IN MAINE By: John N. Cole inmaine300.jpg

In Maine
John N. Cole
Photographs by John Ewing


My book is In Maine, by John N. Cole, and is a book about Maine's beauties and colors. I loved this book because it is about the outdoors, fishing, seasons, and wild life. This book is not just a book, it is filled with short stories. Other than In Maine, it is also called “Essays on Life's Seasons”. The author talked about the winter and home front, and also about him writing for the Maine Times. Those three sections were not ones I liked reading.

Here is a quote about the book that Cole wrote himself: “ In Maine, I have watched the wind being born, birthing in the western sky and then feathering the bay's silken surface with the first tentative touch of its young pinions. I have seen the nor'westers make a sea of our meadow, rolling the high grass in waves that break on the crest of our hill. And I have felt the same wind fill a sail with a hard slap that sets my boat a running.” Another quote from the book is, “It does the same to me. It dashes it's fresh chill in my face, clears my head and sets my thoughts a running.”

Readers and writers both call John's writing a “masterpiece”. A man named Ken Allen, from The Maine Sportsman wrote “Cole is the best outdoors writer to ever live in Maine. The man is a craftsman and artist of the highest order”. I agree with this, Cole describes and talks with the Maine language in this book. If you read along you can tell he is trying to do the accent as well. While describing the Maine language and accents, at the same time he is using very descriptive stories and definitions.

To end this book review I'm going to send you off with a story about the man himself, John N. Cole. John Cole's classic In Maine is a sometimes moving, sometimes lyrical, but always personal book that reveals a man examining the progress of his life and a man reveling in a natural world that not only unfolds around him. But a world in which he is an active participant. In Maine features selected essays that first appeared as “John's Column” in the Maine Times. The influential newspaper he co-founded in1968 and guided during its glory days in the 1970's. This new, revised edition also adds recent essays that still speak to the wondrous rhythms of life in Cole's signature style and demonstrate an enduring passion for Maine and the outdoors that remains unabated. I highly recommend reading this book if you enjoy reading about Maine essays about the outdoors. This is a nice book to just sit down in a quiet room and read, with a warm and bright fire going.


Dear John N Cole,

I have just got done reading your novel, In Maine, for a class assignment. This is the only book of yours I have read, but after reading this book I am thinking of reading another one of yours. Only because of the way you explained the nature of Maine. Also the harsh winters we have, and some of the struggles we have during this season. I have read reviews that you are the best outdoors writer to ever live in Maine.

While reading your book I realized that in life, especially in this colorful state, that you have to really work hard to be successful. If you really want something, you have to dig at it. And when you are done you feel good about your self. I was lazy over the past summers, this summer and now. I have been nothing but work work work. I stacked wood for someone, the pile of wood was ten times the size of me. It took me a whole entire month to do it. I really didn't want to do it at all, but I worked ,sweat, and rolled my ankle doing this job. But in the end when I finally stacked that last slice of wood with the bark all over the place, I felt really good about my self. Of course I was proud of earning my own money. But I was more proud of realizing that I've grown up and matured. That I have down my own work, and not had help with it. That I got to spend my money and not borrow some from my parents.

Not only did I like that part of the book, but I also liked the part where you explained the nature of Maine. In Maine, each season has its own colors. And to some people who have lived here all their lives, there is more than just summer,winter, spring, and fall. We make up our own seasons for example “Mud Season”. I think the most quiet season in Maine is fall, it is also my favorite season. It makes Maine look so colorful, and its not to hot and not to cold. The clothes are warm and comfy. Winter has its ups and downs, shoveling the snow kills the back. But some people plow and make money from it, some people who don't have plows shovel and/or sand and salt peoples drive ways for money.

All in all this was a great book, I like how you cut up the chapters. It made me change my look on a lot of things. And I loved the way you explained the out doors life here in Maine.


Zachary C. Albee

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