Acting as himself in his essays and as various protagonists in his stories, the author shows us a hunger for a vanished world of natural splendor and ideal love. The essays are persuasively strong, rising to a thematic climax in the powerfully reasoned Environmentalist as Misanthrope. As for the matching antiphonal stories, they delight with their surprise endings and several- The Swimmer, The Bright Side, Assassinations -may best be described as small masterpieces. Both the essays and stories that comprise Field Guide share a feature I call page richness, a literary quality that causes the reader to savor certain pages before continuing toward the conclusion, as one might pause on a long journey to enjoy especially appealing vistas. Writers either have this ability or they don't. Steve Sherwood has it.