Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wolf and Iron” as Want to Read:
Wolf and Iron
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Wolf and Iron

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  803 ratings  ·  46 reviews
After the collapse of civilization, when the social fabric of America has come apart in bloody rags, when every man's hand is raised against another, and only the strong survive.

"Jeebee" Walther was a scientist, a student of human behavior, who saw the Collapse of the world economy coming, but could do nothing to stop it. Now he must make his way across a violent and lawle

Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 15th 1993 by Tor Books (first published 1990)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wolf and Iron, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wolf and Iron

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,535)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I really did enjoy this book - even though I am on to my second copy of it. The first was ruined when there was a huge section missed from the printing - I would say that over a chapter was gone.
The book really is your standard journey of redemption which the world falls apart and reverts back to a most simplistic and as you would expect barbaric age. The real star of the book though is the wolf. I will admit apart from finding the animal majestic and terrifying I grew up with dogs - big dogs an
I only know one stanza of T.S. Eliot's poetry, and the most popular one at that: "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper." Of all the apocalyptic scenarios that I've read about, the one invoked by this line seems to me to simultaneously be the most likely, the most interesting, and the most overlooked. The world won't tumble into anarchy and decay from a comet, or from nuclear war, or a supervirus, or overpopulation. Instead, it will slowly sink into a bog of smaller soci ...more
Jeff Miller
I have always enjoyed Dickson, but found this one to be exceptional. post-apocalyptic, but concentrating mostly on the story of one man. An academic who understood a bit about what was coming, but still was not prepared. The story of him and the wolf he befriends was quite enjoyable along with the little contact he has with others as he tried to travel to his brother's farm. The foreword from an expert on wolf behavior tells of his time working with Dickson to help him to get the wolf-behavior d ...more
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime)
Oct 21, 2012 Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
Post-apocalyptic, Man & Dog (well, wolf), Gordie Dickson: what's not to love!

It's years since I read this, but it had a profound effect on me, and I really want to find a copy.


Edit: I got hold of a copy.

I'm fascinated by the depth of research that went into the Man/Wolf relationship (somewhat forced on him by his wolf researcher, Dr. Harry Frank, who wouldn't let him get away with anything!) but perplexed how at times he gets even the simplest things wrong. For the second time in a week (
I read this book sometime after it first came out and it has influenced my thinking about surviving in a post nuclear war life ever since. I became aware at how unprepared I would be to live in a new Iron age without technology. I am not a survivalist, so I would need to rely on other people who have scout or wilderness survival training. With all the modern survival equipment I wonder if life would be better, or easier, than Jeebee's tremendous efforts.

Think what life would be like without elec
Feb 12, 2009 Chad rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pre-adolescent boys.
Shelves: teotwawki
What I learned from this book:

If you are a nerd who survives the end of the world, get you a pet wolf to sick on people.

My review:

I think what facinated me most about this book was that this college student majoring in economics is able to predict the fall of civiliztion in time to "get out of dodge". For 15 years I have been wondering what economic conditions would trigger (or at least what economic indicators would signal) armegeddon. Now I know! Wow, maybe ignorance really is bliss...

Feb 06, 2011 stormhawk rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to stormhawk by: tester-san
The end of civilization as we know it driven by economic collapse ... a little too close to comfort right now. The story is entertaining, but in many ways is too pat, driven by coincidences that stretch the boundaries of one's willing suspension of disbelief.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the book, but I don't think the post-collapse future would be as tidy as Dickson makes it out to be.
I loved this story of the future collapse of the world into chaos and disorder. The main character is an introverted scientist who sets out from Michigan traveling across the West to his older brother's Montana ranch. He doesn't make it far until he runs into trouble, loses his transportation, and gains a traveling companion: a semi tame wolf. Much of the book is an interior exploration of what Jeebee thinks as he tries to survive his situation, and figure out Wolf and Wolf's motivations. As Jee ...more
Darryl Axsom
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2013 Slickaway rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
While never a great fan of Mr. Dickson's fairly vast body of work (finding it, for the greater part, filled with shallow characterizations and far-too-'fantastical' plot devices - much like his contemporary, Philip Jose Farmer), it is this particular novel to which credit is given for inducing me to read the other Dickson books (the ones I off-handedly dismissed in my first aside) in the first place.

For me, 'Wolf and Iron' represents everything that is good about character-driven stories and, in
Andrew Rose
One of the original survivalist novels

Years before it was popular, Wolf and Iron detailed a world in collapse and the people living in it. It focuses on a scientist who was so busy studying the collapse that he failed to take action. Striving to reach a distant brother he must survive with the help of a wolf who joins him on the way. If you like apocalypse stories and don't want the politics, this is a good read.
This is one of the better post-apocalypse books that I have read in recent years. It deals less with the apocalypse itself and focuses instead on the travals of one man. Dickson put a lot of depth into his characters and with their survival in a world that has lost all semblance of normalcy.

