Customer Reviews for

Wild Men, Wild Alaska: Finding What Lies Beyond the Limits

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 6 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2006

    Guns & Ammo & Alaska & God

    Some books are written for a particular audience, an audience the author knows well and is committed to pleasing. In the case of WILD MEN, WILD ALASKA Rocky McElveen writes for several audiences and it is this diversity of aim that eventually removes the possible power of the book. This is a book that could be easily run chapter by chapter in Guns & Ammo magazine (and other hunters and rifles magazines that are less glibly well known), nature magazines, adventure magazines, as well as in Evangelical Christian magazines. There is nothing wrong with that: making those chapters create a book with the premise that there is an arc to the story that begins, peaks, and ends between the two covers just doesn't happen here. Rocky McElveen is a guy the reader just has to love - a committed outdoorsman, husband, father, entrepreneur, hunting guide and spiritually sound man. His writing technique is straightforward and no nonsense and he shares himself freely through unbelievable trials to unbelievable climaxes: each chapter, while narrated with vigor and freshness seems to want to one-up the previous chapter with one life challenging dangerous situation after another. The stories are all true and surely there are few men who have survived the impossible situations McElveen has added to his trophy bin. The problem with reading this book as a work of literature (as opposed to a shared family book of proud adventures in diary form) is in the writing: McElveen peppers his tales with numerous asides (usually humorous but bordering on corny and cliché) and in each adventure he manages to inject some references to Divine Intervention as though his heroics needed backup from God. For the non-hunter reading this book there are also significant problems with language and philosophy. Regarding the concept of his occupation as a guide for hunters: 'It is unusual for busy professionals in corporate America to find time for this declining art, so it was a pleasure to have someone who knew how to handle his weapon safely and could hit what he aimed at (sic)'. McElveen's business is taking men out on hunting expeditions for caribou and other creatures of Alaska and he uses the unfortunate term of 'harvesting' instead of killing, spending page after page describing the manner in which the victims are slaughtered, gutted, and chopped into manageable hunks. There are incidents with McElveen guiding famous sportsmen, President Bush the elder, and others of less skill through the terrain of Alaska and there are tales of nature's wrath on the hunter, the loss of his lodge by fire, and the reaction to 9/11 on his relationship with his family. Yet despite all of these true forays into danger McElveen somehow manages to focus the reader on the natural beauty of Alaska and all of nature and some of his descriptions of weather and sunrises and sunsets are lovely. You just have to have a stomach for this sort of material and a quiet respect for the author's need to imbue everything with religious overtones. Above all, here is a writer of honesty in search of technique to share adventure to a wider audience. Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2006

    A recipe for a real man.......

    I recently read the following quote from Donald Mitchell, founder of the billionaire entrepreneur and a book reviewer I highly respect: 'Wild Men, Wild Alaska is the best hunting and fishing book I've ever read. Hemingway's great novels about hunting and fishing fall short of Rocky McElveen's impressive real life experiences. If you've never been to Alaska, this book will call you there. A few years ago, I attended a conference where people told stories about their most amazing vacation adventures. I was riveted by one fellow who recounted tracking wild bears unarmed. The closest he got to a bear was to hear some rustling in the woods. Who knows if this was a bear, or a skunk? But he was following bear spoor. His ancient guide had long before fled in fear. Realizing that he could easily be outrun by a bear, he decided to leave rather than find out what was in the woods. Ever since I've heard that story, I've been wondering what it would be like to be close to a large, angry bear. Wild Men, Wild Alaska is jammed with much more harrowing and thoughtful stories than the one that had previously riveted me. Now, I think of that earlier story as being like a walk in the park. If Jack London were alive today, he would envy Rocky his experiences and stories.' After reading this quote, I immediately ordered Wild Men, Wild Alaska and once read, I completely concurred with Donald. This new author should be listed in the up and coming authors and his book is very compelling in that it shows the heart of man in the wilds. There are 14 stories of crazy adventures that Rocky and his various clients have experienced in the wilderness of Alaska. My kids love for me to read them a chapter at night. They beg for more and my wife simply couldn't put the book down either. She said she learned more about men in this book than any she has read. She plans to give it out as gifts to all the men and many of the women she knows. If you enjoy real tales of grizzly bear attacks, wolves in the night, plane crashes, and a man struggling for survival and the love of his family, you will thoroughly be captured by this book. It also had some great insight about Alaska and some terrific photos. In one chapter Rocky even fished with former president Bush and they had an intense encounter in the wilds too with another angry guide. I highly recommend this book to men and women alike. I can't wait until Rocky writes more about his insane adventures in the wilds of Alaska.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Great book!

    Read this a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Hard to put down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2011

    Not the best

    This book has some decent material but the writing is mediocre, and I wish that they would have let me know in the description about its corny "Christian overtones". Not bad if that is what you are looking for...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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