Michael Grunwald, a senior national correspondent for Time Magazine, has penned a very provocative review of Oliver Houck's Down on the Batture for The Book - an online review at The New Republic.Grunwald, himself a student of endangered ecosystems himself, had some very complimentary things to say about Houck and his treatment of the batture.
Houck’s Down on the Batture because it is beautiful, enjoyable, evocative, provocative, and wise. I do not really have many larger points to make, except that I think you should read this book.
Grunwald is the author of The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise and he seems to be envious of Houck's ability to romanticize the eroding ecosystem.
Houck’s hypnotic prose, sporadically interrupted by sudden bursts of moral indignation, made me wish I had attended sunset school. A walk in the woods in Jefferson Parish reminds him of the one time in a quarter of a century of meandering that he got a ticket for failing to leash his dog, which evokes the ugly history of selective law enforcement in those parts, which somehow leads back to his childhood, when he and his brother set a fire that burned out of control and nearly blew up a gas station
Oliver A. Houck, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, is a professor of law at Tulane University. He received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Environmental Section of the American Bar Association and has been named Louisiana's Conservationist of the Year, among other honors. Down on the Batture is now available from UPM