Prisoners of the North Kindle à Prisoners of

Prisoners of the North [Read] ➵ Prisoners of the North By Pierre Berton – Canada’s master storyteller returns to the North to chronicle the extraordinary stories of five inspiring and controversial characters Canada’s master storyteller returns to the North to chronicle the extraordinary stories of five inspiring and controversial characters.

10 thoughts on “Prisoners of the North

  1. Christine Christine says:

    What is it about the Far North that not only causes people to risk their lives to explore it but also draws people to read about it? I’m not sure and neither is Berton but he sure writes a good book about five people whose lives in some ways were defined andor determined by the North – Joe Boyle Vihjalmur Stefansson Jane Franklin John Hornby and Robert Service Both Service and Franklin might be considered to be unusual subjects It is unclear whether Franklin is present simply to include a woman or simply because of her impact on the search for her husband John Franklin whose fate while searching for the Northwest Passage is part of Canada’s history and mythology It would be just to say that Berton takes hands off approach and doesn’t seem to condemn much of his subjects He points out their failings but larger issues are mention and not fully debated Stefansson’s relationship with an Inuit woman is dealt with but his behavior in terms of Wrangel Island really isn’t Berton saves his harshest language for Hornby whose behavior not only lead to his own death but that of two other people

  2. Crystan M. Crystan M. says:

    The writing was well done but the figures featured in this book were just uninspiring In my opinion they were all self centered egocentric people I couldn't wait for the end of each section with the hope that the next person would be someone to inspire something Unfortunately that wasn't the case

  3. Carla Carla says:

    Amazing book from an amazing iconic Canadian author about little known people in Canadian history Biographies of people who are a part of Canadian history who helped explore and settle Canada's north The five prisoners of the Arctic were Joe Boyle Vihjalmur Stefansson Lady Jane Franklin John Hornby and Robert Service Read in the cold of winter by this Canadian reader now living in Wisconsin A real treat to read by an outstanding author

  4. Doug Doug says:

    i would not rate this as one of Pierre Berton's better books It dealt with 5 different people exploring the far northern reaches of Canada and the Northwest Passage along with the story of one of Canada's best known poets Robert Service

  5. Jay Warner Jay Warner says:

    Prisoners of the North is Pierre Berton's 50th book and it's every bit as good as the 49 that came before it Berton expertly delves into the lives of five different courageous adventurous and famous people Klondike Joe Boyle Vilhjalmur Stefansson Lady Jane Franklin John Hornby and Robert Service At first there may seem to be no connection other than the time they each spent in the Arctic but as Berton says in his afterword they shared certain traits that made them exceptional They were all rugged individualists impatient of authority restless energetic and ambitious They were secure within themselves and driven by a romantic wanderlust that freed them from the run of the mill existence on which they so often turned their backs I enjoyed this book thoroughly The writing style is superb it kept my attention and was interesting informative and entertaining I knew bits and pieces of their stories but to get the full story was a delight It was like eating a five course meal each course fulfilling and complete If you enjoy Arctic adventure historic figures that are larger than life and good writing you will certainly enjoy this book

  6. Lily Lily says:

    As a Canadian I feel you are obligated at some point to read a book by Pierre Berton a wildly popular Canadian historian This is the first book of his that I've read and the last one that he wrote This book comprises five short biographies of people who are key figures in the history of Northern Canada Joe Boyle Vilhjalmur Stefansson Jane Franklin John Hornby and Robert Service I feel like you can kind of tell that this book was Pierre Berton's last book because I found the unifying thesis of these five people all being prisoners of the north to be a bit tenuous I enjoyed the first three biographies all are undeniably fascinating people with incredible drive but this book really got bumped up a star for me when I hit the biographies of John Hornby and Robert Service I had never heard of Hornby before but I found myself choking on his hubris; his tendency to exaggerate his own abilities and to charm less experienced would be explorers into ultimately deadly situations was rage inducing Robert Service's biography was the perfect end to the book A former bank teller he lived an almost Clark Kent like life pursuing a career as a mild mannered small town banker while ultimately writing the verse that would turn him into famous poet A good book overall that finishes strong

  7. Sonstepaul Sonstepaul says:

    I’m a big fan of Berton’s prose and his folksy rather than clinically historical approach This last book wasn’t exactly a masterwork as he tried to thread together a group of disparate mini biographies loosely connected to the North However two are the tales of hard boiled exploration all five of them are defined as much by their time away as in the North and for three it is that time away that matters In his thesis Burton tries to connect them through a magic he understandably knows better than most a captivating by things Northern but perhaps it’s only minor in some cases and doesn’t make for uite the tie he’d hopedIf you like his style as I do of course it’s worth a read but it’s not as significance as many of his other books In fact it’s a mini bio of a character which in each an every case has been handled fully elsewhere

  8. Jean Jean says:

    I enjoyed this book It's amazing the hardships and deprivation the characters suffered because they were driven to satisfy a keen sense of exploration and lust for discovery In Robert Service it was a determination to reject conventionality and a restless need to explore other lifestyles Lady Jane Franklin was fortunate to have resources to fight long and hard to have her husband publicly rewarded for his discovery The author having been raised in the Yukon understands the appeal this and similar arctic territory had for these adventurers

  9. Chris Tschirhart Chris Tschirhart says:

    I very much enjoyed this book The five stories that are told are about five characters in Canadian History that I knew nothing about For me the book was a good read You can pick and chose the stories in any order as they interest you I understand that this is Pierre's last book and if that is true it is a nice cap to a long and distinguished literary career

  10. Pam Pam says:

    Five of the most fascinating characters whose lives are unmatched Clearly Berton loved Service most as his prose shows his passion for this poet Yet the other 4 have left their mark and I doubt I’ll ever forget them Such bravado and daringThough I find Berton’s writing a bit factual and dry it’s nonetheless interesting Makes me want to go north Way north

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