Book Review – Way Out Here

Way Out Here is Richard Leo's reflections on his homesteading experience.

This next book is a continuation of my Richard Leo experience per my brother’s suggestion. It’s not often that I read two books by the same author right in a row – I like to give them space so my review of one doesn’t affect the other… and that might just have happened here…

Book 15:
Way Out Here: Modern Life in Ice-Age Alaska
by Richard Leo

Genre:
Nonfiction, Adventure

Published:
March 1996

Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, Way Out Here is Richard Leo’s reflections on his homesteading experience.

Favorite Quote(s):

“No landscape or lifestyle is absolution from that which we carry into it.”

“Rushing to get there misses here.”

“It’s common to take for granted that which is common.”

“Living in community is a way to sustain both everyone within it and everything around it. When community is functional, it satisfies a planetary need for consensus, compassion, and foresight.”

“Craft is for the sake of crafting, not magazine spread. A full life is lived, not designed. The deepest impression is made by not trying to impress.”

– Richard Leo, Edges of the Earth

Awards (based upon my brief research):
None.

Pages:
191

My Overall Rating:
2.5 – Again, I have to say that Rick’s story is very interesting. Not many people in the currently living population can tell of their homesteading experience (though I should note that Rick has since passed away in 2013 at the age of 61). However, I struggled with this book. The chapters were too long and the content too detailed for it to be considered memoir, but the content lacked an overall plot, so it really can’t be considered a traditional non-fiction story. It was reflective, sure, but it felt largely like a man writing his thoughts for his future grandchildren, wanting to capture every detail, but assuming they already know the gist of the story.

That being said, I still found the book highly quotable which is something I really admire. When someone can take a vast concept and sum it up incredibly well in one or two moving sentences, I am immediately trying to capture those words, storing them for future use.