Ordinary Wolves
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Ordinary Wolves : A Novel

4.09 (1,433 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Ordinary Wolves depicts a life different from what any of us has known: Inhuman cold, the taste of rancid salmon shared with shivering sled dogs, hunkering in a sod igloo while blizzards moan overhead. But this is the only world Cutuk Hawcley has ever known. Born and raised in the Arctic, he has learned to provide for himself by hunting, fishing, and trading. And yet, though he idolizes the indigenous hunters who have taught him how to survive, when he travels to the nearby Inupiaq village, he is jeered and pummeled by the native children for being white. When he leaves for the city as a young man, two incompatible realities collide, perfectly capturing "the contrast between the wild world and our ravaging consumer culture." (Louise Erdrich). In a powerful coming of age story, a young man isolated by his past must choose between two worlds, both seemingly bent on rejecting him.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 27.94mm | 454g
  • Minneapolis, United States
  • English
  • Tenth Anniversary Edition
  • 1571311211
  • 9781571311214
  • 48,559

Review quote

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award

Booklist Top Ten Debut Novel of 2004

QPB New Voices Award nominee

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection

Book Sense Pick and Booksense Bestseller (#38 on extended bestseller list, Dec 26, 2004)



"I've not read anything that so captures the contrast between the wild world and our ravaging consumer culture. Ordinary Wolves is painful and beautiful."
-Louise Erdrich



"An astonishing book."
-Barbara Kingsolver



"Here is a rare thing of beauty, a novel alive with detail about a life most of us would never experience."
-Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review "Discoveries"



"Ordinary Wolves-the first contemporary Alaska novel that seems true . . . the first one that matters."
-Nick Jans, ALASKA



"A magnificently realized story."
-Mark Kamine, New York Times Book Review



"Kantner takes all the hard lessons he learned growing up deep in the Alaskan wilderness and bundles them up into a commanding debut. . . . Kantner writes beautifully, but what's special about Ordinary Wolves is the author's unflinching portrayal of Alaska's social dynamic-the racial tensions, the contempt for big-game-hunting dentists, the use of cleaning solvents as booze. Messy, funny, and anything but noble, it's stridently human, and Seth Kantner gets all the blood, guts, pride, and spite down on the page."
-Outside



"Shockingly beautiful. Seth Kantner's Ordinary Wolves is to the mind what a chunk of pemmican made from dried caribou, cranberries, currants and rendered fat is to the body: It's going to stick to your ribs for a long time."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune



"This riveting first novel sets a new standard, offering a profound and beautiful account of a boy's attempt to reconcile his Alaskan wilderness experience with modern society. A tenderly and often beautifully written first novel. As a revelation of the devastation modern America brings to a natural lifestyle, it's a tour de force and may be the best treatment of the Northwest and its people since Jack London's works."
-Publishers Weekly



"This exciting story of a white boy growing up in a sod igloo in remote northern Alaska challenges any romantic ideas about life on the last American frontier. A valuable story about a boy trying to find his place in the world.
-School Library Journal
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About Seth Kantner

Seth Kantner -- trapper, fisherman, photographer, igloo-builder, and acclaimed author of Ordinary Wolves -- was born in a sod igloo on the Alaskan tundra and raised on the land, wearing mukluks before they were fashionable, eating boiled caribou pelvis, and trading and living with the Inupiaq, the people native to the region. Kantner attended the University of Alaska and the University of Montana, where he received a B. A. in journalism. Kantner's writings and photographs have appeared in Outside, Prairie Schooner, Alaska, and Reader's Digest, among other anthologies and publications. His work and writing have earned him the Whiting Writers Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and the Milkweed National Fiction Prize among many others. He lives with his wife and daughter in northwest Alaska.
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Rating details

1,433 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 42% (601)
4 36% (516)
3 14% (204)
2 6% (81)
1 2% (31)
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