by Colin Fletcher
Fletcher, supposedly the first man to walk the length of the Grand Canyon, below the Rim (seems unlikely), wrote a book about it. I must say I’m sorely disappointed in the result. It’s horribly repetitive and boring, to begin with. But my main objection is that Fletcher was determined before he left to have some sort of “break” with his old self, to become a new man, to have new heights of understanding. So every time he had some new impression of the Canyon, he would go on and on about how “now I had finally escaped the trivia of everyday life. Now at last I no longer needed to scrutinize the wildlife; I had become part of it,” and so forth. And each time he would then begin to scrutinize the Canyon and have another grand Moment, and repeat himself about escaping the trivia again. All very tiresome; still there are some good scenes here, and his final chapter, consisting of his ruminations on Man, is pretty interesting. I just wish we had more of a memoir of what it was like to walk and live in the Canyon, not a diary of forced mystical epiphanies.