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The Man Who Lives with Wolves

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  485 ratings  ·  84 reviews
What would compel a man to place himself in constant danger in order to become a member of a wolf pack? To eat with them, putting his head into a carcass alongside the wolves' gnashing teeth? To play, hunt, and spar with them, suffering bruises and bites? To learn their language so his howl is indistinguishable from theirs? To give up a normal life of relationships and fam ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Crown (first published 2009)
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White Fang by Jack LondonThe Call of the Wild by Jack LondonThe Sight by David Clement-DaviesJulie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead GeorgeShiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Favourite Books about Wolves
94th out of 221 books — 173 voters
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Wolf Lovers' Books
18th out of 41 books — 40 voters

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Community Reviews

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I have always liked wolves and have felt for years that these animals are not the monsters that a lot of people make them out to be and how fairy tales have contributed to the many untruths of these amazing animals. Every person on this planet needs to not only read this book but they should also see the 1983 movie "Never Cry Wolf".

I hate the ranchers who think their land only belongs to them. And I am furious when I hear that wolves that have been reintroduced into Yellowstone Park, etc. are h
Shaun Ellis lived for two years with a wolf pack in the Idaho wilds, eating what they ate, learning his position in the pack, and being cared for by this wild animals. He neither saw nor spoke to anyone during this time. Although he was criticized by scientists, his ground breaking discoveries have forever changed the human view of the wolf as a dangerous, fearsome creature. If human beings lived more like the wolves, the world would be a better place. You will be amazed at what you will learn a ...more
I opened this book with HIGH expectations. It got raving reviews. I am frankly disappointed. To me it was irritating and self-centered. I mean - this man turned his back on numerous relationships and his numerous children to live with wolves. I'm sorry - I don't think that's impressive. Maybe he learned a lot that helped humans better understand wolves, maybe he made some valuable discoveries... to me the trail of broken families and abandoned children was way more tragic then poor misunderstood ...more
Wow! A must read for anyone interested in ecology, wolves, dogs. This man was incredibly real, honest, vulnerable. I loved every minute of the book.
This book was a dollar store find for me. I almost did not buy this book. In high school I wrote a research paper about wolves for my Wildlife Ecology class. I was curious about these animals beyond what I learned in school. This book would have been a great find back then if it had existed. In the beginning of this book which is mostly autobiographical rather than scientific research related. Ellis talks about his upbringing and how he never met his Father and so on. I was really more intereste ...more
Lisa Kearns
Shaun Ellis has devoted his life to the study of wolves and their behavior. He has lived with them night and day for over 20 years, and probably knows more about wolves than anyone else on earth. His absorption with the lives of wolves is so complete that he is uncomfortable in the human world. Two wives have come and gone, unable to tolerate his obsession.

Beginning with his lonely boyhood on a farm with his dogs, he had always studied animal behavior and felt at home in the woods and fields. Hi
Heather Constantino
Read this book after reading Jodi Picoult's Lone Wolf. One of Picoult's main characters was based on this man and I found the book to be very informative. What Shaun Ellis has done with wolves has changed my view point on the animals. By extension he has also learned how wolf behavior also applies to domestic dogs, descendants of the wolf. He had some good information on how to handle dogs and why they seem to have certain personalities. If you own a dog and love dogs, you might find this an int ...more
Christine Edison
I heard about this book when I was looking at Jodi Picoult's new book, Lone Wolf. Picoult said she got a lot of good information about wolves from Shaun Ellis, so I looked up his website and then discovered his book.

Ellis is the title character in the TV series "Living With The Wolfman," but that just scratches the surface. He forges a deep connection with wild creatures early in life and even goes out into the wilderness for months to live with a wild pack of wolves. The book shows his passion
If you read this book as strange personal account of a single man who makes odd decisions instead of a unique, informative insight into wolf behavior, you will probably do alright. Don't read it as the later though.

