THE FRAGRANCE OF GRASS by Guy de la Valdéne


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A lifetime outdoorsman shares his wild and wooly travels hunting throughout Europe and North America.

An avid big-game hunter, de la Valdène (Red Stag, 2003, etc.) lyrically recounts a rugged lifetime fortified by the land, offering brief but resonant and beautifully written memories of his time in the fields. He elaborates on hunting protocol and describes his encounters with coveys of partridges (a favorite), various migratory birds, rabbits and coyotes, relating everything with a generously encyclopedic knowledge base. The author writes enthusiastically of his boyhood in a village in Normandy where, at an early age, he begged his father for a shotgun. Instead, he received a BB gun and went about recklessly targeting women’s behinds and his mother’s precious stemware. Several years and many reprimands later, the boy was graced with the shotguns that would ignite his love of animal pursuit. Though he bestowed honest blessings on his son’s hunting adventures, de la Valdène’s father “declined to be a party to their execution,” yet enjoyed dining on fresh game during hunting season. A summer spent in Scotland shooting pigeons and grouse gave way to experiences with the poaching trade back in Normandy and dog-running in Montana. Currently living on 800 acres of farmland in northern Florida, de la Valdène remains conflicted about his hunting hobby but enjoys his seclusion from “a world whose only contribution is to have left behind its own compost.” He writes fondly of developing a newfound respect for the natural peacefulness and wildlife surrounding him. Savory recipes close out the author’s light, lovingly crafted fare.

A compact, delightful feast for the senses.

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7627-6414-3
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Lyons Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2011


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