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The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures at the Edge of a City

by

The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures at the Edge of a City Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Travel just five miles outside of New York City, venture off the crowded New Jersey Turnpike. and you will be surrounded by the Meadowlands, a much vilified but still untamed thirty-two-square-mile swamp that is home to rare birds and missing bodies, shiny corporate headquarters and the remnants of ancient cedar forests, tranquil marshes and burning garbage dumps. Robert Sullivan is this weird and wild place's unofficial naturalist, archeologist, and explorer, and here he reports back from the field. Revealing what he has found while traversing one of America's first — and most fascinating — frontiers.

A 1978 Federal Report described the Meadowlands as "a swampy mosquito-infested jungle...where rusting auto bodies, demolition rubble, industrial oil sticks and cattails merge in unholy, stinking union." But one man's trash is another man's treasure, and with incomparable wit and enthusiasm, Robert Sullivan reinterprets the reputation and legacy of an area considered by many to be one of the most disgusting in the country. He travels by canoe, bus, car, and foot to tour cities and swamplands and interview mayors, dump owners, and renegade mosquito-control officers. He describes the hideous pollution and the hidden natural wonders, the seedy motels and labyrinth highways, the local population and the indigenous, ubiquitous mosquitoes. The Meadowlands, he explains, is "a place that the forces of progress have perennially targeted but have never managed to completely control, a place that people rush past on their way to the rest of America." But Sullivan learns that, in fact, many things have been left behind here — from garbage and treasure to the remains of crazy development schemes of generations past. Armed with pickax, shovel, and metal detector, he bravely sets out to find the two things believed to be dumped in the Meadowlands that particularly obsess him — the elusive corpse of famed labor leader Jimmy Hoffa and Manhattan's once-glorious original Penn Station.

In the tradition of John McPhee and Ian Frazier, Robert Sullivan transforms the seemingly ordinary into the extraordinary with his sparkling literary style and superb sense of irony. Filled with eccentric characters and unforgettable stories, The Meadowlands is an ode to an overlooked American borderland — a delightfully incongruous battleground marking the ongoing struggle between the forces of progress and nature.

Review:

"Provocative, audacious... by looking observantly, without trite moralizing, at the natural world... this book suggest a challenging new model for how we ought to pay attention." Robert Pinsky, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"It's full of add, compelling stories and is often hilarious. In short, it's a delight." Men's Journal

Review:

"The 20th century has done its worst by the Meadowlands, but as Sullivan superbly demonstrates, there is life in the old landscape yet, a friskiness that shakes off into the clayey muck the hellspawn of progress." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Does for the Meadowlands, where creeks can be the color of antifreeze, what Thoreau did for Walden Pond." USA Today

Review:

"A different kind of search for the diverting sublime... what a tremendous feat of the imagination! To celebrate the natural (and unnatural) beauties of a wasteland!" San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"A fine, intrepid work of reporting that finds revelations...in a stubbornly wild marshland in the middle of the megalopolis. The Meadowlands is funny, interesting, surprising, and bizarre." Ian Frazier

About the Author

Robert Sullivan has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Outside, Cond? Nast Traveler, and Vogue, where he is a contibuting editor. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two children.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684832852
Subtitle:
Wilderness Adventures at the Edge of a City
Author:
Sullivan, Robert
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Description and travel
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
North America
Subject:
New jersey
Subject:
United States - Mid Atlantic - New Jersey
Subject:
Swamps
Subject:
Hackensack Meadowlands (N.J.) Description and travel.
Subject:
Sullivan, Robert
Subject:
General Nature
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references p. 207-220.
Publication Date:
19980407
Binding:
HC
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.89x5.82x.82 in. .82 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » Northeast
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Natural History » General
Travel » Travel Writing » General

The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures at the Edge of a City Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780684832852 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Provocative, audacious... by looking observantly, without trite moralizing, at the natural world... this book suggest a challenging new model for how we ought to pay attention."
"Review" by , "It's full of add, compelling stories and is often hilarious. In short, it's a delight."
"Review" by , "The 20th century has done its worst by the Meadowlands, but as Sullivan superbly demonstrates, there is life in the old landscape yet, a friskiness that shakes off into the clayey muck the hellspawn of progress."
"Review" by , "Does for the Meadowlands, where creeks can be the color of antifreeze, what Thoreau did for Walden Pond."
"Review" by , "A different kind of search for the diverting sublime... what a tremendous feat of the imagination! To celebrate the natural (and unnatural) beauties of a wasteland!"
"Review" by , "A fine, intrepid work of reporting that finds revelations...in a stubbornly wild marshland in the middle of the megalopolis. The Meadowlands is funny, interesting, surprising, and bizarre."
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