In 1984, Kari Swenson, one of America's top performers in the biathlon, a competitive sport that combines skiing and target shooting, was kidnapped while jogging near Big Sky, Mont. The kidnappers were Don and Dan Nichols, a father and son who lived in the wilds of Montana, hunting, raising some food and stealing the rest; intending to found a ``tribe,'' they were characterized as ``mountain men'' by the media. During her rescue, Swenson was badly wounded, and one of her liberators was shot to death. This book, by her mother, focuses on the effects of the tragedy on the athlete and her family. Few books have done such a compelling job of assessing the consequences of violent crime on its victims. Swenson required long-term physical therapy and psychological counseling, and her family was also deeply hurt. And, although she attempted a comeback, her days as a leading biathlete were over. Photos not seen by PW. Literary Guild selection; author tour. ( July )
This book about world-class biathlete Kari Swenson's bizarre kidnapping is written by Kari's mother, who claims to tell the definitive story. Kari's ordeal--held for 18 hours by men who wanted to form their own Montana mountain tribe, then abandoned in the wilderness with a serious gunshot wound--generated a great deal of media attention (including a segment on TV series 20/20 ), as well as some conflict of interest and exploitation by a few of the principal players. In setting the record straight, the author makes a comment about human endeavor--from the sublime to the absurd--which will be noteworthy to those interested in achievement, recognition, and notoriety in America. Recommended for public library collections where interest warrants. Literary Guild selection.-- Christy Zlatos, Auburn Univ. Libs., Ala.