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3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,405 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
"The best novel of James Michener's career." Milwaukee Journal
Gold fever swept the world in 1897. The chance for untold riches sent thousands of dreamers on a perilous trek toward their fortunes, failures, or deaths. Follow four English aristocrats and their Irish servant as they misguidedly haul their dreams across cruel Canadian terrain toward the Klondike gold fields.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 1994 by Fawcett (first published November 19th 1988)
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(showing 1-30)
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Aug 11, 2009 Brook rated it really liked it
What an amazing story about the Yukon and one man's blind stubborness to reach it without crossing over American territory. Well written. I could hardly put it down.
Joanna Mieso
Nov 02, 2009 Joanna Mieso rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Hiser
Jun 12, 2011 Mark Hiser rated it liked it
Lord Luton and his companions determine to reach the gold fields of the Yukon by only crossing Canadian territory. Such is Luton's dislike of America that he ignores knowledge, common sense and advice as he attempts to lead his team.

Michener did not quite pull off his attempt to explore the values of an English aristocrat so I just kept thinking that Luton was "stupid."

Michener is not a "great" novelist, but usually I enoy his books. This on, however, never really engaged me
Jeanne Daly
I've enjoyed many of Michener's books over the years but this one is the least engaging of any that I've
read so far... It almost feels like he wrote it as an afterthought and didn't enjoy writing it as much as his other novels. Never the less it's interesting to read about this time period of the discovery of gold and what people might have gone through to find it. In my opinion this is not one of Michener's best but still a great novel.
Mar 14, 2012 Marlene rated it it was ok
After reading Mexico, I decided that Michener was not for me; however, this one was handed down to me with the comment that it was better than Mexico. So, I read it. As seems to be his style, he wanders off and writes a lot of stuff that really does nothing for the story, in my view. As with Mexico, I found sections that I enjoyed, but then skimmed through a lot in order to find another. I know that Michener is a popular author, but not my cup of tea. Hopefully I have learned.
Apr 14, 2014 Tony rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it except for 2 unanswered questions.
1.Someone in the party purchased a bottle of ascorbic acid before leaving for Dawson. So why were they digging for roots to cure scurvy?
2. It was asked of Irina how she got to Edmonton and she "avoided the question". I thought there would be something interesting revealed later about how she got there but that was the end of it.
Jerome Peterson
May 10, 2012 Jerome Peterson rated it liked it
Incredible read filled with suspenseful adventure.
Jul 07, 2014 Betty rated it it was amazing
A very interesting read!
This book, overall was a good read. I mark it somewhere between two and three stars but rounded up because I generally did like it.

I was hoping that the story would be deeper than it was but Michener generally kept skimming the surface rather than delving too much into the emotions and drama of the story. For me, one of the other main drawbacks was that Michener wrote the Canadian landscape as someone who has read about it but not really experienced it. The story could ultimately have been set
Jul 15, 2017 Allison rated it liked it
Glad I read it because historic angle. Not the character development and overall depth as other Michener novels; much shorter.
SheriC (Portable Magic)
Just not very interesting. Got a third of the way through the book before anything started happening.
Federico Kereki
Originally a part of ALASKA, this is a quite shorter novel, centered in a trip across Canada, from the eastern coast, to the Klondike gold fields -- but quite interesting, anyway!
Don Devine
Jun 16, 2014 Don Devine rated it really liked it
I was intrigued by this book when I first opened it. I was very curious as to why it was so short, my copy having 244 pages in all. Very untypical of Michener! But as I read the story, I was delighted to find that while it was not typical Michener it certainly was not Atypical!
