Blurbs – Stone by Stone
The Boston Globe: "An open invitation to head into the country oneself and explore a stone wall."
The Providence Sunday Journal: "Rarely has a book on so mundane a topic delivered so much information in so enjoyable a manner. Thorson is a fine writer, a scientist with the sensibility of a poet."
Dallas Morning News: "A fascinating study of New England’s landmarks that are as much about art as geology."
Booklist: " An enlightening excursion that goes well beyond the romantic notions surrounding the walls."
Washington Post: "If the preservation effort needs a manifesto, Thorson has one."
Orion: "[Few geologists] dare to make plain their passion for rocks, as Thorson does, much less linger on the sensual details of their mediumÑits color, texture, sound, and odor. And most geological writing doesn’t venture very far or boldly into the realm of human culture, an area to which Thorson’s scientific expertise makes the most startling contribution."
Tom Wessels, interpreter of landscapes: If I were to own just one book on the stonewalls of New England, it would be Robert Thorson’s."
Bill McKibben, writer and activist: "Now I know why all the stone walls I’ve ever stumbled across in the northeast woods are thigh-high–along with about a thousand other interesting details that shed illuminating light on the human history of this sweet region."
Chet Raymo, science writer: "Robert Thorson teases from New England’s ubiquitous stone walls a natural and cultural history of the region, from the grinding glaciers that shaped the stones to the spreading asphalt deserts that are displacing them. A nature lover’s ‘must read.’"
Kevin Gardner, stone mason and author: "Robert Thorson offers the most complete natural history ever written about New EnglandÕs fabled stone walls. This alone would have been valuable enough, but he doesn’t Õt stop there. His restless, provocative examination lays out ideas like multiple courses of well-placed fieldstone, uniting the histories of New EnglandÕs geology, environment, culture, and economy in a study built on science and sustained by passion. Stone by Stone should be an instant necessity for anyone who wonders why our landscape looks the way it does."
Photo: Pastures on block island are still separated by stone fences.