box97280, September 20, 2011 (view all comments by box97280)
The writing in this book is amazing. The descriptions made me feel that I was in someone else's dream. Yet the subject of the book is anything but fantasy; this is the story of a boy growing up on a dude ranch in Wyoming, learning along the way how to become a man. A hard-working, high-integrity man who puts the needs of others first. Scenes from this book will float back into your mind long after you've finished reading.
Amy Franzen, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Amy Franzen)
Each beat of this beautiful story is like a meditation. The writing is sublime and transportive. When you finish it you'll want everyone you know to read it so that the wealth and rarity of the experience can be shared.
Corvalliant, January 15, 2010 (view all comments by Corvalliant)
I typically breeze through books, and I usually steer clear of memoir. This book, however, has a soul. Spragg sat down at his pages and opened his veins for ink, but he didn't rely on that to make his work sing - his command of language both powerful and subtle is nothing short of astounding. Thanks, Mark, for showing us your world in a way that is honest, beautiful, and meaningful.
river_reader, February 26, 2008 (view all comments by river_reader)
I generally hate memoir...far too many self-wallows. THIS book, however, was my favorite read of 2005. It's passionate, clear, and evocative of what I know to be the west of a generation ago. Spragg loses the power a little toward the end, not unlike the culture of the west becoming diluted in modernity, his soul seems to suffer a similar fate. Read it. It'll broaden your vision of the world and help you think about what we may be missing these days. Then go for a really long, remote walk.....or at least make biscuits.
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Melissa Kinsey, September 24, 2007 (view all comments by Melissa Kinsey)
No big words or fancy turns of phrase. Just clear descriptions and honest perceptions. And, in reading, one finds oneself contemplating life's bigger questions. Isn't that what great art is all about? LISTEN! Mark Spragg has it -- read "An Unfinished Life," or "The Fruit of Stone," and, definitely, read "Where Rivers Change Direction." You'll see.
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It is a voice that echoes off canyon walls, springs from the rush of rivers, thunders from the hooves of horses. It belongs to award-winner Mark Spragg, and it's as passionate and umcompromising as the wilderness in northwest Wyoming in which he was born: the largest block of unfenced wilderness in the lower forty-eight states. Where Rivers Change Direction is a memoir of childhood spent on the oldest dude ranch in Wyoming—with a family struggling against the elements and against themselves, and with the wry and wise cowboy who taught him life's most important lessons.
As the young Spragg undergoes the inexorable rites of passage that forge the heart and soul of man, he channels Peter Matthiessen and the novels of Ernest Hemingway in his truly unforgettable illuminations of the heartfelt yearnings, the unexpected wisdom, and the irrevocable truths that follow in his wake.
The acclaimed new voice of the heartland, Mark Spragg has written a poetic and uncompromising memoir of his boyhood spent on the oldest dude ranch in Wyoming.
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