Tim Cahill   Hold the Enlightenment  
Tim Cahill  
Read an Interview with Tim Cahill

Read an Excerpt from Hold the Enlightenment


Twenty five years ago, Tim Cahill took American adventure writing back to its roots in the outdoor tales of Cooper, Twain and Hemingway. Ever since, his first-person adventure columns in Outside magazine have single-handedly pioneered a new literary form where the pursuit of heroic quests in remote locales frequently trips over hidden obstacles or bumps into the modest limits of the writer's skills in the hairy-chested outdoor arts.

Now, with the publication of Hold the Enlightenment, More Travel Less Bliss, Cahill again boldly gallumphs forth in the footsteps of his previous Pecked to Death by Ducks, A Wolverine is Eating My Leg, and Pass the Butterworms. Whether he's running from bandits in the Sahara, chasing narcoterrorists in Colombian or simply going for a swim with great white sharks, Cahill risks life and limb to take his readers beyond where even the most intrepid of them would go themselves. He also gets peed on by chimps, suffers paralyzing bouts of panic and falls off a cliff. Adventure and misadventure, Cahill suggests, can look an awful lot alike when you're in the midst of either one.

Cahill notes that there are more unfriendly people with guns here than in his earlier books, but he also spends plenty of time contemplating places where peril doesn't lurk. Hold the Enlightenment takes its title from his experience trying to relate to the serenity-seeking patrons of a Jamaican yoga retreat. Elsewhere, he ruminates on the fate of a Montana ghost town and what it foreshadows for the glut of new McMansions that litter his corner of the mountain West. He even treats his readers to the heartwarming celebration of a loyal dog and a brave small town girl. And plenty of unfriendly people with guns.

—John D. Sparks

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  Photo credit: William Caldwell

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