FROM THE CRITICS
O’Brien is the author of three novels (most recently, Brendan Prairie), a short-story collection and a popular nonfiction book, The Rites of Autumn. A resident of Rapid City, S.D., he is also an aficionado of falconry. Here, he explores his lifelong romance with birds of prey. For O’Brien, falcons are an ideal “point of entry” into the larger webs and cycles of nature. As the title suggests, this is also a book concerned with middle age, specifically with the author’s approaching 50th birthday. O’Brien’s laconic prose is well suited to this autumnal theme, and his treatment will likely appeal to many baby boomers. O’Brien also writes frankly of the not always pleasant burden of possessing an acute mind and imagination, of the joys and travails of daily life on the ranch and in town, of the highs and lows of an existence lived faithfully in the service of art and nature. After “twenty years of working in the wind,” he has “learned a few things.” The book contains the essence of those revelations, and most have to do with love-the love of a man for his wife (a physician in Rapid City), for his closest friends (Jim Harrison, Rick Bass, various ranching buddies), for his falcons and for the land that has nurtured him. O’Brien is one of the West’s stellar talents, and this is one of his finest books. (Mar.) Courtesy of BarnesandNoble.com
Dan O’Brien is one of my favorite authors, and Equinox was the first of his books that I discovered. If you enjoy nature writing and share an interest in falconry, see if you can’t find one of his books at the local library. He wrote a few novels and short stories related to falconry and ranching in South Dakota and most recently has been writing historical novels about the Great Plains.
I tend to read by author when I find someone that I enjoy. I like to read everything by a particular author, regardless of subject, just to see where the author takes me. With Dan O’Brien I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying his historical novels (The Contract Surgeon, The Indian Agent) as well as his novels about falconry and the outdoors.