Literature: Dobson’s Seldom Seen

Title: Seldom Seen // Author: Patrick Dobson // Publisher: University of Nebraska Press // Pub. Date: November 2009 // 296 p.

I recently read a nonfiction book that would make Walt Whitman proud: Patrick Dobson’s Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plains. In this book, Dobson takes literally Whitman’s charge to “take to the open road.” He leaves a mind-dulling job in Kansas City and walks more than fourteen hundred miles to Helena, Montana. Seldom Seen is the story of that journey, which supplies Dobson with plenty of insights about people, culture, and nature. Dobson goes beyond simply chronicling what he sees or telling about whom he meets along the way. Fourteen-hundred-miles on foot gives this writer plenty of time to process what he’s learning about the Great Plains and how it relates to his urban life back in Kansas City. And unless you live in the Great Plains, this book will take you into a landscape that’s seldom seen. Not many people flock to this area on vacation, and Wyoming happens to be the least populated state. Dobson moves through these less-traveled swaths of land with keen eyes and shares his experiences with the rest of us. People who will like this book: enduro-wakers, transient literary types, small town sleuths, nature buffs.

To read my more in-depth review of Patrick Dobson’s Seldom Seen at New West, click here.

Photo credit: University of Nebraska Press

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