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In a Far Country: The True Story of a Mission, a Marriage, a Murder, and the Remarkable Reindeer Rescue of 1898
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In a Far Country: The True Story of a Mission, a Marriage, a Murder, and the Remarkable Reindeer Rescue of 1898

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In the fall of 1897, eight whaling ships became trapped in the ice on Alaska's northern coast. Without relief, two hundred whalers would starve to death by winter's end. Mercifully, an extraordinary missionary, Tom Lopp, and seven Eskimo herders embarked on a harrowing journey to save the whalers, driving four hundred reindeer more than seven hundred untracked miles. At th ...more
Paperback, 424 pages
Published November 13th 2007 by PublicAffairs (first published November 20th 2006)
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Artemis Nitzband
This man and his wife live in 1890's Alaska and experience see through the eyes of non-natives. The book is fascinating... whaling and mining industries and its impact on the natives in Alaska at that time. The Lopps, stationed in a town along the Bering Strait, are missionaries who set out to bring Christianity to the natives of Alaska but end up learning more from the natives over their 12 or so years while stationed there. In spite of the COLD conditions, lack of even the basics,lack of commu ...more
Kind of long-winded in parts but a very interesting read on the "settling" of Alaska, colonialism, reindeer, Eskimos, American history, and of course a badass rescue mission.
Ellen MY
I enjoy this genre and I stumbled across this really interesting and offbeat tale
Great true story of an unbelievable 1890's journey in the far north of Alaska and the heroic people that made it possible.
Great book - true story, about a missionary couple in northeast Alaska and their experiences. The main story is of herding reindeer to whalers whose ships were frozen in the ice above the arctic circle, but there is so much more to this book. The author has researched documents such as letters, journals, and newspaper articles from the time, as well as government reports.
The "mission", "marriage" and "murder" were all quite interesting and I really enjoyed reading about Tom & Ella Lopp and their family living in one of the most frigid and remote places on earth at the end of the nineteenth century. But the reindeer rescue which--filled in the final half of the book--just went on too long and I didn't find it all that fascinating.
Talliaferro has done an excellent job of weaving excitement, emotions, terror, anger, frustration and romance into a carefully told documentary. Photographs are very complimentary to the story, and the background information the author has included is more than enhancing of the excitement and wonder of this epic story.
Aug 27, 2008 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Alaska
Recommended to Katie by: Cindy Dillard, Scotty's mom
This book is well written and is a true story that really helped me to gain some understanding about Alaskan history. It is amazing what the people in this book were able to accomplish in their time. Parts of the book read like a novel, and parts read like a history book, but overall it was quite interesting and enjoyable.
This is a great story about amazing people that have been forgotten by history. I love reading books like this. I think the book is well written. As far as striking a balance between exciting adventure story and history text, the book tends towards historical scholarship, but I didn't mind that.
Very interesting history of a couple who went to Alaska as missionaries to convert the Indian tribes of Alaska. It was very enlightening and I'm glad that I didn't have to live back then. Even in the late 1890's the people expected the government to bail them out when they made stupid choices.
A wonderful narrative of adventure, commerce, faith, and devotion in Alaska at the close of the nineteenth century. I used this book for reading analysis in a graduate-level education course at Christopher Newport University.
Feb 04, 2008 Mom added it
The story of the Lopp family and their experiences in northern Alaska has much to teach us about how we handle the people we come across in our lives and the respect that we should have for other cultures.
Like it very uch. Much admiration for Tom Lopp and the native Alaskans in his story. The other Americans, not so much. Corruption in business and Congress are nothing new.
Quite an adventure. Really enjoyed the descriptions of the country and the people. Will be going to Alaska later this year and I will certainly have a "feel" for the country!
Okay I tried to read this. But it lacked something did not finish it. I realized this is a non fiction work but the writing just didn't make the characters interesting
The author brilliantly evokes in the reader the mind numbing boredom of the traveling thousands of kilometers in the arctic wilderness in winter. Masterful.
Jonathan Lynn
Great untold story of the early missionaries to the great North!
Gets a little laboriously long at times.
Had trouble getting into it, couldn't finish....was trying to read it because someone else wanted me to.
Having a difficult time connecting emotionally so far. Must give it more of a chance.
Shawn Simmons
A very interesting tale of Alaska and reindeer.
Victoria Boyne
so far very interesting...
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