Review: THE INCOMING TIDE by Cameron Pierce

THE INCOMING TIDE is at once an insightful meditation and an exuberant celebration of life in the real world. But not the coverworld of office buildings and city streets, meetings and luncheons, bills to pay and promises to keep. It’s the world that you find “out there”, on coastal lakes, in the shade of ancient forests, or down among the tide-pools.

From the back cover:

There are no bad days
in this blue house
in this gray town
and the tide is always coming or going


When I was a young man, both in college and beyond, I became enamored of the works of authors like Loren Eiseley and Annie Dillard. They had the ability to evoke a sense of place and situation, their own sensations wafting off the page like a surrounding mist, their language poetic and engaging. I probably read the THE IMMENSE JOURNEY and A PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK twenty times over the years and I could still go back to them today with the same wonder and delight that I experienced back then.

It’s been a long time since I’ve encountered an author whose work instills that feeling of discovery and fascination that could keep me reading long into the quiet hours, and then bring me right back again for another go because there’s still more to uncover. Cameron Pierce is such an author. THE INCOMING TIDE is a collection of short essays, poems and allegorical pinpricks unlike anything I expected when I was asked to review it. I haven’t read Pierce’s work before but I’ve seen his name associated with the likes of Adam Cesare and Shane McKenzie. Those guys are hardcore horror/bizarro authors; damn good ones, but hardcore all the same. So I expected the same from Pierce and have been told that he is a more than capable author of such work. But that isn’t what comes in this package. Here you will discover poems of fishing and the sea, sketches and stories of ghost dogs, old men who scuttle into the sea, and dead men’s lawnmowers. THE INCOMING TIDE is infused throughout with the voice of a renegade naturalist deeply in love with the English language and the world he paints with vivid, adept strokes.

Of the books like this that I’ve read in recent years, THE INCOMING TIDE stands at the top of the pile and I don’t foresee anyone threatening it’s position any time soon. For a little book, weighing in at a mere 73 pages, this is a huge entry in contemporary literature. If you like books that stretch the bounds of convention and celebrate the beauty of life and language, THE INCOMING TIDE is a book you want to read, and then read again, and then…

Go here to get it: THE INCOMING TIDE
Published by: Broken River Books

About the author:

Cameron Pierce is the author of thirteen books, ranging from award-winning bizarro fiction to aquatic horror and fables of the outdoors. His work has appeared in over fifty publications, including Gray’s Sporting Journal, The Barcelona Review, Hobart, The Big ClickVol. I Brooklyn, and Letters to Lovecraft, and has been reviewed and featured on Comedy Central and The Guardian. In early 2015, Pierce was the Mellon writer-in-residence at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. He is also the author of the former column Fishing and Beer, where he interviewed acclaimed angler Bill Dance and John Lurie of Fishing with John. He has written for animation and comics. In addition to his writing, Pierce is the head editor of the popular indie publisher Lazy Fascist Press and has edited four anthologies, including the groundbreaking volume The Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade. He lives near the Columbia River with his wife and daughter in Astoria, Oregon.


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