It is very obvious though that he had spent much of the time writing this book researching wolves. The book tends to focus almost exclusively on the relationship between the main character and his wolf-compa
Absolutely fabulous novel about the downfall of civilization when economies start going haywire. The characters are engaging and sympathetic. The setting is well-crafted, and the exploration of how people cope with survival in a world where it is suddenly far more difficult to get materials and food from place to place is fascinating.

Jeebee was part of an economic think-tank that saw the economic crisis shortly before it came. He was one of the few who trusted the numbers and actually bothered t
Janetta Bitting
A great read

I have enjoyed this book. It has a great plot and some good action. the reader will also learn something about wolves.
Charles Conn
Good read

nicely written,keeps your interest and is a page Turner, nice story line need a book 2 to watch Paul grow up
Jim Dutton
Very good story, excellently written

A believable post apocalyptic story. Focus on survival and courage, not on the cause of the Collapse. Written by a Master.
Nice book, awesome documentation on wolves habits and psychology.
Another good post-apolyptic novel of survival.
This is one of my favourite books.
An interesting if a bit odd book. Like I said earlier, almost like a travelog of a post apocalyptic America. You could also consider it a treatise on wolf behavior or perhaps a romance of sorts. A different book and hard to describe but very interesting and kept me turning the pages. There were only a few points at which I had to skim a bit as the main character lectured himself/the reader about how certain things could be made or fixed or taken apart or whatever. Otherwise pretty riveting if no ...more
Greg Earhart
Decent enough book. I didn't like it as much as I liked the other post-apoc books I've been reading though. My main problem with it is that it focused way too much on the details of what the guy was doing to survive rather than the plot in general. I'm not overly interested in reading several pages about how the dude made a crossbow/walls/whatever. The book was much more focused on what to do to survive aspect than what I'm really interested in.
I thought this book might become one of my favorites when I started reading. Basically, this is my favorite genre, and Gordon R. Dickson started his story well enough with a relatively plausible scenario of socio-economic collapse of the whole society. The book held its own right upto the halfway mark. But then it started to become monotonous and nothing major happened even at the end.

Fairly good apocalyptic sci-fi. It did not state specifically what caused the end, but it very much implied economic catastrophe. This may be what the world would be like if we had not bailed out the banks. Otherwise there was a large portion of the book on wolves and their relationships with humans, and another large portion on how to build a home in a cave.
Jeff Schroth
A little slow-moving, even for Dickson, and the number of convenient contrivances (Jeebee's eidetic memory for the written word in particular) distracted me from time to time, but overall an interesting enough story.
Oct 25, 2007 James rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sci fi geeks
The premise of the book was really interesting - apocalypse due to an economic collapse, rather than a nuclear war. It's about a guy who is trying to travel across the wilds of the mid-west post collapse. I just could not get into it, although I really wanted to. I got about a hundred pages in before giving up.
An amazing story. I will be reading it again. A lot of information and educational. teaches you how to survive in the wilderness and how to build equipment, without seeming like an instructional aid book. A love story, a story of friendship, and of course an amazing post apocolytpic world and how to survive.
really good read. the world collapses not with a roar, but with a whimper. the lead character is a scientist studying economics. he foresees to collapse, but doesn't realize that it is going to happen. this is a tale from the start of the collapse, with him trying to get to his brothers ranch.
This is not your average post-apocalypse book, it is also an interesting view on wolf-human relationship, using that everything from civilization has collapsed to explore this aspect. Very interesting reading from an author more comedy-oriented ("The Dragon and The George"). Recommended.
Donna Jo Atwood
After an unnamed world-wide disaster, Jeebee sets out to shelter at his brother's ranch in Montana. Along the way he meets with many people with varying ways of coping with the crisis. He also manages to collect a wolf as part of his "family", although it is never tamed.
Great post-economic collapse story. The main character is an intellectual who is trying to find a place in the new world that is without civilization, power, etc. It was fantastic! Part sci-fi; part survival story.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 51 52 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Some Will Not Die
  • A Wrinkle in the Skin
  • The Long Tomorrow
  • Beyond Armageddon
  • Snowfall (Snowfall, #1)
  • Malevil
  • The Genocides
  • The Apocalypse Reader
  • Aftermath (Supernova Alpha, #1)
  • Greybeard
  • A Gift Upon the Shore
  • Summer of the Apocalypse
  • The Wild Shore (Three Californias Triptych, #1)
  • Ill Wind
  • The Purple Cloud (Frontiers of Imagination)
  • The Breaking of Northwall (The Pelbar Cycle, #1)
  • This Is the Way the World Ends
  • Star Man's Son, 2250 A.D
Gordon Rupert Dickson was an American science fiction author. He was born in Canada, then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota as a teenager. He is probably most famous for his Childe Cycle and the Dragon Knight series. He won three Hugo awards and one Nebula award.

More about Gordon R. Dickson...
Dorsai! (Childe Cycle, #1) The Dragon and the George (Dragon Knight, #1) Tactics of Mistake (Childe Cycle, #4) Soldier, Ask Not (Childe Cycle, #3) The Dragon Knight (Dragon Knight #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »