the distance blurring reality from your imagination. Reading soul of nowhere takes me back to those memories when stuck in the daily grind of city life and makes me remember freedom, and how it feels to be free from the shackles of responsibility and roam the endless horizon in search of an answer to a question not yet known.

  • Jared
    2019-03-07 22:43

    As a contrast to The Secret Knowledge of Water, this book delves into the more intangible aspects of the Southwestern deserts. Through his search of tangible artifacts, Childs reviles the mysteries of people who came and lived in these desolate, convoluted, and intense places. He also digs deep into his own relationships, rarely going alone on these expeditions, and learning through his community of desert wanderers. Although never surrendering the naturalist within him, I feel it is his intent to abandon the scientific rigor of archaeology and try to connect with people through the harshness of this landscape.

  • Annette
    2019-02-23 04:40

    In this memoir, naturalist Craig Childs describes a series of hiking trips into remote canyon and desert landscapes of the Southwest U.S. and on into Mexico searching for evidence of Ancient Puebloan peoples. Childs writes about American landscape and nature, particularly the fierce and forbidding arid terrains, and conveys a vivid sense of their essence. Read an article and listen to an NPR interview at Soul of Nowhere Also read Author says We llMatch the Scenery whether We Like It or Not from High Country News. (lj)

  • Dan
    2019-02-23 02:51

    As the title would imply the "Soul of Nowhere" was a book about trying to find two difficult things, a soul and nowhere. The book highlights some of Child's experiences throughout the arid regions of North America. I felt the story's constantly walked a fine line between truths and tales. But this element of the unknown only adds the romanticized depiction of this imposingly difficult environments.What most strongly captured me about Child's writing was his description of archaeological sites. I love hearing of the mindbogglingly feats we humans have accomplished. Overall i was very happy with the book and was a bit inspired to go spend some time in canyon country.

  • Kristy McCaffrey
    2019-02-26 22:46

    A poetic book about traveling in remote areas of the desert southwest. Not everyone will like it because Childs is a quiet writer. His experiences in the back country showcase that there is still much undiscovered out there. What caught my attention the most, however, is what is lost by society by not being so closely linked to the land anymore. Childs seeks out this connection, finds it, and shares it. What drives people into the wild? A desire to merge our senses with the natural world; Childs' experience is deeply immersive.

  • Michelle
    2019-03-22 22:55

    I'm demoting this to 4 stars... This is my first Craig Childs book and I really like his writing style. It's a lot of prose and comparisons and "earthy" writing. But I will agree with other reviews that his writing can be self-centered and a little hard to swallow in large doses. I gave it 4 stars because when I'm stuck in my house doing the same chores all over again - this is my escape. When I read this book, I feel the rocks under my feet, the wind, the rain, the quiet air, and the complete sense of wonder and wholeness from being part of nature. It's an amazing escape.

  • Dana Root
    2019-03-04 07:02

    A quiet study, a series of geological observations that are anciently slow, but somehow lead you to discover the hidden sources of water beneath and in our world. In the discovering we find hidden spiritual sources that changed and redirected the course of a place over time. The mystery of all the life that has quietly existed around us over thousands of years is somehow the condition of our souls....

  • M.liss
    2019-03-19 04:34

    The desert is the best character in this book. Desolate, challenging, tedious, immensely rewarding, enlightening, and beautiful. Childs grabs language by the balls; his prose reads like a confessional, like a novel, like a love letter. Awesome book. Totally out of my wheelhouse at first glance. So glad this was recommended to me.

  • Matt
    2019-03-22 05:46

    If you are drawn to the four corners desert for whatever reason, you're likely to enjoy this book. Childs is a pretty good writer, giving readers a baseline to measure their own fascination against. For those of us called to walk different paths, unable to walk the thousand-plus miles he logs each year, we'll have to live vicariously through him.

  • Justus
    2019-03-12 06:54

    More thoughts on being in the middle of nowhere. I'm not sure why I liked the Secret Knowledge of Water more - maybe because it was a little more focused around a broad subject as opposed to being about getting to the middle of BFE...but still a good book and collection of essays.

  • Eric
    2019-03-06 05:48

    Craig should avoid using so often "I" and "me" and the like. more emphasis on place than experience would have won me over and a break from the introspection would be great since it gets a bit heavy.

  • tonia peckover
    2019-03-23 01:42

    Craig Childs is one of my favorite nature writers. He writes mainly about landscapes that are foreign to me - the deserts of the American Southwest - but he writes with such sensuality and soulfulness that I am drawn in every time. Beautiful language and a deep, slow dive into the natural world.

  • Sheila Tarbet
    2019-03-05 02:44

    Thoughtful essays based on the author's adventures in the American and Mexican southwest. Childs ponders being alone and being connected to others, his companions and ancient peoples, in these desert environments. He writes eloquently of the danger and the beauty he finds.

  • Suzanne
    2019-03-11 00:56

    This book was interesting, but I did not find it as engrossing as the Secret Knowledge of Water. It was a bit more existential, but I'm not sure he was really saying that much to me. We'll see what my book club thinks tomorrow.

  • Berkeley
    2019-02-25 02:35

    Have been reading this for months, now; no time these days for reading fun! A great escape, takes me out into the desert in an instant. Perfect when I need to create some peaceful headspace. Tedious at times, but also lyrical and expansive.

  • Nancy Eudeikis
    2019-03-21 02:01

    Book Club book for September/October. I liked this book at first, but then I decided Craig Childs is a little bit nuts. He is very descriptive, but after awhile it was enough already!

  • Kylie
    2019-02-27 02:53

    not done yet but no longer really reading...

  • Kendra Johnson
    2019-03-22 04:04

    incredible read - captures the awe and experience of being in the canyons and desert in the southwest with prose that reads like poetry

  • Jessie
    2019-03-11 23:37

    My only fun book right now, but havn't picked it up since school started.

  • Loye
    2019-02-22 23:56

    Childs' desert treks take him where very few go - his writing is excellent.