If you've ever felt frustrated with modern life, if you've longed, in some strange primal way, to reconnect with nature in its cruelest and deadliest incarnation, then Guy Grieve's Call of the American Wild will resonate and fascinate.
Performed with aplomb by actor Steve West, whose frank and almost conversational style suits this intimate work well, Call of the American Wild tells the story of Guy Grieve's one year retreat into the Alaskan wilderness, where he builds a cabin, learns to live off the land, and contemplates questions of self-reliance, humility, family, and modernity. This audiobook contains a wonderful mix of practical information and existential consideration, perfect for adventure seekers and memoir addicts alike.
A man, an axe, and a dog named Fuzzy.... Let the adventure begin!
Trapped in a job he hated and up to his neck in debt, Guy Grieve’s life was going nowhere. But with a stroke of luck, his dream of escaping it all to live in remote Alaska suddenly came true. Miles from the nearest human being and armed with only the most basic equipment, Guy built a log cabin from scratch and began carving a life for himself through fishing, hunting, and diligently avoiding bears.
Packed with adventure, humor, and insight, this is the gripping story of an ordinary man learning the ways of the wild.
©2012 Guy Grieve (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
My favorite genres are absurdist humor, Sci-fi & modern fantasy, but, as you can see, I'll read just about anything. Don't mind the typos.
I was excited to listen to this book but the problems started almost immediately. I was born and raised in Alaska and when Grieve writes that he had to get back to camp by early evening because he didn't want to be caught out in the dark I started to realize things were fishy. In late spring, when he claims to be here, the sun doesn't set until almost midnight and doesn't set at all for a few months the farther north you go. He's vague on a lot of facts in this book, facts that could be verified. It feels like he's glossing over details. I'm not saying the story isn't true. I'm saying I have A LOT of doubts about its authenticity. I'd skip this one.
NO, NO a thousand times no!!
If it had not happened
Anger, disappoointment and utter frustration at both the author and reader
Even fiction must be plausible to be believable, so when a work of non-fiction isn't plausible, that work is pretty much worthless! I was so annoyed by the character of guy, that I found myself rooting for the bears, wolves, beaver, anything, to win out over this nitwit. He makes claims that even a person with a passing knowledge of bear behaviour knows is BS, and that is when he claims as fact, that black bears are far more dangerous than brown bears. A black bear will go completely out of its way to avoid a human encounter and will only become agressive when cornered. Unlike a grizzly, a bllack bear will not defend its cubs, nor is there any record of a black bear, as stated by Greive, tracking and eating a human. Total BS. The narrator ofter sounds like James Mason in the Desert Fox and his other characters, especially Don sound like thugs! The prose is awful. Example: a shot gun, " a cumbersome cannon", river snags as "gnarled fingers of portending doom" and my favorite, "the lethal nonchalance of a gun leaning against the wall"!! His "argument with his dog Fuzzy in the early chapter of the book where he first ventures down river to his "portage" had me laughing so hard I teared up! Totally unbelievable! Where does he find room to haul cases of whiskey to his cabin site? Speaking of which, he constructs said cabin in under 45 days with little or no help in sub-zero weather! Why he decides to slaughter an entire beaver colony toward the end of his stay when he obviously has access to plentiful food suplies is a mystery. Why this guy would, on the spur of the moment, with little time left before winter, up and decide to venture into one of the most forbidding places on Earth, and his wife is OK with it is an even larger mystery. I kept hoping that during one of hs infrequent satellite calls home, his son Oscar woould tell him about mummy's new friend and his new uncle, the milkman! An how about the weekly columns he was suppose to write for his newspaper as an excuse for them to fund his adventure? I think he mentions them once in the book. My conclusion is what a lot of reviewers suspect. And that is that most of this book never happened. There are far too many unexplained issues for this book to be believable. If the book is true, then get his pals in Galena, AK to come out of the woods and vouch for him. They can't be contacted because never is one surname mentioned in the book. Would I reccomentd this book? Surprisingly yes because it is so bad it's good! You will laaugh your butt off! If you can handle his Don's ego and the narrater's stupid affectations, it's really funny!
If I was on a long car trip and didn't have any unread books on my phone I would listen to it again because it was a good story and I'd like to pay closer attention to the logistics now that I know what to focus on, just to get a deeper understanding.
AMAZING job of creating different characters.
First, the guy (literally, GUY) is Scottish, so that's why the jarring accent. I took me a little while to catch on so at first I was annoyed with the absurdly out-of-place accent. But then it made sense.
I, too, am floundering in a corporate "cube farm" and long to make a go of it in Alaska, so I understand his motives. However, I agree with other reviewers who had a hard time with him leaving his wife and little kids to go on what could have easily been a deadly adventure. As a dad, I don't have the right intentionally put myself in such harm's way for no really good reason, and I felt the same about him.
But that aside, the story was great and he did a wonderful job of describing how he muddled through as an ill-equipped stranger in a strange land.
Yes, I'm glad I read it and I would recommend it.
Yes! Tickles the yearning in many of us for pursuing the impossible or impractical. Smacks of the Jack London chronicles, albeit a bit tamer.
Loved the risk taken by a humble, inexperienced man. We should all be so bold...
Great inflections and characterizations.
Relationship with the dogs and gaining respect of locals.
Exactly the kind of story I was hoping for - man against nature in the positive meaning of the phrase. Interesting, captivating, well read. It didn't leave me breathless, or changed my life, but I have really enjoyed listening to it.
A dream for anyone who loves being in the wilderness. A great story. One of my favorite books from Audible. Give the Narrator a chance. When I first started listening to the book I turned it off after about 5 minutes because I thought the Narrator was hard to listen to. I'm so glad I gave it a second chance. After about a half hour I was hooked. An inspiring book.
I loved the story, the characters, the narrator...it all fell together perfectly for me.
I liked the concept of it, but the telling was sublime. Although the subject was very serious, it was written (and read) with much humor, nuance, substance, passion and just the right amount of insight.
FUZZY! What a great character. I loved Guy, too, and of course Don, but Fuzzy won my heart with his relentless loyalty and simple companionship.
I listened to the Epilogue three times, to make sure I was catching all that Guy intended the reader to get. This story will stay with me for a long time.
I'm really glad I didn't read some of the vicious reviews of this book, and instead trusted my instincts (Guy refers to this many times in fact...trusting and LISTENING to your instincts). I will very likely listen to this whole thing again and again. I loved it.
Loved the book. Strong narration. Leaving his wife and children for a year was risky in many ways--not the least of which was living in the Alaskan wilderness. Advice to the author: bring your dog back to Scotland!
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