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Journey: A Novel

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,057 ratings  ·  79 reviews
"The best novel of James Michener's career." Milwaukee Journal
Gold fever swept the world in 1897. The chance for untold riches sent thousands of dreamers on a perilous trek toward their fortunes, failures, or deaths. Follow four English aristocrats and their Irish servant as they misguidedly haul their dreams across cruel Canadian terrain toward the Klondike gold fields.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 1994 by Fawcett (first published November 19th 1988)
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The Call of the Wild by Jack LondonInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerWhite Fang by Jack LondonAlaska and Back by Dorothy May MercerAlaska by James A. Michener
Alaska Tales
57th out of 185 books — 148 voters


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Brook
What an amazing story about the Yukon and one man's blind stubborness to reach it without crossing over American territory. Well written. I could hardly put it down.
Mark
Lord Luton and his companions determine to reach the gold fields of the Yukon by only crossing Canadian territory. Such is Luton's dislike of America that he ignores knowledge, common sense and advice as he attempts to lead his team.

Michener did not quite pull off his attempt to explore the values of an English aristocrat so I just kept thinking that Luton was "stupid."

Michener is not a "great" novelist, but usually I enoy his books. This on, however, never really engaged me
Marlene
After reading Mexico, I decided that Michener was not for me; however, this one was handed down to me with the comment that it was better than Mexico. So, I read it. As seems to be his style, he wanders off and writes a lot of stuff that really does nothing for the story, in my view. As with Mexico, I found sections that I enjoyed, but then skimmed through a lot in order to find another. I know that Michener is a popular author, but not my cup of tea. Hopefully I have learned.
Jeanne Daly
I've enjoyed many of Michener's books over the years but this one is the least engaging of any that I've
read so far... It almost feels like he wrote it as an afterthought and didn't enjoy writing it as much as his other novels. Never the less it's interesting to read about this time period of the discovery of gold and what people might have gone through to find it. In my opinion this is not one of Michener's best but still a great novel.
Sue
It’s an old one but a good one. As with so many of Michener’s novels, he drops us deep into history with this tale of a misguided journey across Canada to the gold fields near the Alaska-Canada border. The characters are fictional, but the story is so real I found it hard to believe it wasn’t true. Lord Evelyn Luton, an English nobleman and explorer, decides he wants to travel to the gold fields on the Yukon. He recruits three of his high-class friends, plus an Irish servant to join him. Accordi ...more
Betty
A very interesting read!
Tony
I enjoyed it except for 2 unanswered questions.
1.Someone in the party purchased a bottle of ascorbic acid before leaving for Dawson. So why were they digging for roots to cure scurvy?
2. It was asked of Irina how she got to Edmonton and she "avoided the question". I thought there would be something interesting revealed later about how she got there but that was the end of it.
Don Devine
I was intrigued by this book when I first opened it. I was very curious as to why it was so short, my copy having 244 pages in all. Very untypical of Michener! But as I read the story, I was delighted to find that while it was not typical Michener it certainly was not Atypical!
Overall, this story is fantastically done. Humorous and sad and somewhat frustrating, especially when considering the lead character. The story didn't "dig into" details or matters about the area or the characters as much
...more
Tia
Couldn't sleep one night and, for some unknown reason, this book was on the table by my bed.
I realize some people don't like Michener, but I'm not one of those people. The book is about The Luton Party consisting of five Englismen and their journey to find gold on the Klondike River. It's based on detailed historical, cultural, and geological research. It's really about, as Michener says, dreams and determination.
Couldn't put it down and now am going to research that time in history. The hards
...more
Jerome Peterson
Incredible read filled with suspenseful adventure.
Joanna Mieso
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bev
Apr 10, 2012 Bev rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: novel, logos
Whoda thunk that a Michener book could be my choice for what to read during my day at the book store? But this is actually only 240 pages and a bit slower going than the books I've been reading, I didn't quite finish it at the store, but did finish it here at home. This is a story of an unlikely crew of four English gentlemen and one Irish tenant who take off for the Gold Rush. After reading a report of a ship loaded with "gold bars" heading out of the Yukon Territory, Lord Evelyn Luton decides ...more
Forrest
Wow, what a great read! Michener sets the stage with five strong characters: Lord Luton, Lord Luton's friend - Harry Carpenter, Luton's nephew - Philip Henslow, Philip's friend - Trevor Blythe, and an Irish blue collar worker - Tim Folgarty. Lord Luton and his friend are older, Philip and his friend are fresh out of college and Folgarty is middle-aged. In 1897 they set out to cross the Atlantic to Montreal, Canada, and then to make their way across Canada to the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska. Lor ...more
Heidi Green
