Yeah, I loved this.
It's late so I won't be going too in detail. But if you had told me a combination of natural history, sports writing, and true crime could be blended together, I wouldn't have thought it was good. But this was simply incredible. I had a hard time stopping once I got listening, which is bad because I listened to most of it at work.
Johnson does an incredible job of setting up the story and putting it into the context it needs to be held in. I HATE fishing so never knew much about fly fishing. Yet I was RIVETED listening to the explanation of fly tying and why it's relevant to feathers. And once I knew the historical and scientific significance of the birds, I felt emotional pain thinking about what was lost. I don't think I would have found it as gripping or emotional I'd Johnson hadn't set it up the way he did. I really want to commend him for how well and seamlessly he did so.
Final rating: 5/5. A wonderful blend of multiple subjects into one topic.
Edwin Rist should be dive bombed by ever seagull he encounters.
I'm rounding up, in part because half way into this book I really wanted to read another one.
Watson's book is strange. You are either going to love it or hate it. The best way to look at it is as mediations on the wind. It isn't so much a natural history (or any type of history) but a collection of knowledge and musings.
The writing is beautifu
Stubbs' reputation as "the painter of horses" is both deserved and unfair. Deserved because he was the best painter of horses there'd ever been, without a doubt, surely because of his meticulous anatomical work on the same. Unfair because he did not limit himself to horses and portrayed numerous species, some of them very exotic, with the same skill, accuracy and flair, in active poses and repose alike and in magnificent landscape settings or not. He also used several media besides oils, including various types of prints and pioneering work with enamels on ceramic supports.
The book itself is a short, informative introduction to George Stubbs' work, with illustrations that demonstrate Stubbs' range of subject and technique clearly.