Overall, this story is fantastically done. Humorous and sad and somewhat frustrating, especially when considering the lead character. The story didn't "dig into" details or matters about the area or the characters as much
Nancy Hartill
May 05, 2016 Nancy Hartill rated it liked it
This interesting story is about 5 men in 1897 who begin from England to cross the Atlantic to Canada, take the train to Edmonton and find a way to the Klondike/Dawson City without crossing into U.S. territory. The real adventure begins when they contract for a boat and head north on a series of rivers downstream towards the Mackenzie and have to choose from about 3 choices, which tributary to head off towards their goal. Meeting a sophisticated woman explorer in Edmonton becomes an interesting i ...more
Sep 28, 2010 Forrest rated it really liked it
Wow, what a great read! Michener sets the stage with five strong characters: Lord Luton, Lord Luton's friend - Harry Carpenter, Luton's nephew - Philip Henslow, Philip's friend - Trevor Blythe, and an Irish blue collar worker - Tim Folgarty. Lord Luton and his friend are older, Philip and his friend are fresh out of college and Folgarty is middle-aged. In 1897 they set out to cross the Atlantic to Montreal, Canada, and then to make their way across Canada to the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska. Lor ...more
Jun 27, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing
It’s an old one but a good one. As with so many of Michener’s novels, he drops us deep into history with this tale of a misguided journey across Canada to the gold fields near the Alaska-Canada border. The characters are fictional, but the story is so real I found it hard to believe it wasn’t true. Lord Evelyn Luton, an English nobleman and explorer, decides he wants to travel to the gold fields on the Yukon. He recruits three of his high-class friends, plus an Irish servant to join him. Accordi ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Bev rated it liked it
Shelves: novel, logos
Whoda thunk that a Michener book could be my choice for what to read during my day at the book store? But this is actually only 240 pages and a bit slower going than the books I've been reading, I didn't quite finish it at the store, but did finish it here at home. This is a story of an unlikely crew of four English gentlemen and one Irish tenant who take off for the Gold Rush. After reading a report of a ship loaded with "gold bars" heading out of the Yukon Territory, Lord Evelyn Luton decides ...more
Feb 08, 2011 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a terrific story that was ruined by Mr Michener's self-indulgence for tacking on a chapter of poetry (including-unfortunately-his own)and another chapter explaining-interminably-what inspired him to write the book and everything having to do with his interactions with all things Canadian. At least it helped to partly explain why he included the photo of the woman on the frontispiece. (But not so much as to where he came by her name.)
Then again, if he had left off the last two "chapters"
Nov 25, 2015 George rated it really liked it
Shelves: overdrive
This is a story about four aristocrat "brits" and one Irishman who journey to the Klondike gold rush of 1896, over land. It's the tale of an English patrician -- but, I just kept thinking that Luton was "stupid." The book is only 10 hours long and one hour is epilogue. In that epilogue, we learn that this book was to be included as a section of his book, Alaska, but was removed. I kept wondering why he told this story from the overland perspective, vice entry through Skagway, over the pass and d ...more
May 26, 2014 Tia rated it it was amazing
Couldn't sleep one night and, for some unknown reason, this book was on the table by my bed.
I realize some people don't like Michener, but I'm not one of those people. The book is about The Luton Party consisting of five Englismen and their journey to find gold on the Klondike River. It's based on detailed historical, cultural, and geological research. It's really about, as Michener says, dreams and determination.
