Here we are again. John McPhee. Sick of me yet? Sick of him? Hope not. Okay, in short, if you aren’t into geology and things like plate tectonics, continental drift and zeolites then don’t bother with this book. Or if you don’t find yourself wondering “What happened during the Silurian time?” then don’t bother with this one. Yes, this book, like all McPhee books, is well written, funny and filled with insanely cool shit IF you are interested in geology.
Truth be told, before I was derailed by photography I was intending to study geology as my college major. Our house in Wyoming was built on a copper mine, so as a kid I had my rock hammer, my goggles and my artifact bag. The entrance to the mine was covered only by a wagon wheel. Yes, an actual, real wagon wheel from some hapless traveler from the 1800’s who probably died in a stampede, plague, snakebite or by gunfire shortly after “securing” the mine with the wheel, which was the perfect size for a kid to fall right through. I never did but hoped my sister would.
The Earth is a fascinating rock. There is so much to know, to explore and to understand. If you are interested in the physical history of our planet then by all means pick up a copy of Basin and Range. Get it, read it.