Friday, November 14, 2008

Review: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

I want to like Annie Dillard, I really do.  I think the world is a better place because Annie Dillard thinks and writes in it.

But . . . the bugs.  Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is chock-o-block with looking at, thinking about, and describing bugs.  Some other creatures too, both larger and smaller than bugs, but mostly bugs.

As much as I appreciate the conclusions Dillard draws about the natural world and the nature of God, her minute observations about critters and plants could barely hold my attention.   I took pious pleasure in finishing the book, like I had done something that, while a little boring, had its interesting moments and made me a better person – kind of like going to church.


If you would like your review of this or any other Annie Dillard book listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.


  1. I read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek when I was in high school. I too felt a sense of satisfaction at finishing it-- even though I don't think I cannot recall much. I do remember feeling a little bored, but I remember she used such great words for things, I found myself writing down the words so I'd remember them. I think it was one of those books that made me think that maybe the books I'd been reading weren't as well-written as they could have been...

    I inherited a used copy and mean to revisit it and see what I think now, 12 (?) years later.

  2. Yes, I think A.D. is an excellent writer. And I admire her mind. I will eventually read all her books, but I have to space them out over the years.

  3. I am getting ready to read this, having previously read and enjoyed An American Childhood. Thanks for the warning about the bugs. We'll see how well I cope.


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