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Travels In Alaska

by John Muir

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About Book

Take a trip to last century's Alaska through Muir's clean, easy-going, enthusiastic prose. He wrote the way he took pictures, with insight, attention, care and genuine feeling. It's a lovely look into a beautiful land and its inhabitants the way it used to be, told in a flowing narrative that is far less rushed than contemporary travel tales.

From AudioFile
Naturalist John Muir first traveled to Alaska in 1879 and made three more trips before the end of the century. These chronicles of his journey relate his observations of nature, glaciers and the many people he met. This classic deserves better treatment than narrator Noah Waterman provides. He reads at a breakneck pace with choppy phrasing and an almost breathless style. The other drawback to this audiobook is one that plagues any work about exploration: Without a map, the listener feels disoriented. M.A.M. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Muse Magazine, May 2003
The Haven Books creative team has again published first-rate audio with original music, sound effects and a superb narrator.

"Men like Muir (Robert Marshall was another) continue for us the spiritual reclamation of North America. At their keenest, they evoke for us something of the freshness of an hour and a day when, before the intervention of culture, men saw the world for the first time as something wonderful and new."

-- John Haines, from his Foreword

Book Description
In 1879 John Muir went to Alaska for the first time. Its stupendous living glaciers aroused his unbounded interest, for they enabled him to verify his theories of glacial action. Again and again he returned to this continental laboratory of landscapes. The greatest of the tide-water glaciers appropriately commemorates his name. Upon this book of Alaska travels, all but finished before his unforeseen departure, John Muir expended the last months of his life. The events recorded in this volume end in the middle of the trip of 1890. Muir's notes on the remainder of the journey have not been found, and it is idle to speculate how he would have concluded the volume if he had lived to complete it. But no one will read the fascinating description of the Northern Lights without feeling a poetical appropriateness in the fact that his last work ends with a portrayal of the auroras--one of those phenomena which elsewhere he described as "the most glorious of all the terrestrial manifestations of God.

Download Description
The most interesting of the short excursions we made from Fort Wrangell was the one up the Stickeen River to the head of steam navigation. From Mt. St. Elias the coast range extends in a broad, lofty chain beyond the southern boundary of the territory, gashed by stupendous canyons, each of which carries a lively river, though most of them are comparatively short, as their highest sources lie in the icy solitudes of the range within forty or fifty miles of the coast. A few, however, of these foaming, roaring streams--the Alsek, Chilcat, Chilcoot, Taku, Stickeen, and perhaps others--head beyond the range with some of the southwest branches of the Mackenzie and Yukon.

From the Publisher
Smitten with Muir's compelling story, a team of experts was assembled to create this unique audio production. With a deft hand, the team that brought the first environmental radio drama to the BBC (Producer Mara Purl, Foley artist David L. Krebs, composer Marilyn Harris and engineer Bill Berkuta) are joined by NPR announcer and famed actor Lee Salisbury. The project is further enhanced by the visual artistry of Dave Zaboski best known for his animation work at Disney, Warner Brothers and Sony Pictures.

From the Author
If John Muir were here to comment on this original audio production of his journals, no doubt he'd say they were as painstakingly produced as were his own observations of Alaska's unspoiled habitat. In a departure from the usual audio book format, this production includes sound effects created live, as well as original music composed to enhance Muir's compelling story.

Inside Flap Copy
Travels in Alaska, which John Muir was working on at the time of his death, is based on journals Muir wrote during his visits to Alaska in 1879, 1880, 1881, 1890, and 1899. From the moment he embarked from San Francisco in May, 1879, "off for icy Alaska," Muir sensed he was on an extraordinary adventure. Venturing on foot, by canoe and dogsled, he experienced equal excitement discovering an unfamiliar species of flower, bird, or tree, or the spectacular Glacier Bay -- all of which he conveys with consummate artistry. Here also is a record of such harrowing experiences as rescuing his companion while the two hung over a thousand-foot precipice and narrowly escaping. death between grinding walls of glacial ice. Travels in Alaska culminates with Muir's vivid description of the "supreme, serene, supernal beauty" of Alaskan auroras observed during his penultimate trip in 1890.

From the Back Cover
"Men like Muir (Robert Marshall was another) continue for us the spiritual reclamation of North America. At their keenest, they evoke for us something of the freshness of an hour and a day when, before the intervention of culture, men saw the world for the first time as something wonderful and new."

-- John Haines, from his Foreword

About the Author
John Muir, the great nineteenth century naturalist, would be pleased that his works are voiced by Lee Salisbury, the "voice" of Alaska NPR and professor emeritus of University of Alaska, Fairbanks.



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