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Mary Purucker
Sound Commentary, December 2010

What a pleasure to become reacquainted with Farley Mowat’s adventures with the wolves in the subarctic regions of Canada. On his first assignment for the Canadian government in the late 1940s, he is given a lot of rules to follow, a ton of stuff, but no clear way to get where he is going. The first few chapters are funny and replete with how bureaucrats don’t seem to get it. Luckily when he finally arranges transportation (and hides his heavy supplies in the canoe on the underside of the plane overloading it) his radio expires because there is no way to run it after the batteries are used up. Having gone there to investigate the declining caribou population and with the officially preconceived notions that wolves are deadly predators needing to be exterminated, his intimate observations of the wolves endear them to him and to his listeners and prove not to be such deadly predators. Anyone who ever enjoyed Gerald Durrell’s Birds, Beasts and Relatives will enjoy Farley Mowat’s experiences with the wolves. There are many humorous incidents as Mowat seems to relish laughing at himself.

British trained television and theater actor Adam Sims (Band of Brothers and the RSC’s Alice in Wonderland) has a young voice which he deepens for the Inuit who becomes Fowat’s friend, mentor and colleague. Sims appears to enjoy what he is reading and sharing it with all of us.

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