BookBrowse Reviews Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner

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Ordinary Wolves

by Seth Kantner

Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner
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  • First Published:
    May 2004, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2005, 344 pages

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Captures the rhythms and textures of life out beyond civilization in northern Alaska. 1st Novel

From the book jacket: A stirring and vivid novel about a white boy raised among natives on the harsh Alaskan tundra, Ordinary Wolves depicts a life different from what most people have ever known.....Dispelling all mythical visions of Alaska, this evocative novel leads readers down its true trails, to feel the icy pinch of cold, to hunker as blizzards moan overhead. And in the twilit spaces from which animals appear are the wolves - and Cutuk's father - living their lives out on the tundra, unobtrusive, unapologetic, uninvolved in the world beyond.

Comment: Ordinary Wolves makes Jack London's Call of the Wild look positively bland;  Seth Kantner is the real thing; whereas London wrote most of his books about Alaska while living in California, Seth Katner was born in a sod igloo on the Alaskan tundra and raised simply on the land––wearing mukluks before they were fashionable, eating boiled caribou pelvis, and communing with the native Eskimos of the region. 

As Barbara Kingsolver writes, 'once in a great while a novel comes along that can shiver right down your bones and show you the world was always larger than you knew. This is just such an astonishing book: exotic as a dream, acrid and beautiful and honest as life, it sweeps back the material curtain of human contrivance to reveal what lies panting behind it. A piece of your heart and some longing, I promise, will stay on in that other place forever."

Ordinary Wolves deserves to become a classic; don't miss this extraordinary book!'

This review is from the August 17, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.



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