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Only one or two casual references to cars, the telephone, and ""the war"" hint that this diary was kept in the mid-Twentieth century. The author records the assing of the seasons with their accompanying flora and fauna and anecdotes about his rural neighbors in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, with the manner of an elderly, kindly busybody, although August Derleth, born in 1909, was far from elderly when these notes were made. The events and the attitudes of the characters, some of whom he become well acquainted with in the course of this two-year chronicle, could have their home in almost any age; but even secluded in this midwestern backwater, one fonders if Derleth himself--obviously an intelligent and sensitive man-- could be suite as unaffected by the outside world as he appears here. There is no story, no character progression, and certainly not what one might logically expect: a Spoon-Riverish time and place portrait. The main quality is a restful timelessness, and the chief beauty of this book is to be found in the many passages describing the author's unhurried observations of nature; they are sometimes within a stone's throw of Walden Pond.

Pub Date: Nov. 18th, 1963
Publisher: Duell, Sloan, & Pearce