All the Land to Hold Us

All the Land to Hold Us A strange and powerful landscape summons strange and powerful happeningsRick Bass brings a lyrical lushness to the harsh backdrop of West Texas in his masterfully crafted fourth novel All the Land to

  • Title: All the Land to Hold Us
  • Author: Rick Bass
  • ISBN: 9780547687124
  • Page: 382
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A strange and powerful landscape summons strange and powerful happeningsRick Bass brings a lyrical lushness to the harsh backdrop of West Texas in his masterfully crafted fourth novel All the Land to Hold Us is a sweeping tale of those who live on the desert s edge, where riches precious artifacts, oil, water, love can all be found and lost again in an instant Roaming acA strange and powerful landscape summons strange and powerful happeningsRick Bass brings a lyrical lushness to the harsh backdrop of West Texas in his masterfully crafted fourth novel All the Land to Hold Us is a sweeping tale of those who live on the desert s edge, where riches precious artifacts, oil, water, love can all be found and lost again in an instant Roaming across the salt flats and skirting the salt lake, Richard, a geologist working for an oil company, hunts for fossils under the spell of Clarissa, the local beauty who plans to use her share of their plunder to get out of small, dusty Midland for good A generation earlier, a Depression era couple, Max and Marie Omo, numbly mines for salt along the banks of the briny lake until the emotional terrain of their marriage is suddenly and irrevocably altered The strange, surreal arrival of a runaway circus elephant, careening across the sand, sets in motion Marie s final break from Max and heralds the beginning of her second chance Consequences reverberate through the years and the dunes when Marie becomes indelibly linked to Richard s own second act With a cast of characters rounded out by a one legged treasure hunter, a renegade teacher, and an unforgettable elephant trainer, All the Land to Hold Us is a vivid portrait of a fierce place and the inimitable characters that possess the capacity to adapt to and also despoil it The novel boasts all the hallmarks of Bass s most enduring work human longing and greed, nature endangered, and the possibility for redemption are all writ large on his desert canvas.

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      Posted by:Rick Bass
      Published :2018-05-06T07:45:04+00:00

    One thought on “All the Land to Hold Us”

    1. Rarely do I borrow a library book------yet feel the need to go buy it at full retail price the moment I finish it. Temper that endorsement until you read on.I guess there are people who wouldn't enjoy this. Those people (with all due respect) simply don't value the same things I tend to gravitate toward when deciphering how to respond to what I'm reading. In the same respect that pieces of art are museum quality to some but rate as garbage to others, this one makes my list of favorites without q [...]

    2. If you are a reader with an open mind about how a superb book should develop, and allow this very different kind of narrative to captivate you, then you are ripe to allow Bass’s novel to stir you in surprising ways. It isn’t character-based, and yet, it is, if you allow for the land to be a character, and for the setting to evolve from geography/geology to the essence of the life cycle, the tincture and elixir of existence. “The landscape gathered all men, across the ages, as the anguished [...]

    3. Rick Bass, writing, still, one of the only kinds of love stories that make sense to me at all. Same as he ever was, the first time I read Platte River, or The Sky, The Stars, The Wilderness, or Where The Sea Used To Be.Because they’re stories— a story— about time. About geology. About sun, and salt, and death, and bright colors. And water. And maps. Instead, they mapped. It was like a covenant, a trust increasing slowly each day. It was not a leap into the abyss, not a plummeting nor a fre [...]

    4. I will give the first 200 pages a 1 star and the last 100 pages a 3 star bringing my final rating to a 2. Why did I hate the first 2/3rds of the book because it was too wordy for my liking. It took the author page after page to express a point. It took me 10 days to read this short book because there were so many details. I have no passion for this book at all. I would have abandoned this book if my husband didn't find this to be one of his favorite books of all times and continued to prod me to [...]

    5. - Won on first reads giveaway- This book is written with such depth and poetry that it must be read slowly. It is a sweeping saga of old Texas oil fields, salt mines, small town mind sets, and love in it's many forms. Often, I felt I was emerged in layer upon layer of geologic time. Each page took me further into the depth of Bass's writing. It is so poetic that the characters became alive for me and I felt as if I was among them. It is almost easier to describe as a haunting experience rather t [...]

    6. I had a little trouble getting into this book at first. A novel with no dialog seemed too dense with narrative, at first. But I kept thinking I would read just a few more pages, and would be captivated by the author's use of language, and decide to continue just a little more. Pretty soon, I was totally absorbed in the rich descriptiveness of the landscape, and with the story. Eventually, nearer the end, there is dialog, after all! The characters are great, intriguing and unique. But the real st [...]

    7. If you’ve ever wanted to visit western Texas, this book could well dampen your enthusiasm. Between the salty brine lakes, the bends of the Pecos River, and the desert itself, there are numerous ways to die. Bass gives many examples in excruciating detail. As the remains of both animals and humans are discovered by excavators, I’d hoped that the lives of the entombed would be discovered and have an impact upon the excavators and other characters. But instead, the remains were described in gre [...]

    8. I Review Rick Bass’s All the Land to Hold Us.There, men lust for and consume the desert’s treasures: salt, oil, water. Stones whisper secrets, elephants cry and dance, children cremate puppets in a funeral pyre, and sentinel-like skeletons hear music and possess a longing that hasn’t perished with their bodies. That harsh and lonely landscape, brilliant and searing, draws toward it treasure hunters, oilmen, and two pairs of lovers from different generations “as the eye of the needle of h [...]

    9. I wanted to love this book. "Where the Sea Used to Be," Bass' first novel, is one of my very favorites. I thought this one might be for Texas what "Where the Sea Used to Be" was for Montana. And it almost makes it, with the same richly descriptive poetry of landscape and the complicated human heart. The plot just never quite comes together though. The last couple of chapters give a glimpse of what could be a larger, more complex story, with characters finally developing enough that you just begi [...]

