Throughout her wanderings, Annie Dillard's keen observations, poetic sensibilities, introspective reflections, and reverence for her surroundings show us the world outside as we have never seen it before.
©1974 Annie Dillard; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"The book is a form of meditation, written with headlong urgency, about seeing. A reader's heart must go out to a young writer with a sense of wonder so fearless and unbridled." (Eudora Welty, New York Times Book Review)
This is my favorite audio book of the perhaps 50 I own, and I have listened to it some 30 times or more. I think that Annie Dillard is an extremely gifted writer, and would recommend anything she has written -- at audible.com you can also get her audio book _For the Time Being_ (which of course I recommend as well!). Why do I like Annie Dillard so much -- because she is such a master of seeing, she is the ultimate teacher in the school of nature, she teaches you to take a close look at the natural world, and when you do, your life is changed. The transcendence is always in the details, and she is unmatched in her attention to detail and in her power to artfully describe what she sees. She is also a master of the pithy quote, peppering her writings with truly magical quotations from other writers. Her style tends to be a bit bombastic at times (she is widely criticized for this), but I prefer her lively engagement to the phoney "coolness" of the disengaged. The book is organized around some very basic concepts, such as seeing and fixedness. It is a spectacular achievement. The audio book is read well, though there are occasional mispronunciations of more obscure vocabulary.
A cross between nature writing and theology, this is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. It was my first purchase on Audible, because I was already familiar with the book and this recording of it.
I can honestly say that "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" changed my life. When I listened to this book a few years ago on a trip to the mountains, I was a reluctant atheist who loved science. Annie Dillard convinced me that love of nature and love of God are not incompatible, and that embracing the problem of evil can actually bring one closer to God.
Interesting facts about nature are intertwined with writings from philosophers, Bible stories, and personal anecdotes to create a compelling memoir. The reader of this version has a pleasant, alto voice. Sound quality is not as high as for many Audible products--the highest version offered is v. 3--but the reader's presentation is clear enough that the lower resolution is hardly noticeable while listening.
Listen to this on a still day outdoors, or at night before you go to sleep. The lovely writing and narration are very relaxing, leading one to a quiet, contemplative mood.
I am a marketing professional who has written everything you can imagine, trying to become a creative non-fiction writer for my second act. What I couldn't imagine is how Annie Dillard wrote this book. It is jam-packed with observations, metaphor, connections to other great literature. The author's note at the end actually explains how she did it. Brilliant. If you have any inclination about writing non-fiction read, or listen to, this book.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is my favourite of all Dillard's writings, and I was delighted to find it at Audible. However, the narration is such a disappointment that I had to stop listening after about half an hour. The reader seems to have no sense of the nuances of the author's style. While attempting to sound enthusiastic she maintains a frantic pace which allows the listener no opportunity to reflect upon or savour, even briefly, the richness of Dillard's language or the depth of her thought or sense of humour. This recording is a major disappointment. Annie Dillard deserves better, and it makes me wonder if authors have any control over the audio production of their work.
The narrator sucks much of the life out of the story, reading it like she's reading a list of groceries.
If this is your first Annie Dillard book you will have to give it a chance to grow on you. It's an acquired taste, however I think it's a taste that everyone, absolutely everyone, will acquire if they allow themselves.
I love reading widely
Annie shares her thoughts with us as she explores nature. And what thoughts! She pulls in philosophy, science, religion, poetry, other books into what she???s viewing giving us a deeper appreciation of the vivid descriptions of the critters she loves. You will catch the joy and want more.
Loved this book for decades and love that it's offered in audio form! Too few writers embrace life with such zeal and rare is nature reflected in writing with such an eye for detail.
Djuna Wojton, author
This book wasn't compelling enough to entertain us during our road trip. It may be better as a read rather than audio. Maybe biologists would like this better than we did, for we're nature lovers. The book seemed clinical.
The reading was delivered in a flat, monotone voice with no inflection or emotion.
The author seemed sincere.
I consider this book as Annie Dillard's brain dump of all she'd been reading and thinking. She focuses a lot on death and the shortness of individual life. Much of her writing style is lyrical. She likes listing things. She also likes sharing facts and theories from books she's read. A few things I found interesting but much of the cruelty of nature was not something I particularly wanted to hear. It seemed that her main point was that life is short, so go live it while you can, trying to see the beauty despite the ugliness and death all around. Not a very cheerful book, but if you're searching for metaphysical meaning, this might be for you. The narrator was very clear and understandable. She even gave the book some life. My only complaint was that she sounded a bit arrogant. But really, was it the speaker or the author's words that made me think so?
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