A Vancouver Sun newsman who grew up in Dawson City for his first eleven years and who has explored the Canadian North since the war brings a good deal of atmosphere to his writing on an oddly inticing country. He covers a lot of territory in his flights -- to discover the truth of the legendary tropical Nahanni valley, to trace the trail of '48 and document the dying town of Dawson, to land a group of Harvard naturalists for a summer on Bylot's Island. Mr. Berton packs a sackful of odd facts into his pages, giving a kaleidoscopic picture of the North Country and its many facets -- life on the tundra, the ways of the lemmings and caribou, the maintenance of the Alaskan hiway, the wonderful pilots who give the country unity and bring aid to isolated trappers and tribes. From Barren to Boom Country, the North Country calls with its wildness and wealth. The writing dips but levels out again at some height.