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CanLit Challenge 1867-1913 > Woodsmen of the West by Martin Allerdale Grainger, #47

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message 1: by Ibis3 (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
Woodsmen of the West by Martin Allerdale Grainger So from Ontario, we travel west to the rough frontiers of British Columbia on the other side of the young country. I don't know much about this one, so it should be a nice surprise. Martin Allerdale Grainger


message 2: by Ibis3 (new)

Ibis3 | 322 comments Mod
It's taken me quite a long time to read this one, even though it's not that long a book (plus it's episodic, so one might think it would go quickly).

It reminded me quite a lot of Moby-Dick without all of the biblical overtones--the western loggers were rather a secular bunch--and without the extensive descriptions of the process (in this case, of logging). I liked Marty and his self-deprecation--he seemed to embody the amateur outsider, just there to observe the culture into which he'd been dropped. Carter, the obsessive, cruel taskmaster seemed a close cousin of Ahab.

I loved to read the descriptions of frontier life. I think the illustration of the Western ideal, the Western character, is still today the mythos in which Western Canadians see themselves: tough, uncomplaining, independent, active, educated by doing rather than reading books.


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