Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: Equinox

By Sandy Amazeen Nov 13, 2010, 5:51 GMT

Book Review: Equinox

The South Dakota winter gives a man time to think. One subzero morning, as Dan O\'Brien approaches his fiftieth year, the autumnal equinox of his life, he takes stock. Feeling a waning sense of purpose, he decides to devote himself entirely, for the first time in his life, to his greatest loves庸alconry, his bird dogs, and the prairie he calls home.That summer he obtains a remarkable falcon chick who immediately ...more

Falconry, relationships, mid-life crisis and a deeply rooted appreciation for the natural world come together in this personal account that details the training of an exceptional peregrine. As O達rien nears his fiftieth birthday he becomes seriously conflicted between moving with his wife from their South Dakota home to New Hampshire where she値l spend the next year working or staying home to pursue his lifelong dream of training and flying the perfect falcon. After some soul searching and no small amount of understanding from his wife, O達rien opts to stay on the ranch and live the dream that evaporates when he tries too hard.

The descriptions of falconry, working with hunting dogs, the rolling prairie hills of South Dakota and simple good food are eloquent. O達rien does an excellent job of showing what goes into the training of both birds and dogs along with the effort and dedication it takes to create an effective hunting partner. Although many of O達rien痴 observations regarding the devastating effects generations of overgrazing have had on the prairie ring true, his heavy-handed condemnation of the NRA and its members smacks of a personal vendetta. While his descriptions of working with birds is flawless, O達rien痴 personal life may leave readers wondering about his priorities.


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