book beginnings on Friday: Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean

Thanks to Rose City Reader for hosting this meme. To participate, share the first line or two of the book you are currently reading and, if you feel so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line.

young men and fire

Following an informative and lovely Publisher’s Note, which tells us that this is a posthumous publication of an unfinished (but largely formed) work, Norman Maclean begins his book Young Men and Fire with a story about the beginning of his involvement with the Mann Gulch Fire.

It was a few days after the tenth of August, 1949, when I first saw the Mann Gulch fire and started to become, even then in part consciously, a small part of its story.

To think that while the fire was still burning, in 1949, Maclean knew he’d be tied to it forever – though he didn’t begin this book til 1976, and it was unfinished at his death in 1990 – is profound in itself.

I think I am a serious Maclean fan. Stay tuned.

3 Responses

  1. Another memoir that sounds very interesting that I will have to add to my list. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • This is one of the most amazing books I’ve read in a while. Maclean is both poetic and wise; his telling of the Mann Gulch fire is both well-researched and engaging; I don’t know how to praise it properly. So yes, recommended! Glad to have you, Jason!

  2. […] I said in my book beginning post, I learned quickly that this was a posthumous publication, a cooperative effort by his publisher […]

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