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Book review: ‘Living the Life’ takes peek into the life of backcountry skiing

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LIVING THE LIFE: Tales from America’s Mountains and Ski Towns,” by David Rothman, Conundrum Press, $14.99, 226 pages (nf)

“Living the Life: Tales from America’s Mountains and Ski Towns,” by David Rothman, is a compilation of essays and poems about the ski culture of the United States. Rothman writes in a memoir style and details some of his most memorable moments on the slopes and in the towns surrounding them.

From dressing as a clown for a parade to skiing some of the most remote backcountry stretches, Rothman’s stories elaborate on backcountry skiing and the people who love the sport enough to chase snow year-round.

“Living the Life” also provides an in-depth look at the types of people who are drawn to both backcountry and telemark skiing, where only the toe is attached to the skis, leaving the heel free, and the ways those people make skiing a way of life rather than just a sport. He does this through short vignettes of skiing trips and other moments in his life.

Although the book focuses on a wide range of ski areas across the country — including ones in Massachusetts, New York and Colorado — some portions discuss skiing in Utah. Ski areas in Utah mentioned include Snowbird, Snowbasin, Boulder and backcountry areas.

While Alpine skiing is discussed numerous times, telemark skiing is the major focus.

Rothman’s style is uniquely poetic at times and narrative at others. The style can be a little hard to comprehend at first. The reader is eventually immersed enough to not only understand but also enjoy the creative prose. However, some technical knowledge of skiing and ski lingo is helpful in understanding Rotham’s stories.

The book contains a small amount of swearing and a fair amount of sexual innuendo and descriptions of sex.

Ultimately, “Living the Life” is an engaging peek into the lives and fulfillment of skiers who conquer the slopes in remote regions year-round.

If you go ...

What: David Rothman book signing

When: Thursday, March 27, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of the featured book from The King's English.

Alexis Jones is a law student at the University of Utah. Email: alexis.jones@gmail.com