Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
One of the two best books I have read this year
on 31 July 2013
I saw this book as the Daily Deal on 25th July, downloaded the free sample, bought it as a result and couldn't put it down. I finished it on 29th July.
I reckon this book just happened to hit the spot for me (I have no idea if it will for you). I found the combination of the beauty of Alaska, the quality of the author's prose and the story behind the van fascinating. It's enough to make you want to take a trip to the Arctic - but to work there, not to scratch the surface as a tourist.
I did question the authenticity of the story early on where the author goes for a hike alone, without basic supplies. It just sounded so foolish that I wondered how accurate it was. But I did not get that feeling again.
The same day as finishing the book, I started doing something that I have procrastinated about for ages - having a clear out. If you read the book, you will understand why (though that is not the point of the book - it is incidental). I just feel that my possessions own me.
This is one of just two books that I have read this year which have left me reflecting on them after reading them.
A few sample quotes, partly to give you an idea of the author's prose:
"...In the arctic, winter stands like a barbarian horde on the edge of town one day and ravages it the next. Winter moves in without warning, grabs summer by the belt loops of its cut-offs, and throws it out of the door.."
"...With chattering teeth and fingers as hard and stiff as icicles, I struggled to get a grip on my sleeping bag zipper. Within moments, though - now burritoed in my own body heat - a warmth radiated across my arms and legs and torso, as if my bag were stuffed with sunrays..."
"...As a country, we marched from one unpaid-for purchase to the next in a quest for fulfilment that fades long before the bill arrives..."
"...We need so little to be happy. Happiness does not come from things. Happiness comes from living a full and exciting life..."
P.S. When someone lavishes praise in an Amazon review, you should be suspicious. This book simply hit the spot for me.