Simon Ph.D.'s Reviews > The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed

The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant
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Jun 08, 09

bookshelves: nature
Read in July, 2006

In my opinion John Valliant's book is improperly equated to Krakauer's works. I believe this is done as a marketing effort. The considerable difference is in the main subject of the work - in Krakauer's it's the man, in Valliant's it's the Nature.

This book is a manifesto, a cry for worldwide attention of the destruction forces of human nature, against the mindless consumerism that exterminates the landmarks of the natural world.

I loved this book. I enjoyed reading about the intricacies of a profession, which claims more lives each year than many other high risk jobs. I was captured in the narrative on the delicate nature of this very complex organism - the tree. I was amazed to learn of another miracle of the Earth - the Golden Spruce, this landmark of biology that survived despite all odds. I was saddened to find out of yet another disappearing Indian nation, that of the Haidas.

Beautifully written, containing a wealth of information on an industry I knew little about, it narrates a story about the act of a sick man and his effort to attract worldwide attention to the right issue via the wrong deed. But in the end, the story begs the question - Is sometimes the sword mightier than the pen? You decide, reader.

This book is wonderful and should be on the reading list of all high schools. Young adults must learn about the consequences of logging, the result of defaced lands and their effect on the world's environment.
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