128 pages
ISBN 1-55054-620-1
DDC 577.34'09795






Photos by Graham Osborne
Reviewed by Patricia Morley

Patricia Morley is professor emerita of English and Canadian Studies at
Concordia University and an avid outdoor recreationist. She is also the
author of The Mountain Is Moving: Japanese Women’s Lives, Kurlek, and
Margaret Laurence: The Long Journey Hom


The full-page photographs in this large-format book are breathtakingly
beautiful images of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. The
short, yet substantial, text includes a foreword by environment-alist
David Suzuki, a preface by the photographer, and an important essay by
Wade Davis. Davis, one of Canada’s best-known environmentalists, holds
a Harvard Ph.D. in ethnobotany and has worked in the field as both plant
explorer and photographer.

All three writers find poetry in the ancient forests. Suzuki writes of
“the exquisite interplay and unimaginable complexity of this tapestry
on Earth we call life.” Graham Osborne recalls a slog through heavy
rain to reach an area he wished to photograph. Soaked and chilled, he
nevertheless thrilled to the scenes he was shooting and felt privileged
to be in the midst of such an “Eden-like” scene.

Davis’s sensitive and informative text emphasizes the interdependence
of the forest world. He takes the reader from the beginning of time to
modern clear-cutting, the latter a sorry tale of resource exploitation
at the behest of economic imperatives. The author was himself a logger
as a young man, and knows only too well the damage that was done 20
years ago and continues to be done.

Davis hopes that the ancient forests can be preserved “as symbols of
the geography of hope.” They shelter, he writes, “all of our history
and embrace all of our dreams.” Most of the book consists of
magnificent photographs of the terrain Davis describes. Rainforest is an
impressive tribute to one of the world’s most precious areas.


Davis, Wade., “Rainforest,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 15, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/3455.