The spirited account of how a Scottish newspaper sales executive built and lived in a log cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.
After being demoted from a prestigious marketing job, writer and outdoorsman Grieve suddenly realized that he had to end what had become an “increasingly mournful journey through the corridors of cubicle hell.” He concluded that the antidote to his woes was to head to the wilds of Alaska, where he could rediscover his masculinity and find a path to freedom for himself and his family. A year later, a series of lucky breaks landed Grieve in a remote forest miles from the nearest human settlement. A hard-bitten Yukon transplant named Don and the members of his extended family educated the ardent Scotsman in the ways of survival and helped him build the log cabin that would become his home. A “neurotic and needy” dog named Fuzzy became Grieve's only companion. At first, the author reveled in the hunting, fishing and trapping that defined his daily routine. But as the harsh Alaskan winter settled on the land, Grieve began to see the extent of the risks he had taken with his life and the future of his family back in Scotland. Yet the headiness of living among bears, moose and wolves, learning how to become a dog-sled driver and surviving against the odds drove him onward and gave him insight into “how utterly small and insignificant” he really was. Grieve's Jack London-esque narrative is engaging, but it is undercut by what comes across as the author's irritatingly impotent feelings of guilt for seeking self-actualization away from his family.
Uneven testosterone-fueled entertainment.