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The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The…

The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod (1928)

by Henry Beston

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6152015,832 (4.14)55

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First Printing, one dog-eared page and only a few underlinings, some peeling on back cover ( )
  skyels | Oct 9, 2017 |
Henry Beston went to Cape Cod and meant to stay in the house he had built for two weeks. He ended up staying for a year, and the journals he kept while he was there were the basis for this classic published in 1928.

Beston describes the natural world with poetry, writing about its beauty and its raw power, and ruminating on how mankind has separated from really participating in the natural world. Reading it so soon after Walden, it was hard not to compare the two books in my head and be lulled by the quietness of this one into almost monotony. Beston gives a different sort of wake up call, and though I didn't have the connection to Cape Cod, I did find a few gems of quotes in it. Mostly the monotony came from reading too many nature books in close quarters and having to finish it on a specific date for book club. ( )
  bell7 | Aug 1, 2017 |
It is wonderful to ready good writing that celebrates the natural world without romanticizing it. Beston describes the ocean and its waves with a clarity of understanding and expression I have seldom read. His connection with the natural world and especially with birds reveals the wonders there while neither refusing to see the violence inherent nor impose a human ethic on that living way. ( )
  dasam | Jul 25, 2017 |
Henry Beston's amazing recounting of his year on the outermost banks of Cape Cod is a revelation of nature in all its forces.

It is a classic in the tradition of Thoreau and would be beloved by Emerson.

As a companion to a seasonal gardening book, like THE GARDENER'S YEAR by Karel Capek,
it would provide contrasts and expand our inland views. ( )
  m.belljackson | Dec 5, 2016 |
First published in 1928, the beauty of the language is timeless. Who knew someone could describe the sand and sea in so many ways? Beston's book is a poetic gift and left me with an even greater appreciation of the Cape and our natural world in general.

"Touch the earth, love the earth, honour the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places."

(Personally, I recommend skipping the introduction by Robert Flinch. Seems to me he's in love with his own writing. Go back and read it at the end if you like.) ( )
  DonnaMarieMerritt | Oct 4, 2016 |
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Even though millions loved Beston's little house, they, like him, realized it was merely a material possession and nature was just taking its course when the ocean consumed the "Fo'castle" in 1978.

The Outermost House is not just about a day or even a year at the beach. Even though the House and the dunes are gone, the spirit of what Beston tried to convey lives on.
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To Miss Mabel Davison and Miss Mary Cabot Wheelwright
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East and ahead of the coast of North America, some thirty miles and more from the inner shores of Massachusetts, there stands in the open Atlantic the last fragment of an ancient and vanished land.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080507368X, Paperback)

The seventy-fifth anniversary edition of the classic book about Cape Cod, “written with simplicity, sympathy, and beauty” (New York Herald Tribune)

A chronicle of a solitary year spent on a Cape Cod beach, The Outermost House has long been recognized as a classic of American nature writing. Henry Beston had originally planned to spend just two weeks in his seaside home, but was so possessed by the mysterious beauty of his surroundings that he found he “could not go.”

Instead, he sat down to try and capture in words the wonders of the magical landscape he found himself in thrall to: the migrations of seabirds, the rhythms of the tide, the windblown dunes, and the scatter of stars in the changing summer sky. Beston argued that, “The world today is sick to its thin blood for the lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot.” Seventy-five years after they were first published, Beston’s words are more true than ever.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:35 -0400)

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The author records his observations of nature during the year he spent in a Cape Cod beach house.

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