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Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
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Never Cry Wolf (original 1963; edition 1983)

by Farley Mowat

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,595None4,556 (4.11)1 / 140
Member:AHS-Wolfy
Title:Never Cry Wolf
Authors:Farley Mowat
Info:Bantam USA (1983), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Natural History, Wolves, 1010CC

Work details

Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat (1963)

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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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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 |
Mowat's writing is wonderful, full of careful observation and clever humor, but what's more wonderful in this particular book is that we're allowed to see one individual undergo the slow move from being entirely influenced by society's superstitions and fears regarding wolves on to being someone who sees how unfair those fears and superstitions actually are. As Mowat learns about the wolves, his amazement comes through in the writing, as does the beauty of the wolves he so closely observes. And, in the background of the book, other characters and government blunders make the book frighteningly comical.

Overall, this is simply an enjoyable and informative read, beautifully written, and hinged on an understated argument for the need for conservation and understanding. Anyone who enjoys nature writing or animals of any kind should read this book. Absolutely recommended. ( )
1 vote whitewavedarling | Jun 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Angeline - the Angel!
First words
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.
Quotations
The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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