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High Country

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  60 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The packer’s business is guiding mule trains into mountains where wagons can’t travel. It’s a life of danger, long days, and low pay. But for those wedded to the wilderness and inaccessible high country, it is the only life there is.

During the Great Depression, young Ty Hardin is sent from his family’s failing Montana ranch to learn from the last of the great packers, Fent
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 10th 2005 by University of Oklahoma Press (first published September 30th 2005)
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Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great telling of a story in a lost country, about unforgettable characters. Beautifully written and deeply moving tale of a quiet man in the biggest country, a packer with his mules and his friends and his family. This one is special.
Richard Wheeler
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Willard Wyman's great novel of the high country of Montana won a Spur Award and great respect from reviewers. It opens between the world wars, and closes mid-century, and follows a troubled young man, Ty Hardin, who looks for healing in the mysterious mountain ranges of northern Montana. He becomes the protege of a veteran packer, Fenton Pardee, who takes supplies into Forest Service camps, or takes adventurers deep into wilderness. This is a vivdly written, gracious story about the ways hat lif ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is an absorbing, touching and very western tale.
Ty Hardin is a teen-ager whose Montana ranch family is struggling in the Depression. His deft touch with animals wins him a place with a legendary packer, Fenton Pardee. Packers take people and supplies into the high country on mules and horses. Once I let go of not understanding the technical lingo of saddles and pack rigging, I enjoyed the stories of humans and animals, weather and trails.
Pilar Wyman
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The man can write! He takes us there. I can't wait to go back.
This book was my best shot at liking a Western. I was enjoying it in the beginning--the scenery, the slow-talking and realistic conversations, the time period detail. I liked that it wasn't like seemingly all other Westerns in which every single person has a ridiculous nickname and 3/4 of the words necessary to construct a sentence are simply left off, making each phrase seem belched instead of spoken. But then, as I started to get bored, I looked through the rest of the book to see if anything ...more
Dec 29, 2011 rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars. I really liked the characters and Wyman really loved the country, so even though I struggled through the first third what what felt like some rocky transitions, I kept on. The strong, silent, big and quiet hero with tough but beautiful women peppering the story should be cliche, but it worked here, again because the author so clearly knows and loves the country.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
The way Wyman writes about the mountains is enough to like this novel. Even better when combined with the life story of a young man whos grows up during the Great Depression finding his passion in the backcountry of the mountains. Wyman portrays well a "west" transitioning and fading with the people who lived it.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which was a surprise since it is outside my normal genres. An excellent story about a legendary mule packer and mountain man from Montana and then later, the High Sierra. He even chums with Norman Clyde! Recommended!
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book fed my nostalgia for packing in a way nothing other than my own memories and shared stories with friends ever has. Mr. Wyman's writing style is quietly superb. The words etch onto your mind's eye and take you to real places with characters so well written they might as well breathe.
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
one of the best books i have read. the charactures come alive in a way not often seen. you want to know these people, you want to be with people. great story!
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The writing in this book is absolutely cinematic
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read my review at my blog.
kinda boring...might revisit later
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