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Never Cry Wolf

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  14,821 ratings  ·  640 reviews
From ancient times, wolves have been mythologised as ferocious and predatory beasts. In 'Never Cry Wolf' conservationist Farley Mowat sets out to correct the stereotypes.
Audio CD, 4 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Naxos Audiobooks (first published 1963)
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David Hughes
This is a book I both love and hate. I love it because I love wolves and this is a well-written, entertaining story about wolves. I hate it's made up from start to finish, yet the tagline on the cover says, "The incredible true story of life among Arctic wolves."

Let's get one thing straight: Never Cry Wolf is fiction. Made up. Fabricated. And quite a lot of it is, at least in terms of factual accuracy, horseshit. Mowat knew a lot about life in the Arctic, but he didn't know much about wolves.

I picked this up due to fond memories of viewing the 1983 movie in biology class. In this 1963 book, naturalist Farley Mowat chronicles his experiences observing wolves in the Canadian barrenlands 1948-49. I have mixed feelings about the book. On the plus side: it presented a positive image of wolves and stirred interest in their preservation. However, as a scientist I'm put off by the embellishments Mowat throws in both to make the story more entertaining and to sway the reader toward his point ...more
Crazy, but absolutely amazing. Mowat moves in next to a pack of wolves & observes them. His description of 'marking' his territory (with the help of several pots of tea) & how the alpha male managed the same feat with a single pass, showing far better control, is both funny & exhilarating. He's cut off a part of their path as his territory, sits there weaponless & participates with them at their level. That pretty much describes the book. It's fascinating.
Oct 26, 2012 Jillyn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jillyn by: Chris
Shelves: given-away
Written in the sixties, this book follows the year that naturalist Farley Mowat lived among the wolves. Hired to observe these wolves up in Canada to see why they were killing caribou, Mowat uses humor, observation, and a bit of personification to narrate his observations of wolf behavior and what he learned from his time living in the wild.


I had to read this for my English class this semester. It followed about four other books on natural systems that I did not care for at all, and I'm happy
Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf is a classic of environmental, wildlife and adventure literature -- beautifully written, funny and moving all the way to its gorgeous final pages, which, I admit, made me cry.

A marvelous film was made from this book in 1983, which I would also highly recommend, if you've never seen it. Of course, it's no substitute for this book, but is excellent in its own right.

The book starts out as a sort of MASH-like satire on the nonsensical bureaucracies of the Canadian gover
Jenn Noto
I had come across this book by chance at the bookstore I work at, and with wolves being my favorite animal (particularly arctic wolves as in the book) I just had to at least read the synopsis on the back of the book. I normally never read nonfiction books, simply because I'm not interested in that type of reading. However, when I saw how similar Farley Mowat's views on wolves are to mine, it immediately caught my attention.

So many people in the world view wolves as vicious killers and nothing m
I have read this book before, I loved it then and I love it now.
I didn't grow up around hunting or around wolves so this book had a profound impact on the way I viewed both. I've always had a love of animals and nature so I was a natural to find this book inspiring, wonderful and incredibly sad. For a book I haven't read in about 30 years I had remarkable recall of most of the scenes. That is probably because of the sense of humor and the pathos with which Farley Mowat writes, it is a beautiful
Brings back the dreams I had when I was still studying biology - definitely would have wanted to follow in the tracks of my loony loon-specialist animal behaviorist prof.

At first I wondered if I was going to like the voice of the writer as it seemed a bit too light and ignorant and laughing, but it left room for his honesty as his adventure continued, and for him to reveal his foolishness-es in interpreting the wolves and in cross-cultural interactions with the people he encountered as well.

