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Paddle to the Arctic: The Incredible Story of a Kayak Quest Across the Roof of the World

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  101 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Don Starkell decided to paddle a kayak from Hudson Bay 3,000 miles through the Northwest Passage. Paddle to the Arctic is Don's diary of his journey from Churchill, Manitoba, north and then west all the way to Tuktoyaktuk, close to Alaska. The voyage took him three Arctic summers. Each attempt almost cost him his life. The first year, aged fifty-seven and "very scared," Do ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by McClelland & Stewart
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Mark
Jul 16, 2014 Mark rated it it was ok
A disturbing book written by a deeply troubled individual who lacked the artifice to smooth over the raw edges of his insanity or apparently the self awareness to learn much about himself from his self-destructive endeavors. Reading these two books was like watching someone walk into traffic on a very busy highway. If by the careless twist of a completely implacable and uninterested fate, he actually makes it to the other side and stands there exulting in triumph, your only reaction is inevitabl ...more
Louisa Ielo
Sep 22, 2014 Louisa Ielo rated it liked it
Read it through because it is the sort of adventure tale I like to read. Interesting to experience my country's north through an adventurer's eyes, even if he is a bit over the top. I hope he truly learned how to be more human and take life not as seriously and self-centredly after his time alone, alienating his travel-mates. It's like he wanted and enjoyed being in pain and trouble, and expected others to also feel this way. Interesting to note about the book how he puts so many thank-yous in t ...more
Devon
Jun 12, 2014 Devon rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dennis
Sep 22, 2010 Dennis rated it liked it
Don Starkell is a man who just loves to push. Ten years before this adventure, he had travelled from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Belem, Brazil with his son in a canoe, an adventure he chronicled in Paddle to the Amazon. In that book, it became clear that Don is a man who pushes and pushes, often taking serious risks and frequently endangering himself and his fellow travellers. In Paddle to the Arctic, that tendency is again very evident.

The trip is, of course, a fascinating enterprise, and Don has a
...more
Carrie
May 14, 2015 Carrie rated it really liked it
Good book, interesting adventure. I couldn't put it down, but I thought he was very foolish in some of his choices.
Dave Foster
How the fuck do I read this book on this app, havant got a clue how this app works, it won't let me read it
Clivemichael
Mar 06, 2015 Clivemichael rated it really liked it
Compelling and driven individual, choppy writing, but brutally honest. An incredible ordeal.
Alexander Weber
Mar 03, 2016 Alexander Weber rated it really liked it
Incredible! This man's mission to go from Churchill, Manitoba, and through the Northwest Passage is inspiring and fucking incredible! The book is written in diary format, so that you experience every day of this man's trip. He experiences SO MANY hardships, and is quite possibly the luckiest person I've ever heard of, and definitely the most stubborn. How does one not give up? Near the end, he is so lonely and fed up with the trip...it is good to know he's human.
Such a great read. I'll have to c
...more
David Canford
Feb 20, 2016 David Canford rated it it was amazing
Not content with canoeing from Canada to the Amazon, Don Starkell sets himself the challenge of kayaking Canada's arctic coastline. It takes three attempts to get properly underway and he pushes on not knowing whether he will survive or not.
His treatment of his initial travelling companion indicates he cares more about his end goal than anything else which is not an attractive characteristic. Not as well written as "Paddle to the Amazon" but I still gave it a top rating as the challenge and envi
...more
Liralen
Definitely a fascinating story. Strong writing and unflinching details. It was at times difficult to sympathise with the author/narrator - he was a bit, hmm, arrogant at times - but he writes about failure as well as success, and the lack of dramatics in the writing make the story (which is dramatic) even more compelling.
Pancho
Apr 11, 2012 Pancho rated it liked it
A interesting look into the landscape of this remote region. Also a good look into this man's mission to accomplish his goal. He truly was willing to pay the ultimate price to finish his journey and I had to respect that in a way. The questioned remained in my mind, why?
Jayne
Feb 25, 2011 Jayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Differing by local from his paddle to the amazon. This book begins with a new relationship and ends with the overwhelming solitariness of the artic. Another good read with more interaction of nature and sparce human population.
Gary
Jul 27, 2009 Gary rated it liked it
Absolutely bonkers! No wonder his first partner legged it; she knew waht was coming and come it did! An adventure for sure.
Bob Large
Mar 24, 2016 Bob Large rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arctic-life
Crazy man, Don Starkwell, goes on another adventure. Nearly kills himself. Again, exciting reading.
Hannah Dorah
Aug 01, 2012 Hannah Dorah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So good I had a hard time putting it down. Real life travel and adventure at the end of your fingertips!
Kayaker
Mar 03, 2013 Kayaker rated it it was amazing
Not as well edited as his last book. More raw. Amazing storey. Crazy adventure.
Nicholas Griffith
Apr 19, 2009 Nicholas Griffith rated it really liked it
holy shit! is all I can say. Whoa! What a story! Just read it.
Jean
Jan 07, 2013 Jean rated it really liked it
I re-read this one every few years, enjoy it every time.
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