Couldn't put it down and now am going to research that time in history. The hards
Ernest Solar
Oct 13, 2015 Ernest Solar rated it it was amazing
I’ll admit, Michener’s novels are intimating because of their length. I admire his work and writing style. During my trip to Scotland, I read and finished Journey! Even though it is one of his shorter books, it was still engaging and fast paced! I’ve always been partial to adventure stories and I believe Michener does an excellent job of taking the reader along with the characters as they forage across Canada to the gold fields. I also enjoyed the short essay in the back of the book he titled “R ...more
Jul 20, 2016 Brad rated it really liked it
I picked up this book on a recent trip to Alaska thinking it was on that subject--featured, as it was, so prominently in many stores in that state--and wanting to restart my reading of this author whose work I've enjoyed several times. A delightful story of the Gold Rush--albeit set almost entirely in Canada and not at all in Alaska--it's connection to the author's work which shares the state's name was not made clear until the "Reflections" part at the end. It's essentially a segment of that lo ...more
Gerry Czerak
Aug 08, 2011 Gerry Czerak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oneof Michener's shortest novels tells the tale of five men-- 4 British nobles and one Irish servant -- battling to reach the Klondike gold fields in 1897-8 without going through American territory, out of Edmonton. The fates that befall them, by boat and overland through 21 months in or near the Arctic Circle, tell the folly of stubborn leadership and class consciousness leading to tragedy that is finally regretted only much later. This novel was based on writing Michener took out of his classi ...more
n July of 1897 the ship Portland docked at Seattle and set off the great gold rush to the Klondike fields. Many adventures set off from Seattle and made their way up to Alaska and into Canada. This tale is part of the book Alaska by James A. Michener. However, a few decided to bypass America all together and made their way through Canada starting at the eastern seaboard. This book is the tale of five such travellers and their experiences in the vastness of the Canadian Arctic. A good read, with ...more
Sep 16, 2007 rinabeana rated it really liked it
This is the story of a party of four English aristocrats and an Irish servant who set out from London to read the Klondike traversing only land part of the British Empire. This wasn't the usual sweeping saga Michener writes (and for which I'm a sucker), but I quite liked it anyway. The British stiff upper lip was abundant in this book, and despite his class prejudices, I had a mini-crush on Lord Luton (the expedition's leader). I loved the camaraderie among the members of the expedition and I es ...more
May 18, 2013 JP rated it really liked it
Some critics rated this his best. I won't go that far, but I can see why. With a single storyline, it's tighter and allows more development of the characters. Evelyn Luton and 4 companions attempt to journey to the Klondike gold fields while staying on Canadian land. It takes them two years, much longer than necessary. Along the way we meet interesting characters and some stories about character. The man-against-nature theme is strong and, with Michener's approach, informative about that time an ...more
Pamela Beason
Feb 14, 2012 Pamela Beason rated it liked it
This is a tale about a group of British fools who set off for the gold fields of Alaska with no comprehension whatsoever of what they are getting into. I shook my head constantly, muttering "What idiots!" And the group was so besotted by the British Lord they followed that they allowed him to lead them into life-threatening situations over and over again. But it's based on a true account of this period of lunacy in American and Canadian history, so it's very interesting, even if you want to stra ...more
Mary Kestner
Mar 05, 2008 Mary Kestner rated it it was amazing
AMAZING ADVENTURE! Incredible really what they live through in the Canada. One day I picked it up and got hooked! I want all my sons to read it. It is based off a journal by Lord Luton from England, who led an expedition to the Yukon for gold. A great man but he makes the mistake of leading by his position as Lord Luton(pride) rather than by wisdom (humility, willingness to gain insight from others). It is tragic as he realizes his error too late.
Nov 07, 2007 Toby rated it liked it
Read this on our trip to Canada. Cool story of an ill-fated journey lead by a competent but hubris-ridden Engllishman. Intent upon traveling to the Yukon without crossing American soil, the Englishman leads his men on a crazy journey through the network of rivers and mountains between Edmonton and Dawson City. Disaster and disappointment ensues. Sounds like this is a prequel to Michener's Alaska.[return]
Apr 18, 2008 Kimberly rated it really liked it
This account of the absolute stupidity of a trek to the gold fields of Alaska is astounding, entertaining, and educational. People setting off on bicycles into some of the harshest terrain. I think the original characters, who are journeying by boat and later by foot, end up taking 2 + years to get there, enduring scurvy, extreme cold, mosquitoes, everything, but always maintaining that British dignity (lecturing on topics in the evening, taking a brisk run for exercise).
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James Albert Michener is best known for his sweeping multi-generation historical fiction sagas, usually focusing on and titled after a particular geographical region. His first novel, Tales of the South Pacific , which inspired the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Toward the end of his life, he created the Journey Prize, awarded annually for t
More about James A. Michener...

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