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Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat

Never Cry Wolf (1963)

by Farley Mowat

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1,582284,583 (4.11)1 / 140
adventure (28) animal (9) animal behavior (26) animals (70) Arctic (45) autobiography (16) biography (38) biology (26) Canada (64) Canadian (32) Canadian author (11) Canadian literature (11) conservation (17) ecology (20) fiction (40) humor (24) memoir (63) natural history (43) nature (97) non-fiction (163) own (11) paperback (10) read (15) science (37) to-read (22) unread (8) wildlife (19) wolf (13) wolves (152) zoology (13)

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Never Cry Wolf Review (Review)
“Never Cry Wolf” is about Farley Mowat and his love for biology. Farley Mowat begins an interest in biology when he is as young as five years old, when he sees two catfish at his grandmother’s pond. As he grows older he is educated in biology and fulfills his dream of being a biologist. He is then called up by the Canadian Wildlife Service to investigate the problem for decreasing caribou population. The wildlife service blames this on the artic wolves. Mowat is sent to the Barren Lands where he finds out the real problem. He discovers the hunters are killing the caribou and soon realizes how much different the wolves really are.
“Never Cry Wolf” is more than just a biologist project. The book shows the true side of artic wolves. The book shows their behavior and how they live their lives in the Barren Lands. The hunters were the true antagonists of the decrease in deer population. Wolves were the public expectation of the problem. This shows that people are too quick to judge someone or something by its looks and by what others say about it. This novel is trying to show the external and internal purpose. The external purpose shows that wolves are not evil killing animals. The internal purpose shows that we can’t assume anything about a person, place, thing, or idea.
The biggest quote that stuck out for me was, “We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be-the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer- which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourselves.” This quote is the statement the book is trying to get across. That are perception on the wolf just shows how mistaken and evil we can be.
I have many likes about the book. I like how this book is written in a way that not just a biologist can read it, but all people can relate to his obstacles. His humor shown in the book makes it entertaining and keeps you interested. I also liked the main storyline of the novel. I liked the adventure from being a little kid and growing up to be a biologist, studying wolves in the Barren Lands of Canada. I do not have any dislikes; the only thing I was upset about was the hunters in the novel killing the caribou.
I recommend this book to all people interested in biology, wolves, and wildlife. This book is also good for people who are looking for a good read. The book is humorous, adventurous, and thrilling. This book is suited for kids in middle school and all the way up to senior citizens. I enjoyed this book and I know you will too! ( )
  dane31 | Apr 16, 2014 |
This narrative breaks through all the preconceived perceptions of wolves and gives an unbiased perspective on a pack of wolves in their natural habitat, and on their human neighbors. ( )
  krista.rutherford | Jan 3, 2014 |
I really loved this book. I really enjoyed both Mowat's voice and what he had to say. It is sad to watch humans destroy the beauty around them. ( )
  Zabeth | Dec 9, 2013 |
Farley Mowat has never disguised the fact that he's a man with a wagon of axes to grind, and that comes across clearly in his 1993 preface to the 30th anniversary edition of Never Cry Wolf. Happily he was drawn away from his originally intended depiction of "bureaucratic and scientific buffoonery" to tell this engaging story of his experience among the wolves of northern Manitoba's barrens in the 1940s.

There's no question wolves have been given a bad rap over the centuries in everything from Little Red Riding Hood to Dracula, etc. Mr. Mowat would have you believe you have far more to fear from an unfamiliar dog in your own neighbourhood. At one point he even shoos several of them away from one of their fresh kills he wishes to examine - this while he's completely naked and unarmed. The Canadian government hired him with the expectation he would return evidence of the beast's decimation of wild caribou, but what he discovers is just the opposite. The wolf is being vilified for the reckless hunting practices of men (largely for sport) that are quickly driving the caribou herds towards extinction.

This book has had a worldwide influence on how wolves are perceived, including a Russian piece of legislature I'd like to know more about. It reminded me of similar efforts to redeem the reputation of other animals such as sharks. Some facts are hotly debated, for example his claim that wolves live mainly on a diet of mice. How far to interpret Mowat's story as non-fiction (from the preface: "it is my practice never to allow facts to interfere with the truth") is a question inviting every reader to research and ponder.

A quick read with the right mix of insight and humour; alternatively a great book to read a chapter of now and then, easy to come back to. ( )
2 vote Cecrow | Nov 5, 2013 |
"Never Cry Wolf" is about the year the author spent in the Canadian barrens, observing wolves as part of a government project. The young biologist/naturalist finds in his study of the wolves and the surrounding fauna contradictions of what he has been taught...and what the anti-wolf bureaucrats want him to find.

Never preachy, but humorous, touching, and always entertaining, I enjoyed this look into the illogic of government, the beauty of natural science, and the lamentable nature of man. ( )
2 vote fuzzi | Sep 13, 2013 |
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It is a long way in time and space from the bathroom of my Grandmother Mowat's house in Oakville, Ontario, to the bottom of a wolf den in the Barren Lands of central Keewatin, and I have no intention of retracing the entire road which lies between.
The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316881791, Paperback)

More than a half-century ago the Canadian Wildlife Service assigned the naturalist Farley Mowat to investigate why wolves were killing arctic caribou. Mowat's account of the summer he lived in the frozen tundra alone-studying the wolf population and developing a deep affection for the wolves (who were of no threat to caribou or man) and for a friendly Inuit tribe known as the Ihalmiut ("People of the Deer")-is a work that has become cherished by generations of readers, an indelible record of the myths and magic of wild wolves.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:00 -0400)

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A biologist's official mission to study wolves turns up many unusual facts about their pattern of living.

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