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Never Cry Wolf (1963)

av Farley Mowat

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
2,228544,947 (4.09)1 / 259
The classic of nature writing--the spellbinding story of adventures among arctic wolves--is now available in a new paperback edition.
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I registered this book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/14417490

An early Farley Mowat book. In this book, Mowat tells of his first official assignment as a government biologist. He is dropped into the wilds of Canada to study wolves, primarily to determine numbers. New to the field of wolves, he at first assumes that reports of how wolves behave are correct, that they are aggressive and that they take down thousands of caribou every year, accounting for the decrease in caribou numbers.

He finds something quite different. As with his other books, Mowat does not hide his feelings on the subject. It is perhaps his tendency to wear his heart on his sleeve that accounts for a rather chilly reception to his findings. Scientists, after all, do not insert their emotions into their work. At least they say they don't.

What Mowat finds is that wolves are social animals, travel in small groups, eat a wide variety of foods, most especially mice, and do not wreak havoc on herds of caribou. Instead they cull the weak from the herds and eat it all. Hunters and trappers, on the other hand, take down the strong, healthy specimens and far more of them than the wolves do. After all, they feed their sled dogs this meat and they have a lot of dogs.

Mowat finds, too, that the wild wolves are far from aggressive. Even when he is camping near them they don't bother with him. He's a curiosity but not a threat so they leave him alone.

These findings fly in the face of what generations have said about wolves, so it isn't surprising that the government agencies are not particularly interested in what he has discovered. To this day wolves are maligned with little reason. Read and weep. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
As many have said - I would rate this more stars if it were actually a true story. But it's been completely and thoroughly discredited, it's all fiction. Mr. Mowat did no observation of Arctic wolves, his entire body of evidence is fabricated, and his conclusions about their behavior are now recognized by experts in the field as being largely wrong.

Otherwise, this book is extremely well-written and engrossing! Were it reclassed as fiction, I'd put it on the same recommended reading list as Jack London's work! ( )
  johnthelibrarian | Aug 11, 2020 |
learned a lot about wolves and Inuit. ( )
  mahallett | Dec 20, 2019 |
I really, really, loved this book. I first heard about it years ago and made a mental note to read it, then forgot about it. I'm glad I finally remembered. As with so many before me, it has made me reappraise the traditional perception of the wolf as a ruthless predator to be feared and exterminated where possible, and to see it for what it is; an intelligent and sociable animal that lives in harmony with its environment and takes from it no more than it needs.

Sent to the wilds of Upper Canada by the Canadian government to confirm its prejudices about the sharp decline in caribou numbers for hunters to shoot, Farley finds a totally different story; the wolves and the caribou herds get along just fine as they always have for millennia. Their lives and their migrations are intertwined. Even when they take a caribou they take only sick and weak individuals and thus, far from causing the decline of the deer, they serve to strengthen the gene pool. In between the odd caribou the wolves live on mice. It's the humans with their guns, taking the best specimens they can, who are eroding the caribou population. As Mowat observes one wolf family through a summer we get to know and love George and Angeline, their family of cubs, and Uncle Albert, possibly an unmated sibling of one of the parents who helps out with the babysitting and hunting. We never do find out what became of the summer romance between Uncle Albert and one of Mike's huskies. Did I mention Mike, the young half-Eskimo? (I should call him half-Inuit but I'm using the 1963 language of the book). And Mike's Inuit relative Ootek, full of the lore of wolves passed down through generations and knowing more about the animals and their behaviour than any number of government scientists.

I'm aware that there has been some controversy about the account from those who are sticklers for absolute literal truth. I'm satisfied that Farley Mowat has considerably embroidered his own personal experience, even made stuff up, to make for an entertaining and sometimes funny read. I have no reason to doubt that the observations of wolf behaviour are anything other that sound.
( )
  enitharmon | Jan 14, 2019 |
I really, really, loved this book. I first heard about it years ago and made a mental note to read it, then forgot about it. I'm glad I finally remembered. As with so many before me, it has made me reappraise the traditional perception of the wolf as a ruthless predator to be feared and exterminated where possible, and to see it for what it is; an intelligent and sociable animal that lives in harmony with its environment and takes from it no more than it needs.

Sent to the wilds of Upper Canada by the Canadian government to confirm its prejudices about the sharp decline in caribou numbers for hunters to shoot, Farley finds a totally different story; the wolves and the caribou herds get along just fine as they always have for millennia. Their lives and their migrations are intertwined. Even when they take a caribou they take only sick and weak individuals and thus, far from causing the decline of the deer, they serve to strengthen the gene pool. In between the odd caribou the wolves live on mice. It's the humans with their guns, taking the best specimens they can, who are eroding the caribou population. As Mowat observes one wolf family through a summer we get to know and love George and Angeline, their family of cubs, and Uncle Albert, possibly an unmated sibling of one of the parents who helps out with the babysitting and hunting. We never do find out what became of the summer romance between Uncle Albert and one of Mike's huskies. Did I mention Mike, the young half-Eskimo? (I should call him half-Inuit but I'm using the 1963 language of the book). And Mike's Inuit relative Ootek, full of the lore of wolves passed down through generations and knowing more about the animals and their behaviour than any number of government scientists.

I'm aware that there has been some controversy about the account from those who are sticklers for absolute literal truth. I'm satisfied that Farley Mowat has considerably embroidered his own personal experience, even made stuff up, to make for an entertaining and sometimes funny read. I have no reason to doubt that the observations of wolf behaviour are anything other that sound.
( )
  enitharmon | Jan 14, 2019 |
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For Angeline - the Angel!
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It is a long way in time and space from the bathroom of my Grandmother Mowat's house in Oakville, Ontario, to the bottom of a wolf den in the Barren Lands of central Keewatin, and I have no intention of retracing the entire road which lies between.
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The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong.
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The classic of nature writing--the spellbinding story of adventures among arctic wolves--is now available in a new paperback edition.

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