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Book reviews for "Siebert,_Charles" sorted by average review score:

Wickerby: An Urban Pastoral
Published in Hardcover by Crown Pub (1998)
Author: Charles Siebert
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fear from ignorance
Contrary to other reviewers I found this book to be slightly overwritten. Siebert too often strung out so many dependent clauses that the original point of the sentence was lost and I had to go back and find the subject. I suppose that this is a metaphor for the central narrative point of the book, which seemed to be that life is worth reflecting upon once in a while. That's hard to argue with. I concede that one of the reasons I found Siebert's prose a bit hard to follow sometimes is that it was so thought-provoking.

I have lived in urban environments of one size or another (including Brooklyn) for most of my life. While I appreciate the pleasures of the country more than Mr. Siebert does, I don't have much interest in true wilderness and frankly don't understand people who do. Mr. Siebert's repeated assertion is that Nature is Nature where ever you find it and that we are an indivisible part of it, is a welcome rebuttal to all the tiresome whining from the likes of Barry Lopez et al. about how we are spiritually divorced from the Earth/earth etc. Mostly people are comfortable with what they deal with on a regular basis. In the case of Mr. Siebert, a Brooklyn native, that is the urban landscape, its inhabitants, pleasures and dangers. Although he makes a "good student" effort to get to know the names of the plants and animals around him at Wickerby, his knowledge of them is not bred in the bone and he therefore has no deeper connection to them. Since he represents a majority in modern American society, his honesty about his feelings on this subject are refreshing. I much prefer his candor to the silly Romantic musings of so many ex-urbanites and ex-suburbanites who whinge on about the aboriginal splendor of wilderness and pastoral settings and their inhabitants, pleasures and dangers.

Most rural residents are not as isolated and odd as Wickerby's "caretaker", Albert. No other local residents have more than a cameo appearance in the book, so this book should not be received as a rural versus urban community contrast.

This was a fascinating view of the city and the country.
I grew up, and still live, in Alaska. I've never been to New York - the biggest city I have experience with is Anchorage, 250,000 people. I have, however, a great deal of experience with the country and isolation. Mr. Seibert's comparison of the two was fascinating. I could empathize with his feelings while in the Canadian woods, while exploring New York City through his eyes. My only complaint is that I didn't get to find out what happened afterwards. I highly recommend this book!

For the contemplative traveller in all of us
What is most fascinating in this meditative, language enhancing book is Siebert's continual spiralling outward thoughts. He has an uncanny ability to make insightful associations from travel memories, letters, and chance meetings with the wildlife roommates of Wickerby. This urban pastoral is more than just a comparison between city living and country weekend getaways. We also get Siebert's reporting (via letters mostly) of Bex's extended stay in Africa, free associations on Siebert's own visits to the Amazon and a contemplation on the "fearless forests" of the city, the jungle and the countryside. Here is a spare volume - rich with observation, opinion and anecdote. One of the best books I've read in 1998.

Angus: A Memoir
Published in Hardcover by Crown Pub (09 May, 2000)
Author: Charles Siebert
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Not just for dog lovers; this book is for WRITING lovers!
It's not just the information that gets you inside Angus' mind--smelling what he smells, tasting what he tastes, the constant straining, straining... it's also the physical layout of the pages that force you into the rhythm of this Jack Russell's life experience. Staccato sentences. Head-tilts. Poignant heart-tugs with no extraneous words. This book isn't written; it's crafted. I'm not much of a dog lover, but I surely love Angus and I surely love this book.

Small Dog w/ Big Heart
If you own a Jack Russell (I do!), or are just a dog lover, this book will resonate with your heart and soul.
It was funny, insightful and terribly heart breaking!
I loved it. Every detail of the dog's perspective came alive and I really liked that Angus was the actual protagonist.

Re: Angus: A Memoir
Angus: A Memoir is a beautiful book. I recommend it especially for dog lovers in general, and Jack Russell Terrier fans specifically. Angus is the story of a small dog looking back on his life as he lies dying. He contemplates his early life on a small farm in England, his adoption at eight weeks of age by two American authors and his adventures with them in England, NYC and the wilds of Canada. I really loved the author's ability place himself into the mind of a Jack Russell Terrier and to tell Angus' story from Angus' own perspective, without ascribing any sentimentality or human emotions to Angus. I found myself thinking "that's probably how my dog thinks".

I was also enjoyed Mr. Siebert's ability to make everyday relationships between humans and dogs exciting with his lyrical and fast-paced writing. I found myself crying and laughing, and crying and laughing over and over again as I read Angus' adventures.

At its deepest level, Angus is the story of the complex relationship between man and his civilized world, and the animal world which we still inhabit, to some extent.

I would highly recommend this book for a nice fall Saturday, or a foggy late summer day in a beach cabin. It is reflective and philosophical, without being tedious. Although the book deals with a small dog's death, the overall tone is not depressing. I found myself looking at my dog in a new light, and grateful for her companionship.

A Man After His Own Heart: A True Story
Published in Hardcover by Crown Pub (2004)
Author: Charles Siebert
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Published in Paperback by Crown Publishers, Inc ()
Author: Charles Siebert
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