The true story of Sierra Nevada park ranger Randy Morgenstern, who was widely considered to be the best of an elite, though underpaid and underappreciated bunch. Morgenstern knew the mountains like he knew his own hands, and was an expert at a sort of profiling used to figure out where a lost hiker was most likely to be. Then one day he went out on patrol, and vanished without a trace…

If you like books about wilderness survival, you will like this, but if you don’t, this isn’t quite exceptional enough for me to recommend it to people who don’t normally read the genre. It’s solidly well-written, and does a good job of portraying the Sierra Nevada landscape and an excellent one of dramatizing the rangers’ increasingly desperate and mismanaged search for one of their own.

But the story which alternates with that of the search for Morgenstern, that of his life, is significantly less interesting, or at least less interesting to me. Blehm liberally quotes from Morgenstern’s vague, quasi-mystical nature writings, and so I nearly fell on the floor when he also quotes a rejection letter from Wallace Stegner who had the exact same critique I did (“too general, too vague.”)

One half of a very interesting book melded with one half of a mildly interesting one. [Bad username or unknown identity: ”buymeaclue”] would probably enjoy it, though probably with the same caveats.

The Last Season (P.S.)


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