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Prisoners of the North

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  86 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Canada’s master storyteller returns to the North to chronicle the extraordinary stories of five inspiring and controversial characters.

Canada’s master storyteller returns to the North to bring history to life. Prisoners of the North tells the extraordinary stories of five inspiring and controversial characters whose adventures in Canada’s frozen wilderness are no less fasc
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 17th 2005 by Anchor Canada (first published 1995)
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Shake Hands with the Devil by Roméo DallaireVimy by Pierre BertonAnd No Birds Sang by Farley MowatQuebec in Question by Marcel RiouxKlondike by Pierre Berton
Canadian History
91st out of 92 books — 30 voters
Life of Pi by Yann MartelThe Tin Flute by Gabrielle RoyA Journey From Prince Of Wales's Fort In Hudson's Bay To The ... by Samuel HearneSunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen LeacockFlint and Feather by E. Pauline Johnson
The LRC 100 - Canada's Most Important Books
101st out of 101 books — 6 voters


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Community Reviews

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Carla
Amazing book from an amazing iconic Canadian author about little known people in Canadian history. Biographies of people who are a part of Canadian history, who helped explore, and settle Canada's north.

The five "prisoners" of the Arctic were Joe Boyle, Vihjalmur Stefansson, Lady Jane Franklin, John Hornby, and Robert Service.

Read in the cold of winter by this Canadian reader, now living in Wisconsin. A real treat to read, by an outstanding author.
Robert Browning
A suprisingly good read. I picked up this book for the chapter on Lady Jane Franklin (after having just finished the fictional account of her husband's lost voyage in The Terror A Novel by Dan Simmons). While I enjoyed getting the actual facts of John Franklin's tribulations searching for her husband, I actually enjoyed all five of the in-depth profiles of these figures whose lives were all deeply touched by events or experiences related to the far Northern reaches of Canada. And even with this ...more
Lauren
Fascinating book. Goes past the usual goldrush significants, and explores five different people from all walks of life, who did lived different lives and at different times, but were held together with a common thread: The North. I greatly enjoyed this book.
Allen
Five short biographies of five interesting characters, all unable to escape from the North, regardless of where they went.
Klondike Joe Boyle built the biggest gold dredging barges in the world but got bored. In an unofficial Canadian army uniform he headed into Eastern Europe during the Great War, playing several roles in the Russian Revolution and becoming the lover of the Queen of Romania.
Vilhjalmur Stefansson explored a great deal of the up-to-then unexplored Canadian Arctic but his search f
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Andrew
The first book I read of Pierre Berton’s is the last that he wrote. Interesting! Anyway, Prisoners of the North is sort of a compilation of five short biographies of five different people whom Berton links together by their passion and obsession with Canada’s north. These outlines are well written, interesting and informative. I very much enjoyed the brevity of the sections. I’d only heard of two of the five people explored in this book, I’m not sure I would have been interested enough to read a ...more
Patrick Finlay
Pretty interesting and some crazy stories. Nice weave of what a prisoner is.
Le Cycliste
Better than I expected. Five interesting little biographies.
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From narrative histories and popular culture, to picture and coffee table books to anthologies, to stories for children to readable, historical works for youth, many of his books are now Canadian classics.

Born in 1920 and raised in the Yukon, Pierre Berton worked in Klondike mining camps during his university years. He spent four years in the army, rising from private to captain/instructor at the
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More about Pierre Berton...
The Secret World of Og Vimy Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush, 1896-1899 The Invasion of Canada: 1812-1813 The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and the North Pole, 1818-1909

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