Between 1896 and 1899, thousands of people lured by gold braved a grueling journey into the remote wilderness of North America. Within two years, Dawson City, in the Canadian Yukon, grew from a mining camp of four hundred to a raucous town of more than thirty thousand. The stampede to the Klondike was the last great gold rush in history.
Scurvy, dysentery, frostbite, and starvation stalked all who dared to be in Dawson. And yet the possibilities attracted people from all walks of life. Gold Diggers is the remarkable story of the Klondike Gold Rush told through the lives of six very different people: the miner William Haskell; the saintly priest Father Judge; the savvy twenty-four-year-old businesswoman Belinda Mulrooney; the imperious British journalist Flora Shaw; spit-and-polish Sam Steele of the Mounties; and, most famous, the writer Jack London, who left without gold but with the stories that would make him a legend.
Brilliantly interweaving their experiences, Charlotte Gray presents a fascinating panorama of a subarctic town, drawing on letters, memoirs, newspaper articles, and stories.
©2010 Charlotte Gray (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
When I listen to stories such as this, I cannot help but think how soft we are as a generation. The fact of the matter is, most everything has already been explored; the gold has all but been dug up, and the wilderness seems to be tamed…by simply being avoided and read about on the internet. Every once in a while someone will climb a mountain or row across an ocean but for the most part, we don’t see people like those whose stories were shared from the vast gold fields of northern Canada.
The Klondyke and those who sought her riches (almost) mimics Tombstone in a way. Without the famous shootout at the OK Corral (read Jeff Guinn's The Last Gunfight), the Klondyke prospectors did their best to portray a boom town when there was little else to draw such a crowd to the vast wilderness. The stories of each within this book were captivating and kept my interest throughout. One can almost imagine the harsh winters and mosquito-bitten summers when there was no such thing as a thermal socks and Gortex nor a can of OFF. And the temperatures and terrain along with the wolves and bears did little to turn these men and women away from the chance to become a millionaire with one swing of the pick-axe. And then, as soon as it all started, it was over…the gold almost gone and the private prospector on his/her way back to where they once came. And with the likes of Jack London to spark your interest, it’s tough to put this one down.
With a reader (Steven Cooper) doing an excellent job of keeping my attention changing dialects and inflection with each syllable, I didn’t ever feel bored or wanting to listen to something else. Well done! The reading combined with a decent story to will make this book well worth your hard earned credit.
I am going to make it a point to stay away from Steven Cooper's narrations. He reads it with little to no emotion or interest; its like he is reading a seventh grade book report and and is bored to death.
It's such an incredible and entertaining story, all the more so because it is true.
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