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Crossing The Gates Of Alaska by Dave Metz

Crossing The Gates Of Alaska

by Dave Metz

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Crossing The Gates of Alaska is the story of Dave Metz and his journey across the Arctic with his two Airedale terrier dogs. The journey spanned three months and Metz shares the freezing nights, barren landscape and sense of adventure which a trip like this entails. The book also includes photographs of Metz's trip. What should have been a fast paced, exciting book instead dragged a bit. I was expecting something along the lines of Into Thin Air (by Krakauer), but Metz's book never seemed to get off the ground.

A good book, but not great, readers who enjoy adventure stories will most likely enjoy this one. ( )
  writestuff | Dec 12, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book seemed somewhat slow and repetetive in the beginning, but did become more interesting. It is a tribute to one man's perserverance and determination to reach his goal. It is amazing what the human body can endure. You are reminded that there are still vast beautiful almost inaccessible wilderness areas left in our sountry, unspoiled by the presence of man.
You also can't forget the courageous dogs devotion, to stick with their master even to the point of starvation and great hardship.
  Book_Shelter | Jul 20, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An at times amazing account of a man's trek across a large section of uninhabited Alaskan wilderness with only his two Airedale dogs for company. His relationship with his dogs, his descriptions of the weather, the landscape and the people of Alaska make this book worthwhile; his moralizing on the natural world detract. ( )
  cathyskye | May 15, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I expected this book to be something like Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer: a thrilling survival adventure story mixed with a well-researched running commentary on humanity's affect on these last few wild, remote, amazing natural wonders. So, it's no wonder that I was disappointed by Metz's rambling, unfocused narrative, his hard to follow timeline, and the inadequate map in the front of the book. At times, his ruminations on the natural landscape he experienced while journeying across Arctic wilderness are quite profound and beautifully described, and I learned some interesting things about the Arctic and about the wildlife there (and about dogs) and how one survives in such a place. And there's no doubt that his physical and mental endurance of the elements and the isolation are something to respect, but for the most part I was bored reading this book.

I never understood why he decided to undertake such a journey and what he hoped to accomplish through it. There are people who do these difficult, crazy things because of their love of being "at one with nature", or because they are the kind of people who enjoy challenging themselves and their bodies, but I never got the idea that Metz did this for either of those reasons. In fact, he states how much he loves the natural wilderness only to undercut it by several comments that seem like he is merely avoiding people and his problems at home (it seems like he has a lot of those); he talks about challenging his body but then often seems surprised at how challenging the journey turns out to be. I don't think this is because he didn't have strong reasons for doing this trek; I just think he lacks the storytelling skill to convey them in writing.

I did admire how much he loves his dogs, but because I couldn't really understand why he was out there starving and freezing, I really couldn't understand why he would do this to the dogs he loves so much. He talks a lot about the training he does for this journey, but his dogs don't seem to have had the same training; he remarks they are less than a year old (or only a year old). He talks a lot about the dog he lost previously - Jonny - and it seems like the impetus for this trip was in some part to honor Jonny's memory, because he'd always intended to take this trip with him. Jimmy and Will, his two new dogs, just don't seem ready like Jonny would have been, so I felt bad for them in a way I didn't feel for Metz.

The journey Metz took was definitely remarkable, but his recounting of it didn't live up to its potential. ( )
1 vote Crowinator | Apr 30, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The neverending story. I am a fan of adventure stories and looked forward to this book. Unfortunately, I found it boring and never quite warmed up to Metz. All the time I felt sorry for his dogs being subjected to these harsh conditions. I slogged on, finally getting to the end and thought this book had potential, but failed to live up to it. ( )
  marcinyc | Apr 1, 2010 |
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This book is dedicated to my dad.
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In this true account, the author shares his death-defying three-month journey though the Arctic outback where his six hundred-mile trek took him to the remotest regions of the untamed North--and where his sense of adventure and unwavering spirit led to his survival.… (more)

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Dave Metz's book Crossing the Gates of Alaska: One Man, Two Dogs 600 Miles off the Map was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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