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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,533 ratings  ·  212 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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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,533 ratings  ·  212 reviews

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Blaine DeSantis
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful short novella by Michener that I never knew he wrote. While it is derived from his book Alaska, it is not a mere lifting of material from that book. This book covers the trek by 4 Englishmen and one Irish servant to reach the goldfields of the Klondike in 1897. We travel from England with these traditional British explorers and who are attempting to reach the gold fields by only going on English territory (the heck that Canada was its own country by that time!), and without having to ...more
Overbooked  ✎
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Based on the real people and events, it’s the story of the journey of five men across Canada during the 1897 gold rush in order to reach the Klondike river and the settlement of Dawson City. The five fortune seekers were Lord Evelyn Luton, a British aristocrat, his young nephew Philip Henslow, Luton’s cousin Harry Carpenter who served the British Empire in India’s northwest frontier, Philip’s friend and poet Trevor Blythe, and Luton’s gamekeeper, the Irishman Tim Fogarty as the expedition’s serv ...more
Aug 11, 2009 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. ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
WOW! This is the fastest I have ever read one of James Michener's books. Of course, this one is only 308 pages. Most of his books--the ones that I've read--are closer to 1000 pages. I started reading this popular author in high school, starting with "The Source." I was enthralled by Michener's presenting us with the history of an area of the world by following a family down through the generations. Another one, which remains my favorite, is "Hawaii." In "Journey," we don't get an epic story cov ...more
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have been a Michener fan from way back. After a visit to Alaska, I decided I would tackle his book by the same name. But meanwhile, this small book, which was actually edited out of “Alaska” and a whole interesting story of its own, was available.
Wow, does Michener know how to tell a story! A gripping tale of five men trying to survive the wilds of the North. And about how one man has to live with the consequences of his own poor decisions.
Michener's last book, and the shortest of his I've ever read (or seen, but haven't seen all), Journey is a piece he pulled from a previous book, Alaska because of elements he just couldn't leave behind. I've had projects like that. There's just something too compelling to leave on the table, unused.

