Call of the WILD by Guy Grieve.

I thought I'd take a moment to review this book as I've just been re-reading it and several things struck me.

Firstly, having now read it twice I have to say its an enjoyable book with a lot of relevant information for the buddying outdoorsman - I definitely picked up more info second time around so it was well worth two reads but ..............

And isn't there always a but - several things spoil the book for me.

Firstly, the authors seemingly endless need to big up the danger be it from bears, wolves, moose or the cold - its obvious to the reader he survived the journey so the continuous reference to danger seems a bit little a school boy trying to make his story sound better than it is.

Secondly, maybe this is a middle class thing us working class people don't get - but like his reference to danger I was bored and embarrassed by his continuous references to how he missed his family - blah blah boo hoo - sorry but most working people have to spend time away from the family when they don't want to - you did cos you wanted too. As a soldier I did (and it was in a lot more dangerous situations than a cabin in the woods) man up and get over it - you were there by your choice and doing something many of us would have happily given up a year with our family for!! All that belly aching sadly left me feeling he was trying to convince us or himself how much he cared about his family (the cynic in me whispers "and he knew his wife would read it").

Lastly, and this is my biggest issue, is the fact that he seems (and I say seems because maybe there is stuff he doesn't write about, such a payments for usage or other things) to have taken a lot of peoples time and help to indulge what might have been a dream but what definitely was a business/money making deal for him with his tv programme and book! The families in Galena who helped him, lent him almost everything he had including the dog Fuzzy who it seems he just left behind without a backward glance at the end of his time (oh ya I miss my family so much but couldn't give a monkeys about a dog!) the guy Glenn who sorted out and lent him a dog team and all the gear etc etc - maybe I'm wrong and maybe all these people knew the score and that was unwritten so as not to dilute the story but if not then he seems to have taken advantage of a lot of people good nature.

Anyway those three issues are the main negatives of the book and possibly say as much about me and my world as him and his.

But these things aside I did enjoy the book and if anything it fed the dreamer in me - and if im honest also gave a small reality check as you can see from the various chapters what hard work it all was at times!

So would I recommend the book - YES, definitely well worth a read or two!


Mike said...

when i read it, it was your second and last points that put me off. Read it all but not the good read I thought it was going to be.

Perkunas said...

WHY some people go to the woods, to endlessly miss and think of their families, wives and toddlers, i wonder. They should either stay home, or bring the family with em....I´rather go to the woods alone, and i sure wont cry and whine about missing my family, as i "have" to spend way too much time at home already.

moose said...

when i read this some time ago. i remember thinking that he was selfish, taking everything and giving back little. even the end of the book little thanks was given in to all the helpers just its over and off i go back. felt sorry for the dog scruffy i think its name was, any way to cut it short the read on the whole was good and with the help he did do alot of cool stuff pitty it was interspersed with filler crap to pad the book out a bit.