Book Review: A Thousand Deer

July Book Review by Eileen Mahoney

A Thousand Deer: Four Generations of Hunting and the Hill Country
By Rick Bass


Rick Bass is a prolific nature writer with an appreciation of wild places and a gift for vivid imagery. This book focused on his family legacy of deer hunting in Texas and the life lessons that have been passed down from generation to generation. The author hunts as a way to provide sustenance for his family, and the non-hunters in the book club appreciated the reverence and ritual that Bass described in the taking of an animal’s life. The essays alternated between lyrical, poetic descriptions of the natural world, colorful stories of hunting misadventures, reflections on human nature and relationships, and geological lessons on the formation of the land. The book can best be enjoyed at a slow pace, perhaps reading an essay here and there as time allows - relishing each chapter individually. When read cover to cover without the pauses between, the book can seem somewhat repetitive as common themes surface multiple times. We recommend the book for a taste of wilderness in intermittent doses.