Lee Gerhard is a well-known geologist, adventurer, outdoorsman, and fanatic fly fisherman. His professional career included being tenured in four different academic settings, working for three oil companies, and being state geologist of two states. His forte is short stories and he focuses on the natural world. Preceding books are “Of Cowboys and Carpenters and Rifles and Rods” and “Rocks in My Pocket and Mud on My Boots,” both collections of short stories. He writes regularly for one outdoor magazine and for regional and local magazines. This is his first novel. Originally a farm kid from upstate New York, he and his family have always lived west of the Mississippi River. He has walked on every continent, dipped his toes into every ocean, and been as close to space as a normal citizen can be. As for being a geologist, he says “I’ve never had to work for a living, my career has been filled with fascinating and interesting challenges.”
“Rocks in My Pocket and Mud on My Boots” is a collection of mostly first person short stories recounting people encountered in a geology career, events that shaped that career, and memorable adventures. Although autobiographical, it is not an autobiography. It does not address any of the author’s scientific accomplishments or failures, but are anecdotes of impacts on the life and times of the author. Some names have been changed to avoid identifying characters.
The book does include some of the author’s philosophy, thoughts, and rationale. It also lists some of the most important people who positively influenced his career. As he has said, “I had the most interesting, challenging, and sometimes exciting career
I could ever have imagined for a country farm kid who grew up milking cows.”
This is the best action GeoSuspense adventure novel since Arthur C. Clarke’s posthumous Richter 10. Lee Gerhard is not just a successful petroleum geologist and great professor, he is a master storyteller, and this is one of his best.