16th out of 28 books — 29 voters
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Preview — In a Far Country by John Taliaferro
In a Far Country
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
Hardcover, 424 pages
Published November 20th 2006 by PublicAffairs
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(showing 1-30 of 178)
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
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 · review of another edition
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.