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Vermilion Sea : A Naturalist's Journey in…
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Vermilion Sea : A Naturalist's Journey in Baja California (1992)

by John Janovy

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51. [1917547::Vermilion Sea : A Naturalist's Journey in Baja California] by John Janovy, Jr. (1992, 229 pages, read Sep 15 - Oct 27)

I love the idea of getting lost in a naturists book, even if it doesn't always work out the way I intended. I found this one promising.

There are good and bad things up front. The main good is Baja California which is a wonderfully complex and unique world of nature, cut off and yet not from the rest of the continent.

The bad left me with a little trouble getting into this. I think there were two main reasons. First of all, instead of a naturalist going off on his own, Janovy is a biology professor specializing in parasites who joins a student field trip, run by another professor, to Baja California to look at things that are outside his expertise. Second is that Janovy clearly wants to make bigger points - but I felt he begins to do this too soon in the book. I haven't bought in yet, and he is making large philosophical points about life from what he sees in Baja. The problem is that Janovy isn't the kind of writer who can pull all this off so easily.

But sometimes a reader needs patience. After coming to terms with what Janovy was actually doing, I was able to climb aboard and ride along his observations and sense of wonder about snails, whales, a museum in the middle of nowhere, art, biology, life in general and our separation from the natural world, and maybe even a little bit about scientific perspective.

Posted on my LT thread here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/160515#4378290
1 vote dchaikin | Nov 25, 2013 |
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