A life of Joe Meek seems to have little to offer outside the strictly regional or historical tastes. He was the type of lone wolf who perhaps contributed more to society than generally recognized by inadvertently discovering and hence opening new territory for settlement. Mr. Montgomery's matter of fact style accounts for the events of his life -- the shunning of regular education, the abandonment of plantation responsibilities for western adventure, the wilderness skills developed as a member of Sublette's Rocky Mountain Fur Company. All this is competent enough but does nothing to lift the details out of the ordinary and one goes from Indian raid to Indian raid and from expedition to expedition with little awareness of what they meant in the American scene. Meek ended as a prominent settler in the Willamette Valley, but outside of this he seems an ordinary man to whom adventure, in the vacuum of the immediate excitement it brought, meant everything.