This week we’re looking at a poetic and in depth examination of the modern day issues of living in, on, and around the Mississippi River that would do Samuel Clemens justice. This week, we’re looking at Holding Back The River by Tyler J Kelley.
Modern Day Life On The Mississippi. This book frequently references Twain’s famous work Life On The Mississippi and essentially constitutes a modern retelling of this text, focusing on the more modern issues and problems of trying to “manage” one of nature’s untamable forces. Rather than a dense scientific tome, Kelley instead focuses on the people involved and their specific issues, expanding through time and geography as and where needed to show how the issue at this time and place came to be. Ultimately many of his recommendations are more of the “your mileage may vary” level, but the work he does in establishing the people he speaks of in their times and places is truly breathtaking and will make you want to go back and read Twain’s own works to see just how much of life on the Mississippi has changed – and remained constant – over the last 150 or so years. Very much recommended.