Ellis laments that professionals don't take him seriously. He's right that they don't, and they shouldn't. Neither should you, for that matter. I've seen a lot of reviews on here about applying his theories to dogs, and please do not. While they share a few basic behaviors, dogs are
I chose this book because my daughter is big into wolves and I thought it would be interesting. Lo and behold, I decided to casually browse it the day it arrived and I literally found myself turning page after page for three or four hours. I know there are loads of people who claim they "couldn't put the book down" or that they "read it in one sitting" or whatever, but I am not that type of person. Even if I love a book, I need to massage my ADD and walk away for a while. This book is the first ...more
This book was interesting and easy to read. I appreciated Ellis' relentless determination to learn about wolves and his desire to save them from man's encroachment. His methods are unorthodox, to say the least. He is more attuned to wolves than humans and that is one of the reasons I didn't give the book a higher rating. He marries and has children, but is away from his family so much that he can't be a good husband and father. He puts his third wife in a dangerous situation where she could have ...more
I learned alot about animals and was able to apply it to my rescue dog...changed his food and figured out what his personality type is, as well as what he is communicating to was right on target!!!!!!!!!
Gisela Kretzschmar
I just finished translating this book and absolutely loved it. It's a fascinating mixture of a coming of age story and sound information about almost everything you ever wanted to know about wolves.
Virginia Jacobs
This book is really, really interesting. It's a suggested reading at the end of Jodi Picoult's Lone Wolf (which I also enjoyed), except this is the true story of a guy who actually went and lived with a wild pack of wolves for a while.

It's late, so this is likely to be a disorganized review, so bear with me.

First, I'd like to say that Shaun Ellis does not seem as weird as one would think of someone from the British Isles who came to Idaho to learn about wolves, who thinks one of his brothers is
This is definitely the best book I've ever read on wolves. Shaun Ellis is not a scientist. He has no advanced degrees. What he does have is the gift of animal empathy. He has a particular attachment to wolves and their evolutionary descendants, the dogs. I have read statements by biologists that dogs are radically different from wolves. Shaun Ellis is quite certain that dogs and wolves have a great deal in common. Since wolves and dogs can interbreed, they can't be two entirely separate species. ...more
Lucy Morton-smith
An amazing book. It was really interesting to find out about his young childhood, and fasinating how everything in his life previous to his encounter with wolves prepared him for what was to come. It really does look like it was fate for him to become a brother to these amazing animals. The book goes through the stages of his life starting with his early childhood on a farm, and his relationship with the dogs there, and continues through his life in the army and then with the Nez Perce (a tribe ...more
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Malin Friess
Shaun Ellis from Great Brittain buys a cheap plane ticket to Northern Idaho. With the clothes on his pack, a few pieces of beef jerkey, he walks into the snowy woods to become a member of a wolf pack.

Jodi Piccoult used this character for her inspiration for her most recent book Lone Wolf. Is it possible..1st could a man really survive a winter in Idaho with minimal food and shelter. Secondly could a human infiltrate a wolf pack.

Ellis shares how he ate raw kill and buriee his face into the flesh
Time Taken To Read - 1.5 days

Blurb From Amazon

What would compel a man to place himself in constant danger in order to become a member of a wolf pack? To eat with them, putting his head into a carcass alongside the wolves' gnashing teeth? To play, hunt, and spar with them, suffering bruises and bites? To learn their language so his howl is indistinguishable from theirs? To give up a normal life of relationships and family so that he can devote himself completely to the protection of these wild an
I picked up this book because it was mentioned in The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs and How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication and also because of the similarities between wolves and domestic dogs.

