In one of the best animal stories yet to come out in 1957, Albert Viksten presents a gripping account, not only of his...

READ REVIEW

GUNILLA

In one of the best animal stories yet to come out in 1957, Albert Viksten presents a gripping account, not only of his friendship with a polar bear but of his four years as the only permanent resident in Spitsbergen where he went patently as a trapper but in reality to test himself spiritually by living as closely as possible to nature. Arriving with his dog Wulf as his only companion, Vikaten soon acquired Gunilla, a lost cub, as a third member of his tiny household. The relationship between the three of them was a curious one, suspenaefully built up by reference to the disciplinary measures Viksten somehow withheld from Gunilla. She became their generally well behaved friend but there was always an element of doubt and a flaecup one morning when Gunilla decided to raid the larder became an immediate matter of life and death. Somehow, Viksten did not think of shooting Gunilla. He best her instead until she was utterly cowed and had lost an and eye, a fact Viksten did not discover until they were all out hunting together weeks later. But never again did Gunilla trouble them. She did draw away, gradually and naturally, mating and bearing cubs of her own, but always Viksten managed to keep track of her from time to time. Painfully, he records the tragedy of Gunilla's contacts with other less friendly men so that one realizes the complex of factors that must have lead to her death defending her cubs from hunters. Making no attempt to be dramatic, the story is quietly written and contains an inner force of its own deriving from the author's uncanny judgement of animals and his realistic observations of life in the white world.

Pub Date: April 19, 1957

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Nelson

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1957