The Outer Beach: A Thousand-Mile Walk on Cape Cod's Atlantic Shore


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.4 X 1.0 X 8.1 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Robert Finch has lived on Cape Cod for forty years, currently in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. He is the author of seven collections of essays, most recently of his radio scripts for his weekly commentary, "A Cape Cod Notebook," on the Cape and Islands NPR Station, WCAI.


A lovable book, full of high-leaping energy and charm. And Finch is great company--wonderfully informed, observant, and funny. He gives us his leisured and warm friendship; he gives us his humor and enthusiasm. What astounding sights he meets just by wandering!--Annie Dillard
With a scientist's clarity and a storyteller's wit, [Finch] tells of excursions taken over nearly half a century.... His prose carries the tang of salt, the gossip of gulls, the hiss of wind and surf. Open this book and you can venture out with him in all weathers, all seasons--beachcombing, storm-chasing, birdwatching--all the while musing on the primordial dance between land and sea, and on the resilient creatures that live along the edge.--Scott Russell Sanders, author of Dancing in Dreamtime
A lyrical ode to one of the most unique places on earth.
A master stylist, Finch is both a naturalist and a philosopher.... This beautiful book is to be savored in small bites by anyone yet to visit the Cape, and swallowed whole by those who love it as much as Finch does.
In rich and subtle detail, his portraits of the beach capture its ever-shifting elements.... Finch draws lessons on the impermanence of life from this settlement built on sand, lessons that resonate with his evocative panorama of restive natural forces in an iconic setting.
Lovely and fortifying....Geologists estimate that Cape Cod will disappear in around 6,000 years....Until it goes, may there continue to be writers as good as Mr. Finch to commemorate it.--Sam Sacks
[Finch] is a keen and passionate observer....[He] artfully conveys what is, at heart, so stirring about the beach: how its beauty and magisterial power cause us to ponder the larger things in life.
The author chose John Keats' remark, 'Description is always bad, ' as an epigraph for the book, but that comment surely does not apply to the precision and sheer loveliness of Finch's prose....Vivid and graceful reflections on water and wind, shifting sands, and the inevitability of change.