2 authors to sign books in Old Forge

Adirondack PaddlingTwo authors will sign copies of their latest Adirondack books at Old Forge Hardware on Saturday, July 6, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Phil Brown, editor of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine, will be signing his new guidebook, Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventureswhile Michael Virtanen will be signing his new suspense novel, The River’s Tale. Both books were published by Lost Pond Press.

Adirondack Paddling describes 60 flatwater paddling trips throughout the Adirondack Park, including several in the Old Forge region. It

River Tales front cover finalcontains more than 100 color photos of landscapes and wildlife and color maps of every route. Co-published by the Adirondack Mountain Club, the guidebook sells for $24.95.

The River’s Tale is a prequel to Virtanen’s first novel, Within a Forest Dark, which won the Adirondack Center for Writing’s award for best fiction in 2007. The protagonist of the new novel, Alison Reade, flees to a remote cabin in the Adirondacks to escape an ex-boyfriend who is stalking her. She lands a job as a Hudson River rafting guide and starts to fall in love with her charismatic boss. Life is good—until she discovers the Adirondacks are not the safe haven she thought they were. The River’s Tale sells for $14.95.

Old Forge Hardware, which has an extensive book department, is located at 104 Fulton St. in downtown Old Forge.

Author takes a day off

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter several days of rain, we had some beautiful sunshine on Sunday. We spent the day climbing in Keene Valley with Michael Virtanen, author of  the novels The River’s Tale and Within a Forest Dark, both set in the Adirondacks. First we did Empress, a classic seven-pitch route on Chapel Pond Slab established in 1933 by Fritz Wiessner, a celebrated climber in his day. The photo shows Mike on the third pitch.

Afterward  we went over to the Beer Walls to climb  a couple of two-pitch routes. The better one was Sword, a clean arete with airy exposure and interesting moves. Mike also did a popular one-pitch crack called Seven Ounces (rated 5.7); I gave it a half-hearted stab but was too pooped and gave up.

For me, the psychological crux of Empress comes in the middle of the fifth pitch. After climbing a big crack to a ledge, you step onto a narrow foothold on a fairly steep slab, a few  hundred feet above the ground. Then you climb up the slab, relying on smaller toeholds and pure friction to keep from falling. Mike took this photo of my feet after I had stepped  out onto the slab. (To enlarge either photo, click it once to open a new page, then click it a second time.) — Phil Brown



More praise for ‘River’s Tale’

River Tales front cover finalThe Adirondack Daily Enterprise ran a review today of The River’s Tale, a  novel by Michael Virtanen set largely in the Adirondacks. It’s a prequel to his award-winning first novel, Within a Forest Dark.

We figured it’d be a favorable review as soon as we saw the headline: “Strong characters, plot propel ‘River’s Tale.’”

Here’s how the writer summed up the book: “This is Michael Virtanen’s second novel, following his 2007 ‘Within a Forest Dark.’ His books are well-plotted and his characters real. The three major characters in ‘The River’s Tale’ are both familiar and individualized. Alison is not the first woman who has to flee a violent jerk; LaFleur is not the first woodsy philosopher we’ve met; Lottie is not the first isolated, cantankerous naturalist. But Virtanen’s characters are not just types. They are people, and the reader learns to care about them. ‘The River’s Tale’  is like a ride down a river we’ve been on before – providing both familiar sights and surprises around the bend.”

There’s much more to the review. Click here to read it in full.