The wolfman reveals his human side.
Living with the Wolfman star Ellis teams with veteran ghostwriter Junor (My Life, My Way, 2009, etc.) to share his life story. Born in a remote village on England’s northeastern coast, Ellis lived most of his youth with his farming grandparents, from whom he learned essential values about order in the animal kingdom. Two early deaths proved formative to Ellis’s ethic that more civilized behavior is often found in the forest: that of the central figure in his life, his grandfather, when the author was 13, and the trapping of a fox kit he had studied for months. “Looking back,” writes the author, “there is no doubt that the shock of seeing that magnificent young fox—my friend—hanging from that tree left me with a feeling of revulsion for my own kind and a desire to distance myself from the human race.” This tension of being caught between worlds permeates much of the book, which centers on the many empirical conclusions about wolf behavior that he drew from months of living with them in the wilds of Idaho, Poland and England. The author’s descriptions of his firsthand experiences—a pack’s acceptance of him as a lower member; one wolf’s sensitivity that forged bonds with an emotionally challenged boy otherwise unable to connect with humans—are more engaging than the polemical lectures on ecology and conservation. “Everything has a place in this world,” writes Ellis, “and we can’t be naïve enough to think we can safeguard ourselves if we let other species fail.”
Occasionally heavy handed, but offers a unique perspective on the intersection of man and wild.