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American Book 307071 The Grizzly Maze [Region 4]
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About the Author

Nick Jans is a contributing editor for Alaska magazine and a member of USA Today's Board of Editorial Contributors. He has written for Rolling Stone, Backpacker, and the Christian Science Monitor. His books include Tracks of the Unseen: Meditations on Alaska Wildlife, Landscape, and Photography; A Place Beyond: Finding Home in Arctic Alaska; and The Last Light Breaking: Living Among Alaska's Inupiat Eskimos.

Reviews

Jans (Tracks of the Unseen, etc.) presents a fast-paced, thoughtful and evenhanded account of the life and death of self-appointed bear guardian Timothy Treadwell, who, along with a girlfriend, was killed and eaten by grizzlies in Alaska's Katmai National Park in 2003. Treadwell had for 13 summers befriended the bears, camping in territory that includes a labyrinth of trails known as the "grizzly maze." No one knows why the grizzlies, normally tolerant of humans, turned on him. Two bears had to be shot, and many people felt vindicated by his death, because bear biologists and Park Service officials had for years criticized his activities, believing that contact with humans is not in the bears' best interest. Jans is ambivalent about Treadwell (whom he never met), sympathizing with his desire to communicate with the animals, yet admitting that the man was self-serving, courting the media and writing a mawkish book about his experiences. Jans doesn't stint on the details of Treadwell's troubled past, his gory death and the media frenzy that followed, but he tackles a broader issue as well: our evolving relationship with nature and the folly of this kind of attempt at interspecies interaction. Agent, Elizabeth Kaplan. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-A self-appointed guardian of grizzlies, Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, were attacked and eaten in 2003 by the very animals that were his passion. Jans presents a fair and exacting account of the events that led up to the tragedy, and, in doing so, shows readers the different sides of a complex and controversial man. Woven throughout the account are interviews with Treadwell's proponents, who believed that his motive in camping out in a labyrinth of trails in Alaska's Katmai National Park, known as the grizzly maze, was to protect the bears he observed from poachers. Readers also hear from the bear biologists and park service officials who for years criticized his behavior as dangerous and unscientific. It would be easy enough to dismiss Treadwell as a well-meaning but foolish person whose luck simply ran out. Jans gives his audience much to consider and allows them to decide. As to what type of man Treadwell actually was, the author says he arrives at his answer depending on the day or moment. The bigger issues of humans' relationship with nature and the dangers of interacting too closely with wildlife are also discussed.-Peggy Bercher, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Intensely imagistic, artfully controlled prose . . . behind the building tension of Treadwell's path to oblivion, a stunning landscape looms."-Newsday

"A fair and exacting account of the events that led up to the tragedy, and, in doing so, shows readers the different sides of a complex and controversial man... It would be easy enough to dismiss Treadwell as a well-meaning but foolish person whose luck simply ran out. Jans gives his audience much to consider and allows them to decide."-Peggy Bercher, School Library Journal

"Masterfully addresses Treadwell's life and death... Although The Grizzly Maze is not the first book on the subject to be published, it's by far the best."-Paul Constant, The Stranger

"A fast-paced, thoughtful and evenhanded account of the life and death of self-appointed bear guardian Timothy Treadwell, who, along with a girlfriend, was killed and eaten by grizzlies in Alaska's Katmai National Park in 2003."-Publishers Weekly

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