While paddling a solo canoe retracing George Back's 1834 voyage of northern Canada's Back River, artist and nature writer Perkins ( Against Straight Lines, LJ 4/1/83) shoots rapids, fends off black flies, watches out for grizzly bears, and films animals and scenery for a PBS Adventure program (shown in 1989). All the while, he ruminates about such matters as his ailing father, an unhappy love affair, and humankind's inhumanity to nature. This pleasant, but not compelling, account should find a home in libraries that can't get enough wilderness adventure material. However, most would do better to buy Alistair Scott's Tracks Across Alaska ( LJ 9/1/90), which is probably the best contemporary Arctic adventure story available. Illustrations not seen.-- Jonathan Hus band, Framingham State Coll. Lib., Mass.