Sunday, November 28, 2010

Almost a review

Libby recently read Jeff Lockwood's Locust.



Her letter to him is as good as a short review, and the last line could be a blurb:

"I thoroughly enjoyed Locust. My favorite period of US history is the opening of the west during the 1800’s. When I was a kid we took many family trips to the southwest and up and down the Rockies, passing through the dozens of Mormon communities along the way. We used to talk about the difference the irrigation made in settlers being able to sustain themselves and their livestock. In some of our reading there were references to the locust plagues and we wondered why they weren’t mentioned after a certain point. The link between irrigation and the life stages of the locust is fascinating, and explains a lot. And I always wondered about the place names like Grasshopper Glacier and Grasshopper Creek, far away from the plains that I associated with grasshoppers, which it turns out weren’t grasshoppers but locusts.

"Thank you for such a splendid account...history, mystery, and natural history: my favorite combination in reading!"

5 comments:

Anna Lear said...

Thanks for the review and book recommendation; I'm on the outlook for good books for my dad, who enjoys the same combination, and this looks like a winner!

Steve Bodio said...

Jeff is a FINE writer-an ecologist introduced to us by Anne Proulx-- and though a Wyoming denizen for years an Albuquerque native.

Been to Kazakhstan too...

prairie mary said...

I really liked this book, too. It tied up a lot of loose ends. Even the fate of the Blackfeet got mixed into it when Congress diverted the rez commodity money to the citizen victims of locusts. I'm glad I didn't have to make such a decision. The mental picture of the locusts embedded in the glacier has stayed with me.

Prairie Mary

Anonymous said...

I read Locust a few months back and liked it. The world food supply would be very different if they came back.

Shortly after reading the book, a really bad TV show had the author on to mention the same thing. As he alluded to at the end of the book, the locust lurks in Yellowstone waiting for the right conditions to return.


WH

Peculiar said...

Gonna have to borrow this one! The occasional Mormon cricket years I've witnessed have been quite something; swarms on such biblical scales I can hardly imagine.