Nov 10, 2013 Martha☀ rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Martha☀ by: Bound Together
In this fictionalized account of Farley Mowat's summer time sojourn to the Arctic in the late 1940s, the harmful myths about wolves are broken and light is shed on their playful, family-oriented nature. At that time, the wolf reputation as an insatiable killer was maintained by trappers who collected a bounty for every wolf hide they produced. There was no scientific research on wolves until Mowat set out specifically to study them.
His accounts of the Wolf House Bay pack are eye-opening to him,
I was given this book as a gift from one of my coworkers, and because of his powerhouse personality, was actually a little apprehensive to read it. In fact, it sat idly on my bookshelf for nearly 4 months before I dusted it off and gave it a try. While the book did get off to a slow start, a quite non impressive introduction to the world in which the author would inhabit for nearly 2 years, the story was all of a sudden kick-started for me with the introduction of the wolf family. George, Angeli ...more
May 15, 2015 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gerald Durrell fans
Shelves: canada, audio
I read a lot of Farley in middle school and loved him; little bits of this from an early reading have stayed with me for 30 years, and there's a warm feeling in revisiting them. No one does couthy quite like a Canadian and he is not immune; this is really quite sentimental and anthropomorphic, but consciously so, and as he is famously so enthusiastic and entertaining about all things wild, I forgive him.

Also, very funny - he's a great storyteller and nicely dry (in that other, rarer, Canadian sp
Linda Ostrom
This is still one of the best books I have read. It does say that it is "inspired" by a true story and since I knew a lot of Mr. Mowat's history (him living quite near me), I know that all the information regarding the wolves is true.

The information gathered by him was so important and I think that even today most countries and scientists don't realize how important it actually was/is. Wolves were wiped out by blood thirst in the US and when the government discovered the imbalance it created, th
Jessica Griggs
Never Cry Wolf

I read this book in high school based on a recommendation by a teacher. We were supposed to read at least one non-fiction book for class, but I wasn’t really into the non-fiction genre. Luckily, Never Cry Wolf feels and reads more like a work of fiction (partially because many believe Mowat’s retelling to indeed be a work of fiction). There is a lot of controversy over how much, if any, of the book is based on real events. Was it a wise decision to sacrifice credibility for enterta
William Galaini
The feelings that surround this book are complicated, but the book itself is not. This is a charming read that is sharply written, well engaging, and joyful. The writer clearly loves his subject and his idealism is encountered constantly without feeling heavy handed or naive.

Each wolf in this story is a distinct character and the narrator presents each challenge playfully without diminishing the danger present. The majesty of the hunt is also detailed and revered with colorful language without b
I found out something shocking about Mowat from one of the reviewers below. So here is my original review followed by my updated one:

A true and brilliant account by the author, who was sent out by the Canadian parks service during the early 50's to assess the wolves in the arctic (with anti-wolf sentiment running irrationally high) and the directive to quantify this animals evils. it was excellent, funny and filled with humility/self-parody that made me laugh out loud. yet i liked that it didn't
This was a truly unique book. It is about a biologist who works for the Dominion Wildlife Service.

After a series of events occur Farley was sent (his department basically got rid of him) to the Arctic to study and kill Arctic wolves. After more funny mess-ups occur. Farley Mowat was literally abandoned out in the middle of nowhere. (The pilot thought he was about three hundred miles northwest of Churchill.)

After coming in close contact with a pack of wolves Farley starts his study, and he becom
[Name Redacted]
While I love wolves and appreciate Mowat's passion on their behalf, there's something off-putting about his writing style. I'm not sure if it's the way he constructs the narrative (so that he himself is the star rather than the wolves) or his tone (which I felt, even at the age of 11, was rather smug and self-satisfied), but I found myself profoundly irritated throughout. It turns out he has a habit of "never let[ting] the facts get in the way of the truth" and that the events he recounts in the ...more
I enjoyed reading this book. It is the story of a man who goes to study the arctic wolves. He spends time with them and comes to understand who they really are. He debunks the myth that the wolves were destroying the caribou (they were destroyed by careless hunters.) He meets a guy who can speak the wolf language -- I liked that part. Overall I would consider it an eye-opening story. It represents what I feel to be true and correct environmentalism: the ability to do an in-depth study sufficient ...more
Steve H
I missed this book while growing up with the fictional Jack London arctic adventures. It wouldn't have changed my life, but it probably would have reinforced my tendency to question authority and assumptions and favor nature over human-centric ideals.

As a work of science, this is probably looked down upon because Mowat often has his tongue in his cheek and certainly anthropomorphizes his non-human subjects. At the same time, though, he often dehumanizes the humans. Still, this short, accessible
Reading this over Thanksgiving reminded me what we lost when Mr. Mowat died earlier this year.

This book complicates our perspective on the penultimate predator, the wolf. During the months he observed a family of wolves, Mowat "humanizes" the much vilified wolf.

