“Seldom Seen” A Journey into the Great Plains


Seldom Seen
A Journey into the Great Plains
Patrick Dobson
hardcover    2009. 296 pp.  978-0-8032-1616-7   $29.95 t

In May 1995, with nothing but a backpack and a vague sense of disquiet, Patrick Dobson left his home and a steady if deadening job in Kansas City, Missouri. Over the next two and a half months he made his way to Helena, Montana, letting chance encounters guide him to a deeper sense of who he was and where he was going. His chronicle of this journey charts his experiences with the seldom-seen people of the small towns, the far-flung outposts, and the Great Plains that make up “our America.”

Beginning as a seeker, Dobson becomes a faithful recorder of other people’s search for contentment, introducing us to a firefighter with a farm at the end of the world, a fiery Christian conservative, a man sharing a van with a crowd of cats, a former circus carny who’s found the secret to living life, and a homeless Native American offering a special and enduring gift. Ridden out of a hostile Kansas town, sniffed by bears, confronted by bison and  recalcitrant moose, Dobson cannot help but see how land, sky, weather, and a world of circumstances influence people. Against the majestic sweep of the open plains and endless horizon, his story is one of hope and desperation, richness and simplicity—a portrait of who we are in the heartland of America.

Click to Seldom Seen – University of Nebraska Press.

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