Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Outlander

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The Outlander

by Gil Adamson

The Outlander
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2008, 400 pages
    Jun 2009, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

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Beyond the Book

The Frank Slide
Most of The Outlander is fictional, but the slide at Frank, which catastrophically plagues the closing third of the story, is based on the factual landslide at Frank, Alberta in 1903.

Frank, Alberta was a small Canadian mining outpost that was inaugurated as a town in 1901. On April 29, 1903, 74 million tons of limestone slid from the top of Turtle Mountain and blanketed nearly three-square kilometers of the valley floor. The slide removed the entire top of Turtle Mountain, dammed the Crowsnest River, which formed a lake, blocked the Canadian Pacific Railway, buried seven houses and other buildings near Frank, obliterated the majority of the mine's exterior infrastructure, and killed 70 people. Although some believed that an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands and the town's subterranean mining operation was to blame for the slide, it was later determined that Turtle Mountain's unstable geological structure and the weather were the real ...

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