Stefanie's Reviews > John Beargrease: Legend of Minnesota's North Shore

John Beargrease by Daniel Lancaster
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Aug 05, 12

bookshelves: environment, nonfiction, read-for-school
Read from July 30 to August 05, 2012

This was a very well-researched attempt to document the life of John Beargrease, "a common man with an uncommonly difficult occupation"--carrying the mail on Minnesota's north shore. The man is a fascinating character, no doubt, whose status as a legend is well-deserved. I thought that the construction of the narrative was a bit awkward at times, the chronology of Lancaster's retelling jumping back and forth without clear signposts and the several headers often interfering with the story. It almost seemed as if there were too many topics to explore in Beargrease's story without enough meat to fill them out. The use of headers and nonlinear chronology was exceptional, however, in chapter seven ("Off the Trail"), which detailed Beargrease's trapping, hunting, fishing, and day laboring while not on the mail route.
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