This is a story of a stiff-upper lipped English "lord" who was a son born in a line of sons and was out of the running for the family inheritance, and so who needed to make a name for himself another
Rohan Murray
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Journey - James Michener
A thoroughly enjoyable adventure story by James Michener ... that doesn't take 3 months to read! (In fact, only 3 days) The story starts a little slowly but once the men are off on their trek, it really picks up. So convincing was the tale and so ridiculous was the obsessiveness and near suicidal determination of the main character that based on the saying that "truth is often stranger than fiction" I actually did a bit of research to see if this might have been based on
Mark Hiser
Jun 12, 2011 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
Avid Series Reader
Journey by James Michener is a tragic saga of man vs. wilderness set in 1897-1899 Canada. When Lord Luton learns of the 1897 Klondike gold discovery, he decides to trek to Dawson City. Luton has already gained fame for explorations in Africa; he's keen to add Canada to his conquests. Robust Harry Carpenter, with military experience in Afghanistan, is an ideal companion for the trip. Luton adds his nephew Philip and friend Trevor to the crew, to give them character-building experience befitting y ...more
Don Meredith
Apr 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
I've read Michener's Hawaii and Texas and enjoyed the history lessons, but tired of their length and lack of story depth. And I get it. He chooses such immense time frames to write about that he doesn't have space for much character or story (other than the historical one) development. But in Journey, he took it to the extreme. As well, his research was rudimentary at best. Now, I may be biased as I am familiar with much of the territory he describes in the book, and he got a lot of the descript ...more
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a book! I almost didn't finish it because I despised the main character, Luton. He was so pig-headed and superior that I didn't want to spend any time with him. But the thought of the adventure they were on, the exploration of the artic...I couldn't resist. So I finished reading it, cursing Luton the whole way.
I will say this is a good book if you want to see how a truly flawed character remains flawed and unlikable through an entire story. I was left disliking him, even in the end where L
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.
Betty Welch
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting read!
Nov 02, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bill Weaver
Mar 24, 2022 rated it it was ok
You know, there really are not that many outdoorsy novels. You've got Call of the Wild, Walden Pond, then what? Even if we expand to nonfiction we just add Wild, A Walk in the Woods, the Krakauer books, Muir musings, and what else? Typically the only outdoorsy books published now are akin to rock-and-roll singer memoirs, except the singer is a climber and his cocaine is just chalk. Or someone lost a limb or got attacked by a grizzly or lost a limb to a grizzly. And I'm not criticizing those book ...more
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
Michener's book was full of adventure, history, and humor. I really enjoyed this story of five men who are chasing gold in the Canadian Yukon gold rush of 1897, and who chose to travel across Canada. Because apparently the easy route took you through American lands -- Alaska and simple to climb mountains. And what self-respecting Brit would choose to take that simple route over American soil when it is so much harder to go through British territory. I was a bit incredulous at all the crazy thing ...more
Mr. Michener's Reflections following the body of the novel is interesting and informative. I enjoyed that section as much if not more so than the novel, itself. ...more
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are many things to complain about here, starting with the title, but I did quite enjoy it so I'll only slightly begrudge him the 3 stars. ...more
Fran Burdsall
Mar 25, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022
I picked up the Michener adventure because it wasn't 1000 pages - 244 pages. It's a classic Michener tale of history, heroism, unvarnished humanity and triumph packed into a relatively short story of the race to the Yukon for the Klondike Gold Rush. But the best part was the coda at the end where Michener describes how he came to write the book. That is a story within itself. ...more
Apr 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Michener says “Journey is a narrative which depicts the courage that men and women can exhibit when dealing with adversity, even that which they have brought upon themselves.” It is indeed that. It is also a gripping story of arrogance and bullheadedness that cost the lives of three persons. Journey is the story of five men’s trek, led by Lord Luton, his cousin, nephew, friend of the nephew and an Irish ghillie, across Canada to the Klondike in the late 1890’s over two bitter winter’s above the ...more
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, adventure
What is it about these hardheaded, unqualified, unprepared, misguided adventurers??
In 1897 news of the Klondike River gold strike has reached England, and his lordship Evelyn Luton has decided to get in on the rush. Luton turns out, is an enthusiastic but second rate explorer and a first rate snob. Luton organizes a five man team including his nephew and his best friend. The nephew's buddy and an Irish factotum or 'ghille' complete the fivesome. While still in London they study such maps that e
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Journey is a rare short novel from James Michenere, telling the story of an English Lord who travels with four other men in 1897 to the site of the Alaska goldrush in Dawson. What makes the man quirky and the trip very dangerous is that he insists on taking a route that keeps him entirely within Canada until the last possible leg of the journey. His distaste of all things American causes him to avoid a sensible route and instead insist on crossing a high mountain range. The result is a journey t ...more
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
Mar 14, 2012 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 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
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 rated it liked it
Incredible read filled with suspenseful adventure.
Curtis R
Great book about the Gold Rush in North America during the 1800s. Its about four fellows from England and a guy from Ireland and their attempt to get to the booming gold town of Dawson traveling only through Canadian (then British Empire) territory. The group is led by Lord Luton (a legit lord); his cousin who had spent time in India and Africa serving Empire interests; his nephew; his nephew's friend, who's an aspiring poet; and the Irish gamekeeper. So like, a decent group of dudes. They have ...more
Mike Parkes
Strange short novel about Brits travelling up the Mackenzie River to the Klondike gold rush in the Yukon, just before the turn of the 20th century. “Journey” is a mildly entertaining read, although a flawed one.

I could never quite understand the narrative tone Michener is going for in this work in terms of the depth of its description and characterizations – it falls somewhere between a young adult adventure story and a proper novel. Perhaps that approach works in his larger books that move quic
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
In typical Mr. Michener fashion, this is a well-told story that is engaging and interesting. Because of the research he does, his stories are in-depth and an interesting way to learn about history. This book is no exception.

The only reason I knocked a star off of my rating is for an anticlimactic ending. The story ends on a rather unsatisfying note, and then Mr. Michener tacks on some poetry with a weak explanation for its inclusion. A couple of poems at the end would have been fine, but 10 or
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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

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