In May 1977, 20-year-old Halsey set out from Vancouver on a wilderness trek across Canada on foot, snowshoe, dogsled and canoe. His three companions abandoned the expedition almost immediately, but Halsey continued alone and was later joined by photographer Peter Souchuk and a friendly coyote-dog, Ki, both of whom stayed with him until August 1979, when they reached the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. Halsey's restless passion for adventure led him to tackle every danger the wilderness had to offer--hazardous rapids and ice floes, treacherous mountain ridges and perilously freezing weather--and he recorded all in vivid detail. Fired by a compulsive energy that later manifested itself as manic depression, he died, a probable suicide, in 1982, and Landau, his editor at Sierra Club Books, assembed his diaries and other records into this engrossing account of the two-year journey. (Oct.)
The ``Trans-Canada Expedition'' of 1977-79 basically consisted of two young Americans and a dog. Halsey and Peter Souchuk aspired to be ``the first in modern times to traverse Canada coast to coast by a wilderness route . . . .'' After many delays and mishaps (some near-fatal) they achieved their goal. Sierra Club editor Landau completed Halsey's manuscript after his death in 1982. As the chronicle of a young man trying to find himself by living off the land, this book will hold the reader's interest, although it is not as well written as Alastair Scott's Tracks Across Alaska ( LJ 9/1/90). For public libraries.-- J.F. Husband, Framingham State Coll. Lib., Mass.
School Library Journal
YA-- Halsey was the first in modern times to plan and execute a completely nonmotorized crossing of Canada. Joined by photographer Peter Souchuk and a scruffy half-wild dog, he headed east from British Columbia. Here is the first-hand account, taken from his journals and his own rough drafts of the hiking, canoeing, dogsledding, snowshoeing, and wilderness camping they did, and the Canadians they met along the way. It is a story of courage, stamina, foolhardiness, and humor. Maps of various segments of the trip help readers to follow the route, and photographs make it easier to visualize the experiences. Halsey writes with candor and clarity, and the book serves as one of many fine examples of the diary of a high adventurer. Because he met such an untimely death not long after the completion of his expedition, his story is all the more poignant, because it is as much a story of the trek across the Canadian wilderness as it is a story of a trek across the landscape of the soul. Landau, who completed the book following Halsey's death, adds the balance of an objective observer in her running commentary and epilogue.--Cynthia J. Rieben, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA