I probably read somewhere in the neighborhood of a few dozen books every year and have been doing so since I was a boy. Most are, at best, interesting but every once in a while a book will come along that is absolute riveting. I can probably count on one hand the number of books that would fall in this category. Walking Home is right up there!
There are a lot of interesting stories out there that need to be told, and there are a few good story tellers out there, but it seems like it’s rare that you get the blending of both. I’d say Lynn has squarely hit the nail on the head with this one. Here’s what Publisher Weekly has to say about the book:
Having lived in Alaska for 40 years, working as a commercial fisherman, shipwright, wilderness guide and wildlife photographer, Juneau resident Schooler (The Blue Bear) set out in 2007 on a solo trip through his adopted state, in part to get away from his failing marriage. Jettisoning the pontification and redundancy that can weigh down man-against-nature stories, Schooler’s account boils over with adventure and exploration: there are rivers to cross, glaciers to maneuver, a trek through “boulder hell,” eerie mountainscapes, and a panoply of spooky histories to recount. An escape of sorts, Schooler’s journey proves a harrowing diversion, related with nail-biting immediacy: “the current heaving against my legs was getting stronger with every step… What at first might seem manageable becomes suddenly and startlingly on the verge of taking control, like the slow, easy coils of an anaconda becoming a muscular squeeze.” A bear encounter is so frightening as to be exhausting, culminating in his decision to sleep outside with an escape route already carved out: “There was no way I was going to spend the night in the tent… wrapped in a sleeping bag like a burrito.” Armchair adventurers will be captivated.
Ok. So there’s the jest of what the book is about, but it really is much more then that. It’s a perfect blend of the human experience, compelling history, and personal adventure. It certainly is no surprise that Walking Home won the Banff Mountain Festival’s Best Book – Mountain Literature award.
When a book is exceptional it makes the gift list for my father; his copy was in the mail by the time I was on Chapter 3. Since then I’ve recommended it everyone of my friends, fellow guides, and family. All have thank me for the recommendation after having read it. I plan to reread it as soon as I can get it out of Theresa’s hands!
Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of the outstanding book, you won’t be disappointed. You can order it through Amazon by clicking the links above. Be sure to let me know what you think.