Beyond the outstanding quality of his nature narrative, he also creates a place for those of us who feel out of place or as an outsider. Mowat is a classic outsider, struggling to fit in with just about everyone he encounters. He finds, h
Hmm- what to say? Farley did take his work seriously; pen in one hand, wolf juice in the other. With wit, alcohol and a telescope, he peeping Tom'd his way into the wolf family of Angeline, George and Uncle Albert in Northern Canada. He wrote, for all appearances, an autobiographical account of his time with these lupine creatures with no less humour than the modern 'Sex in the City' writers, and probably with the same amount of fiction! We have family, fornication, pimping, love won and lost, g ...more
Eden Morillo
My review of the book "Never cry wolf"

You never know the life of a wild animal until you submit your life to study one.Never cry wolf is a fascinating story of the daily lives of arctic wolves. The author used such descriptive detail it made you feel as if you are at the frozen tundra as if you were Farley Mowat accepting the mission to investigate why the wolves were killing arctic caribou. in this book he dedicates an entire summer to solve the mystery but in doing so he falls
Bleh. One of the most uninteresting and horribly written books I've read in a while.
Last semester of high school, this was one of the options to read for a group project. Unfortunately no one else wanted to read it, so I ended up borrowing it from the teacher and reading it myself. (The group I was in ended up reading 'The Englishman's Boy'... :P)

I was seriously glad I decided to read it. My clearest memory of reading it is just sitting in class and having to stop and put the book down in the midst of a giggling fit so I could calm down enough to keep reading (and not look like
A poignant and thought-provoking book. I wished for more at the end.
It is a beautiful portrait of wolves. The wolves have a well-developed societal structure, are intelligent survivors and loving family members. I became very attached to George, Angeline, Albert, and the pups. The author also does a great job conveying what it's like to conduct a full wildlife study in such a remote place with bosses that are so far removed from reality. He develops relationships with some of the Eskimos nearby
I have no idea why I haven't read Farley Mowat before, but I am sure I'll be reading more. Very well written and entertaining as well, "Never Cry Wolf" is the story of Mowat's Arctic adventure as a biologist with the Canadian Government. He was sent to study the wolves the government believed were responsible for the diminishing caribou population. His assignment was to find a solution for "the wolf problem".

One of the review blurbs on the first page says "...even if you don't give a hang about
I remember seeing the movie as a kid, but the book is really impressive. He's funny, thoughtful, and insightful without ever being preachy. Aside from shedding a significant amount of light on the daily lives of wolves, I really came away with a renewed appreciation for how stupid humans can be sometimes.

Mowat gets sent into the tundra to essentially confirm the government's suspicions that wolves are destroying the caribou herds. Of course, it's not wolves (it's hunters) and the animals all liv
Great read. Mowat is a master of sarcasm, and the light and playful way with which he starts the story is the perfect counterpoint to the regret in the final scene, which drives home Mowat's message. Really, really, you have to read it.
I used to say this was my favorite book when asked as a child. It's hard for me now to imagine that I really grasped all the humor and details in the story as a grade school kid. Nevertheless, I read it again just now, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit! I didn't realize how hysterical Mowat and his writing can be. However, I was disheartened to read after completing the book (which can be read in a day) that most of it was fiction. And most of the events, presented as factual, were most likely ...more
Funny, but so much controversy over what is fact and what is fiction. Should be taught as memoir, subjective, not objective.
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I hate this book 11 67 Feb 07, 2014 01:44PM  
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Farley McGill Mowat was a conservationist and one of Canada's most widely-read authors.
Many of his most popular works have been memoirs of his childhood, his war service, and his work as a naturalist. His works have been translated into 52 languages and he has sold more than 14 million books.
Mowat studied biology at the University of Toronto. During a field trip to the Arctic, Mowat became outrag
More about Farley Mowat...

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“We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be –the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer – which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourself.” 150 likes
“Somewhere to the eastward a wolf howled; lightly, questioningly. I knew the voice, for I had heard it many times before. It was George, sounding the wasteland for an echo from the missing members of his family. But for me it was a voice which spoke of the lost world which once was ours before we chose the alien role; a world which I had glimpsed and almost entered...only to be excluded, at the end, by my own self.” 8 likes
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