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New Books and Maps » Craig Childs

Way Out, The

By: Childs, Craig
Price: $14.95

Craig Childs is lost. In a labyrinth of canyons in the American Southwest where virtually nothing else is alive-barely any vegetation, few signs of wildlife, scant traces of any human precursors in this landscape-Childs and his friend Dirk undertake a fortnight's journey.

RaymondPuffer?, Ph.D. - KLIATT
On one hand, this is an inspiring and exciting tale of two experienced outdoorsmen who deliberately set out to hike across some of the most broken and difficult wilderness terrain in North America. Amid scenes of awe-inspiring beauty, they pit their bravery and endurance skills against an arid hell of trackless chasms, treacherous rocks, and venomous creatures. Throughout this survival epic they reach deeply into their troubled psyches: one mulls over his lifelong antipathy toward a domineering father; the other is trying to come to grips with the people he has harmed in the line of duty. They emerge weary, triumphant, and perhaps a little more at peace with themselves. Perhaps. On the other hand, the book can be read simply as the story of two angst-ridden and desert-punchy loners who set out to overcome an impassible wilderness, for no reason that the reader can ever discern. Most of their inner demons remain intact at the end of their journey, making one wonder if the trek was really necessary at all. Either way, Craig Childs presents us with an awesome corner of primeval America, a colorful panorama of raw nature still untouched in this urbanized century.