Bluenose's Reviews > The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed

The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant
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's review
Jul 27, 2010

liked it

Here we go with the genre issue again. I thought about science - because there’s a lot of science in it. But the author clearly aspired to write a book about character. The trouble was the particular character who chopped down the golden spruce and is at the centre of the narrative, doesn’t have much character. He’s a nut who cuts down a sacred (what isn’t) Indian tree and then disappears. That’s it. Except for the scientific stuff about mostly trees which is pretty interesting and which is really the author’s forte.

The setting is the Queen Charlotte Islands and the north west coast of B. C. As for the sub title Myth belongs to the natives, madness to the main character and greed to all the rest of us because we have a craving for cheap wood. The author is even handed with everything and this is what makes the book worthwhile.
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