Jan 112014

1954 SeagraveBarry Roberts Greer’s “Seven Two: A Firefighter’s Story” is a triptych based on personal experience, partly autobio-graphical, but jazzed up to make a story. . . . Thanks for the book, Barry Roberts Greer, provocateur. Fire belly. Things may change.” Mary Scriver, Unitarian minister and former firefighter

“Greer is old-fashioned. One piece [in North Sister Protocol] describes the advice of an old-fashioned editor telling a beginner to read all the best nature writers and then find his own voice. Today few editors would understand the concept of ‘best’ being a matter of the quality of writing, nor would they spend time counseling writers. They want books to pass the ‘test’ of high sales potential, as demonstrated by previous performance. Ground-breaking loses money. And they want to buy books already edited, proofed, indexed, footnoted, illustrated and supplied with blurbs.’ Mary Scriver, Montana

“So are you yearning for Ed Abbey? I’ve got another writer for you. He might also please fans of Martin Murie’s eco-mysteries, but Martin was a kinder, gentler guy. [The North Sister Novel] is tough stuff. Good clean prose, Machiavellian plotting, and a bunch of dangerous women who speak Spanish. Apocalyptic enviro stuff. When reviewing previous work by Greer that he insists is satirical, I’ve complained that his satire is too realistic for me to see he is mocking. This is different. It responds to the times, man, by going over the top. . . . J.J. Abrams had better get an option on this story.” Mary Scriver, Montana

“I enjoyed [The North Sister Novel] even though the premise was a bit ‘out there,’ but after all, aren’t cults usually ‘out there’? Action is non-stop and the details make everything believable. I’d recommend the book to adventure and mystery fans who like realistic set-ups.” Mr. Wizard,

“I love this book. I don’t think I’ll ever give up this book [Pipe Nozzle]. I hope to get more in the future. . . . Awesome. I know a lot of my friends would love to read Seven Two. And all of your other books.” Tyree Thomas, Philadelphia firefighter

“Pulls no punches; true grit narrative.” Richard Ornberg, retired Illinois career firefighter.

“Great read. Good stuff. Can’t wait to read more.” Tiger Schmittendorf, Deputy Fire Coordinator in the County of Erie Department of Emergency Services (Buffalo NY).

“I like your work.” Ron Chamberlain, Boston, Massachusetts public safety professional.

“I’m glad you have described the firefighting effort in terms that will speak to members of the profession, because the FDNY’s response to the tragic fire was a brave and splendid display of courage and competence.” David Von Drehle, Time Magazine

“Great read! Check it out.” Tommy Hark, Firefighter, Austin, Texas

“Good piece.” Damon Campagna, Executive Director, New York City Fire Museum

“It’s all good.” Mike Meyers, Chief, Battalion 9, FDNY

Barry Roberts Greer’s collection of witty, pithy and sometimes prescient essays is a pleasure to read. “Notes from the Academic Underground” illustrates the wisdom inherent in taking the long view of history, even those painful portions which trap us at their center. In Greer’s clear-eyed snapshots of injustice in the halls of academia, readers also glimpse gems of wisdom more commonly found in Greek tragedy. Perhaps, [as in the case of Graham Spanier detailed in these pages,] “a man’s character is his abiding fate” after all. Jean Anderson, author of “In Extremis and Other Alaskan Stories.”

Only in oblique hints do we learn that Greer has survived cancer and near-blindness, for he never seeks pity from his readers. Instead he takes us on challenging journeys, hiking in the wet snow of late spring, jogging up a minor and under-rated peak, slogging through the wet fenland trails that we never see in Eddie Bauer ads. Greer’s stubborn, rugged individuality reminds us of Henry Thoreau and Edward Abbey, of John Muir and Jim Harrison; loners who sacrifice comfort and security to celebrate wild places and “empty” spaces, the sort that developers want to clear and fill all too swiftly. Henry C,

I’ve been a fan of Barry Greer ever since he started writing for The Climbing Art magazine back in the early 1990s. North Sister skillfully blends social commentary with a suspense-filled plot, and is considerably enriched by Greer’s sharp eye (and deep love) for the landscape of the Oregon Cascades. It remains as timely now as it was when it was first serialized two decades ago. David Mazel, Adama State College

Greer is a writer “blessed with many gifts, especially moral passion. He bears down hard on ignorance, apathy, greed, and calumny, and often his writings have offended those less willing to take the higher road. But he is not rigid or stiff-necked; about his work there plays a witty, rueful tone that conveys his appreciation of the human carnival.” William Howarth, Princeton University

“A fusion of the deadly serious with high satire.” Scott Sanders, Indiana University

“I enjoyed your piece about Steens Rim, having just been up there in January when it was snow-covered and remote.” Ann Zwinger, author of “Beyond the Aspen Grove”

“Everyone here loves your writing.” Gordon Hardy, Appalachia Journal

“It is his fiction that impresses me most: his dry, acerbic wit and masterful descriptive technique are not only a pleasure to read, but a further indication of the extraordinary depth of this competent and talented individual.” Lincoln Kesler, University of British Columbia

“Uniformly excellent.” Rob Phillips, Oregon State University

“A sheer delight.” Audrey Salkeld, Sierra Club Books

“I sat down last night and read it, missing the meeting I was supposed to go to tonight . . . . And I thought it would make a really successful film.” Suzanne Clark, University of Oregon

“A good piece.” Jon Franklin, Pulitzer Prize-winner

The North Sister Novel is a good read–full of suspense and some unexpected twists.” Penelope,