This books is an enjoyable read and if it's all true, it's really a remarkable story of survival and dedication. Shaun Ellis was able to live with a wild pack of wolves in Idaho and he literally had to eat what the wolves brought him for 18 months. Ell
Apr 22, 2014 Lex rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone!
This book was incredible!!! I got so much more than I bargained. Not only did I get to read an amazing, moving memoir about a man whose love for wolves is as big as the planet... I got up close and personal with wolf behavior and how that can apply to my own pets.
Chapter 24 and Chapter 25 were invaluable to me in my coming years of thinking of owning a dog. Chapter 24 talks specifically how to pick up the right puppy from a litter in comparison to wolf behavior and how the wolf pack functions. C
Rick Lamplugh
Shaun Ellis first worked with captive wolves in his native England. Soon he wondered what it would be like to live with wild wolves. Not just observe them, mind you. Live with them. Biologists that learned of his goal either pooh-poohed or opposed it. But Ellis is not a scientist—he’s a former British commando—and, as he wrote, “I didn’t have a reputation to lose, as they did. I didn’t have a fear of not succeeding; I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

He prepared in a military way. He
If you think you can't get past the fact that this man abandoned his wife and children to go and live with a bunch of animals, don't start reading this book. It's full of 'Boo-hoo, the wolves were my only real family' and 'Sniff, I've never felt more at home than when I was with the wolves' and blah blah blah, which sometimes made me want to scream at the guy. What are you saying, you have five children! FIVE, dude!! ARGH!! O_O

Don't get me wrong, this is one of the best books I've read in a whil
Interesting topic, especially the end chapters (Knowing Your Place, Back to Basics, We Are What We Eat) but primarily as they relate to dogs. Good research material here, but would need to be handled with much finer touch then Picoult used in her novel Lone Wolf. Having read that first, I now realize that she took a lot of this book almost verbatim for her book which is cheap. I'd downgrade her novel to one or two stars if I could this book gets 3 stars for good topic and good information.
Kasia Wiążewska
Very beautiful book about wolves, extreme love for nature and breaking the barriers. I think I've never heard about such passion and sacrifice for it. And before reading i thought - living with wolves as one of them? Ok, nice word trick and sales talk for make people read it. But I was wrong. The story of Shaun Ellis makes us believe, that maybe we are (or were) a part of nature, when a man can become a brother of wolves. But - really unusual man.
I think the most moving, central fragment of book
Kelly Nguyen
I've gotten my fiery passion for wolves once I read 'The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness' series by Michelle Paver. I was fascinated by the wolf character so that was when my attention shifted to Shaun Ellis. I didn't know about him til I was looking around on google and found out about him. I was immediately enthralled by the fact that he lived with wild wolves for 2 years! When I found out he wrote a book about how his life came to be with wolves, I picked it up from my local library immediatel ...more
Lauren Rosolino
Utterly fascinating.

From his childhood to his time in the Royal Armed Forces to his work with wolves, it's like nothing I've read before. Shaun Ellis's life has been completely extraordinary. And it was so refreshing and uplifting to hear from someone who not only has the same perspective as I do about wolves and wildlife, but is even more passionate about it than I am. Especially in the current political climate (in the US) where wolves are the enemy and must be destroyed. I can only hope that
This was an interesting book. I really enjoyed learning about the wolves and how they interact in nature without any influence from humans. If the book had been primarily about this topic it would have had 5 stars for sure. It definitely made me think about how my dog fits into my family and why she acts the ways that she does.

The one thing I didn't like about this book is the author himself. Before I picked up this book I'd never heard of the man before I guess he has had some television shows
Aug 03, 2011 Krysti added it
This is an amazing book. I learned a lot about wolves (and dogs too). Wolves really are amazing creatures and it was so cool (and weird and scary) how Ellis was able to infiltrate a wild pack. Some highlights - he didn't take a shower and stayed in the same clothes for like 2 years. The wolf pack he became a part of would go hunting and bring him back a deer leg to eat (yes, he lived on raw meat for almost 2 years). **Spoiler alert*** The only reason he left the pack was because he could feel hi ...more
Martie Nees Record
Learned about the author and wolf researcher of this book while reading a dull Jodie Picoult novel entitled "The Lone Wolf." The only thing I like about her novel was the story within the story based on the real man Shaun Ellis. Ellis really did live with a wild pack of wolves for two years. "Ellis shares how he ate raw kill; washed rarely, and only in plain water to keep his scent; learned to bury his face into the carcasses of prey–and, when necessary, to defend his share of the kill; communic ...more
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