Sunday, May 18, 2014

eBook Review: The Wild Side of Alaska

Donna MorangThe Wild Side of Alaska

  • Product Details

    • File Size: 1157 KB
    • Print Length: 156 pages
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English (more or less) 
    • ASIN: B00DDZ7TSK 
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars (41 customer reviews)
    • Price: $3.99 

1. Short review:  *:) happy (Amazon rating: 4 out of 5 stars -- I like it.)

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked: First-hand account of moving to and living in Alaska.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? A roller-coaster. Isn't that a surprise?
Good value for the money.

2.2. What I did not like: Ms Morang's command of the English language is not strong. I do not mean there were typos. I mean sometimes I had to play 'Where's Waldo?' with the verb, sometimes with the subject. That said, I did not find the odd sentence construction much of a hindrance. Instead I found it true to the distinctive voice of the narrative.

2.3. Who I think is the audience: If you live in the lower forty-eight and you have even a glimmer of an idea about moving to Alaska, this is a book for you.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  Yes.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? Well, if Ms Morang wrote about Alaska again or about ranching in Washington, I would buy that book; but her other book is Big Backpack -- Little World, her tale of teaching English around the world. I have no interest in that.

2.6. The plot in a nutshell:
     The Wild Side of Alaska is a memoir. Donna Morang begins with her childhood in Montana, segues through her marriage and their fruitful search for employment in Alaska, chronicles their drive across Canada (with details about the squalid accomodations), and proclaims their astonishment at the price of food in Alaska.
     They arrive in Fairbanks. Soon after they find a mobile home to live in, the river overflows its banks due to torrential rain, and Fairbanks floods. Winter comes, and they deal with Alaskan cold. Sixty below cold.
     Experienced hunters and outdoorsmen, Donna and her husband encounter and kill a grizzly (not pleasant before they killed it and not pleasant after they killed it; grizz stink), fish in the rivers (Why catch-and-release? I don't get that.), and fly out to camp and hunt north of the Arctic Circle.
     They leave Fairbanks and move to a new home south of Anchorage. More fishing stories, but this time they are fishing in salt water.
     At the end, they leave Alaska for Washington. 
 2.7. Other:
     I got this book because I was interested in moving to Alaska. Now I'm not so sure I could survive it.
     Both Donna and her husband were experienced hunters and outdoorsmen. I am neither. I suppose I could learn those skills, but do I want to make Alaska my campus? From reading this book, my impression is that hunting success in Alaska means survival; failure means death.
     Alaska is a challenge I do not have to do. Still it intrigues me.


2.8. Links: Donna Morang at Amazon

2.9. Buy the book:  The Wild Side of Alaska

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