Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Bryant Logan [book review]
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
From the standpoint of a budding soil scientist, but ever the naturalist, this book nearly bored me to tears. While it was a quick read, interesting in parts, it was also a series of non-connecting short stories about one guy’s encounters with dirt, either in physical or academic form.
The topics Logan glossed over are just about everything from how soil is formed from interstellar dust (at the beginning of the planet’s creation) to worms in the dirt. Most, however, were mini stories or quotes about dirt.
This book was not so academic that he didn’t use the word “shit”, but it did have a slight academic overview. What I’m not really all that clear about is how he associated dirt with sex so much. Seriously, I’ve looked at many gorgeous soil horizons, and I never found a single one of them “sexy” (p. 178). There were several references to the dirt being erotic in some sense, and often I couldn’t figure out how he got that. This man loves his dirt. Possibly too much.
He also made the dirt very spiritual. I have often felt a grounded connection to the earth when I put my hands in a big pile of dirt, but never have I been able to associate it with so much Christianity. It made me wonder if he didn’t seriously love his dirt too much. To each his own though.