    10. 332 pagesnovelI enjoyed The Black Rhinos of Nambia (Non-Fiction) by Rick Bass, so I picked up this book.It was slow going in the beginning, just like the hands of time, that mold us into what we become.There were many meanings to explore in this book. I totally enjoyed the descriptions of the land while learning about its history and geology, and how everything has to adapt.

    11. Rick Bass is a truly beautiful writer, and this book contains memorable imagery. It does not a book for those who require conventional plotting or propulsive forward movement. It poetry as much as prose.

    12. Again , can we have a rating between 2 stars "it was okay" and 3 stars "liked it"? Maybe, "kind of liked it" or even more accurately, "liked parts of it, but overall, didn't like it." What I liked: Striking imagery. A graceful writing style somewhat in the vein of Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy. Closely observed character studies. The redemptive search for water and Richard's evolution from a "taker" to a "giver." What I didn't like: Except for the last hundred pages, almost no dialog. Excruciati [...]

    13. Very grateful to have won this book through a giveaway. I'd always been curious about Rick Bass's work, so I was happy to get this opportunity. That said, the novel didn't work for me. I felt the whole time that what I was reading was exposition, instead of action. So much of it is about what "usually would" or "sometimes would" or "always would" happen, instead of what did. I felt the whole time that I was waiting to find the inciting action, and lost interest before I did. Bass is obviously f [...]

    14. West Texas is a harsh and barren landscape and the people who live there must be tough. This beautifully written narrative paints a picture of several generations of Texans who have bet their dreams on the natural resources buried deep under the Texas desert. From Max and Marie who mine for salt to keep the wolves of the Depression at bay to Richard, a modern day geologist who works for an oil company, all have hung the hopes for their future on finding something precious under the heat of the d [...]

    15. If a geologist turned writer decided to write a novel and forsake character development, plot, and for the first part, dialogue; that would include flirtations with magical realism, surrealism, and symbolism with no substance to either; and make the geology of an area a main character without making that geology especially compelling, he would write this bookThe novel is set in Odessa Texas and the desert and a salt lake outside the city focusing on three separate time periods. A geologist, a sa [...]

    16. beautiful writing that rambles to nowhereWest Texas, oil, wealth, death, geology and, of course, The Land. I'm not sure much "meaning"-filled activity transpired during the 300+ pages of All the Land to Hold Us, but I am sure I love Rick Bass' poetic evocations of landscape and light, of fear, of loss, of emptiness. I felt I was there in those spaces, in those places, with those characters, but in the end, we'd journeyed from there to nowhere. Recommend? Yes, if only for the rhythmic movement an [...]

    17. May have made this same point before, but Bass beautifully balances a fierce love of the land with sharp insight into human needs and desires. All the Land features brilliant naturescapes and deep personal dives. The narrative has a superb arc, using both recurrence and sharp transitions deftly. He changed my conception of the desert, specifically West Texas, forever. And this is by far the best use of an elephant in a story outside of, well, Saramago's Elephant's Journey.Mufti's (the elephant t [...]

    18. Rick Bass' loving, lyrical ode to the land isn't the kind of book a lot of people are going to pick up on the spur of the moment. Not a linear story, or even one with a main character or, for most of the book, dialogue, but engrossing nonetheless. Bass knows his oil-drilling, explorations in the desert for water and how the heat colors everything that goes on in life. Despite the format and the way the story is told, this book moves quickly and is thoroughly engrossing.

    19. Didn't quite grab me, but I like some of the prose.Each traveler’s life passing through that sea like the equally brief phosphorescent specter of time or memory that trailed in the traveler’s wake: though always, after that phosphorescence faded, there would be one more traveler.Castle Gap in the West Texas landscapeOh, yes, a geologist. We know about the indefatigable and insatiable hearts of geologists.

    20. It took some time for the book to take hold of me but I'm glad I persisted. The extreme landscapes- of both the physical world of the novel and the emotional world of the characters intrigued me. The scarcity of love and other natural resources makes men and women mad. We adjust to survive, but it's not pretty. We make do without love, companionship, food and water for a time but there is a cost.

    21. A bit odd, but not unpleasantly so. After page 30, I figured I'd read to about 60 and just give it up. But then the characters started getting interesting and I wasn't ready to leave them yet. Lots of fantastic descriptions of the desert and what the sun can do to your skin and your mind. A pretty interesting read. Worth your time.

    22. This is a very dense book with not a lot of dialogue. After reading this book I think someone would think twice before becoming a petroleum geologist. There must be a lot of symbolism (e.g. the elephant, the giant fish) that I missed which is perhaps one reason I didn't enjoy it that much.

    23. A bit overwritten for my taste—it was hard to get a sense of the people or places being described for all the excess detail Bass offers. The third section, where he covers more characters in a shorter span of time, was much more successful to me, but by that point was too late.

    24. Couldn't finish it. It dragged too much for me. Although I was intrigued how the characters are described from the outside in. The physical landscape shapes the characters and their motivations, instead of "looking" inside their heads.

    25. Bass does an excellent job of creating characters who nicely mirror the harsh west Texas landscape. However, everything is so epic and portentous that the reader gets sucked into that salt lake, as it were, frozen, unable to slog past the skeletons of those lost before.

    26. I thought this was a beautiful novel, filled with writing to be read slowly and enjoyed. It tells a story about a landscape and the passage of time and some people who live there. Thoughtful, elegiac, moving.

    27. nobody takes longer to say less than rick bass. his nonfiction is always much better, in my opinion. funky southwest texas novel here though.

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