Alaskan Travels

Alaskan Travels

Far-flung Tales of Love and Adventure

Book - 2012
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Thirty years ago, celebrated American writer Edward Hoagland, in his early fifties and already with a dozen acclaimed books under his belt, had a choice: a midlife crisis or a midlife adventure. He chose the adventure.nbsp;

Pencil and notebook at the ready, Hoagland set out to explore and write about one of the last truly wild territories remaining on the face of the earth: Alaska. From the Arctic Ocean to the Kenai Peninsula, the backstreet bars of Anchorage to the Yukon River, Hoagland traveled the "real" Alaska from top to bottom. Here he documents not only the flora and fauna of America's last frontier, but also the extraordinary people living on the fringe. On his journey he chronicles the lives of an astonishing and unforgettable array of prospectors, trappers, millionaire freebooters, drifters, oilmen, Eskimos, Indians, and a remarkably kind and capable frontier nurse named Linda. In his foreword, novelist Howard Frank Mosher describes Edward Hoagland's memoir as "the best book ever written about America's last best place."nbsp;

In the tradition of Twain's Life on the Mississippi and Jonathan Rabin's Old Glory, with a beautiful love story at its heart, this is an American masterpiece from a writer hailed by the Washington Post as "the Thoreau of our times."

Publisher: New York : Arcade Pub., c2012
ISBN: 9781611455038
1611455030
Branch Call Number: 917.9804 H65aL 2012
Characteristics: xi, 196 p. ; 24 cm.

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dixielib
Nov 01, 2012

Interesting book – an easy read. It reports on travels of 30 years ago, so perhaps not necessarily representative of present-day Alaska. Not sure if it’s simply the book’s view, or real Alaskan pathos, but the experiences related in the book leave a somewhat sour taste. Alaskan life appears nefarious, pugnacious, rancorous, back-biting, dog-eat-dog with plenty of child and wife abuse and drunken rampages. I somehow had a more romantic expectation of people drawn together in solidarity by severe weather and isolation. Perhaps that was an incorrect expectation. The book dwells a little too much on personal situation, divorces, wives, girlfriends that are irrelevant to the book’s theme, is skimpy on descriptions and impressions of natural surroundings (with the exception of the boat trip on a river which was beautifully rendered), but provides a lot of comment (albeit almost exclusively negative) on the people of Alaska. If Alaska is really like this, it’s better that I travelled there from my armchair instead of actually going there.

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