I started this book prior to vacationing in Seattle and was much more inclined to finish it once I returned. The history of Seattle is intertwined with the history of the gold rush. Once that trip peaked my interest, I had to finish the book immediately. I have always liked Michener's works but found them lengthy. This one was chock full of detail yet not overly so. I found it a good length and a great story.
Gary
This was a terrific story that was ruined by Mr Michener's self-indulgence for tacking on a chapter of poetry (including-unfortunately-his own)and another chapter explaining-interminably-what inspired him to write the book and everything having to do with his interactions with all things Canadian. At least it helped to partly explain why he included the photo of the woman on the frontispiece. (But not so much as to where he came by her name.)
Then again, if he had left off the last two "chapters"
...more
Bryan
One of Michener's best, though at times wordy with unnecessary description. Gives an intriguing tale of survive an arduous quest through the Canadian tundra, and what the cost is of pride. Recommend to all who enjoy historical narrative (albeit fictional) and just a good tale of adventure.
Sara Brown
This was a disappointing read compared to Michener's longer novels. It's very difficult to believe that English aristocrats of the time could possibly possess the survival skills to make the trek to Dawson. The story is rushed which makes it all the more unbelievable.
Kristygardiner
I really enjoyed reading this book and entering the Yukon and Canada at the turn of the last century. I just didn't believe that Lord Luton would be that stupid. But it was crucial to the story,otherwise there was no story!
Anna Fisher
This story very interesting! As gold fever sweeps the world in 1897, four English aristocrats and their Irish servant haul their dreams across Canadian terrain toward the Klondike gold fields.
Al
Perhaps Michener's shortest offering....he provides a great story of the perilous trek across the wilds of Canada to reach the Klondike gold rush at the end of the 19th century.
Dave Moyer
Not anywhere near as good as most of his books. The characters were not as interesting, nor was the theme or depiction of the various regions depicted in the book.
Gerry Czerak
Oneof Michener's shortest novels tells the tale of five men-- 4 British nobles and one Irish servant -- battling to reach the Klondike gold fields in 1897-8 without going through American territory, out of Edmonton. The fates that befall them, by boat and overland through 21 months in or near the Arctic Circle, tell the folly of stubborn leadership and class consciousness leading to tragedy that is finally regretted only much later. This novel was based on writing Michener took out of his classi ...more
Sonya
I loved this book. It gave me some hints in how to survive if I were ever in the middle of a forest and starving. This book goes along with Alaska.
Robert Bason
A less than scintillating, but interesting novel about the gold rush in the Klondike. It was originally supposed to be a part of Mitchener's Alaska, but got chopped out and printed later as a separate book. Sort of fun to read.
rinabeana
This is the story of a party of four English aristocrats and an Irish servant who set out from London to read the Klondike traversing only land part of the British Empire. This wasn't the usual sweeping saga Michener writes (and for which I'm a sucker), but I quite liked it anyway. The British stiff upper lip was abundant in this book, and despite his class prejudices, I had a mini-crush on Lord Luton (the expedition's leader). I loved the camaraderie among the members of the expedition and I es ...more
Pamela Beason
This is a tale about a group of British fools who set off for the gold fields of Alaska with no comprehension whatsoever of what they are getting into. I shook my head constantly, muttering "What idiots!" And the group was so besotted by the British Lord they followed that they allowed him to lead them into life-threatening situations over and over again. But it's based on a true account of this period of lunacy in American and Canadian history, so it's very interesting, even if you want to stra ...more
JP
Some critics rated this his best. I won't go that far, but I can see why. With a single storyline, it's tighter and allows more development of the characters. Evelyn Luton and 4 companions attempt to journey to the Klondike gold fields while staying on Canadian land. It takes them two years, much longer than necessary. Along the way we meet interesting characters and some stories about character. The man-against-nature theme is strong and, with Michener's approach, informative about that time an ...more
Rita
Only Michener can make you enjoy a book about a subject you have no interest in.
Kimberly
This account of the absolute stupidity of a trek to the gold fields of Alaska is astounding, entertaining, and educational. People setting off on bicycles into some of the harshest terrain. I think the original characters, who are journeying by boat and later by foot, end up taking 2 + years to get there, enduring scurvy, extreme cold, mosquitoes, everything, but always maintaining that British dignity (lecturing on topics in the evening, taking a brisk run for exercise).
Anshuman Damani
The book does provide an insight into the perils of an adventurer's life but fails to mesmerize the reader.
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James Albert Michener is best known for his sweeping multi-generation historical fiction sagas, usually focusing on and titled after a particular geographical region. His first novel, Tales of the South Pacific , which inspired the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Toward the end of his life, he created the Journey Prize, awarded annually for t
...more
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