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Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man
     

Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man

by Douglas J. Fine
 

Now here's a formula for near disaster: East Coast big-city guy, world-traveler, jounalist, and otherwise politically savvy fellow settles down in rural Alaska, where men are many and manly, and women with survival skills are good to count among your friends. He wants to fit in. But how does one learn to be a Mountain Man? By observing, imitating, and making

Overview

Now here's a formula for near disaster: East Coast big-city guy, world-traveler, jounalist, and otherwise politically savvy fellow settles down in rural Alaska, where men are many and manly, and women with survival skills are good to count among your friends. He wants to fit in. But how does one learn to be a Mountain Man? By observing, imitating, and making near-fatal mistakes, that's how. The choices a boy has to make. Eat processed food or on-the-hoof food, learn to operate a chainsaw or freeze to death, figure out what a bunny boot is or lose a few toes, and by the way, which end of he barrel points up? This is the story of Doug's first difficult winter in a one-room cabin, trying to stay alive and come out of it with some semblance of Alaska cool. With side-splitting, self-depreciating humor, Doug shares his attempts to elevate himself past his perpetual state of greenhorn-ness by aligning himself with tough sourdoughs to someday claim the title of manly Mountain Man.

Editorial Reviews

Reporter Doug Fine has filed stories from Uzbekistan and Rwanda, but nothing in his journalistic experience prepared him for the great Alaskan outback. Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man is the hilarious, self-deprecating confession of an East Coast big-city guy's misadventures in the fabulous land of frostbite.
Library Journal
Fine, a freelance journalist and a contributor of audio postcards to NPR's All Things Considered, writes about his first-year experiences as a Cheechako (tenderfoot) in the Fritz Creek region of Alaska. These experiences include operating a chain saw, surviving an overnight excursion via water taxi during winter, participating in a spring whale harvest near the Arctic Circle, using a shotgun, and helping a neighbor rebuild a house. Fine's interactions with the people he encounters while trying to fit into his new surroundings are lighthearted and should keep most readers' interest, though some may find his self-deprecating humor tedious. Not for those seeking practical information on living in Alaska, this work may satisfy the armchair traveler. Recommended for libraries with large travel collections and an optional purchase for all others.-John McCormick, Plymouth State Univ., NH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780882405902
Publisher:
Ingram Pub Services
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,150,473
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.65(d)

Read an Excerpt

"When I look back on it now, I realize that a lot of personal embarrassment and regional uneasiness could have been avoided if I had just admitted I had broken the chainsaw right away, and asked Roger for help. But I wanted to solve the problem on my own. I thought 'figure Things out' was one of the routes to knowing how to Do Things. In the end, all it cost me was two night's sleep and nearly my life. Here's what happened...."  Chapter 2, page 36, Not Really An Alaskan Mountain Man.

Meet the Author

After college, Doug Fine strapped on a backpack and traveled to five continents, reporting from remote forests and war zones in Burma, Rwanda, Laos, Guatemala and Tajikistan. He files radio work for NPR and PRI and is the author of Too High to Fail, Farewell, My Subaru and Not Really An Alaskan Mountain Man. His print work has appeared in The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, U.S. News and World Report, The Christian Science Monitor and Outside. Fine lives in a remote valley in New Mexico among a few goats and many coyotes. Visit him online at www.dougfine.com. Fine enjoys hiking, running, kayaking, shamanistic drumming, dancing, gardening, siestas, Peter Sellers movies, hot springs, massages, reading and staying alive. He is not quite competent at the saxophone, though he can catch a mean salmon.

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