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

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

Robert Finch

ISBN: 978-0-393-35601-4

*Norton agency titles

192 pages

Select type: Paperback

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Description

Those who have encountered Cape Cod—or merely dipped into an account of its rich history—know that it is a singular place. In The Outer Beach, beloved nature writer Robert Finch weaves together his collected writings from more than fifty years and more than a thousand miles of walking along Cape Cod's Atlantic coast to create a poignant, candid chronicle of an iconic American landscape. Finch considers evidence of nature's fury: shipwrecks, beached whales, towering natural edifices, ferocious seaside blizzards. And he ponders everyday human interactions conducted in its environment with equal curiosity, wit, and insight: taking a weeks-old puppy for his first beach walk; engaging in a nocturnal dance with one of the Cape's fabled lighthouses; stumbling, unexpectedly, upon nude sunbathers; or even encountering out-of-towners hoping an Uber will fetch them from the other side of a remote dune field.

Throughout these essays, Finch pays tribute to the Outer Beach's impressive literary legacy, meditates on its often-tragic history, and explores the strange, mutable nature of time near the ocean. But lurking behind every experience and observation—both pivotal and quotidian—is the essential question that the beach beckons every one of its pilgrims to confront: How do we accept our brief existence here, caught between overwhelming beauty and merciless indifference? Finch's affable voice, attentive eye, and stirring prose will be cherished by the Cape's staunch lifers and erstwhile visitors alike, and strike a resounding chord with anyone who has been left breathless by the majestic, unrelenting beauty of the shore.