Coming into the Country

McPhee, John. Coming into the Country. New York: The Noonday Press, 1977.

Reason read: in four months I will be visiting Alaska. I thought I would start reading about it now.

There is a little bit of all things Alaskan in Coming into the Country. To name a few: the trials and tribulations of traveling rivers via kayak, the must-know laws of sport fishing (for example, fishermen are prohibited from catching fish by anything but mouth. Who knew?), Juneau is two time zones away from Anchorage. There’s more: McPhee details the nature of Grizzly bears, the techniques of placer mining, the bickering over the new location of the state capital, marriage and survival, and my favorite, the people of Alaska (transplant and not). The people you meet in Coming into the Country are phenomenal.

As an aside, Pearl may have called Coming into the Country a “classic” but in a timely twist, the boom of oil in Alaska is anything but old news.

Quotes I liked, “The best and worst part of catching that fish was deciding to let it go” (p 77) and “On days when the mail plane does not come, the human atmosphere is notably calmer than it is now” (p 199).

Author fact: I already told you McPhee has a huge list of books he has written. And I already told you I have six of them on my Challenge list. I already reviewed “Crossing the Craton” a few years ago.

Book trivia: There are no photographs in Coming into the Country but there are several different helpful maps.

Nancy said: Nancy called Coming into the Country a “classic” (p 15).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “All Set For Alaska” (p 15).

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