First I kind of feel like apologizing for only giving this four stars. I really did like this book, and I really did find it well written, but five stars is kind of where I put Brothers Kharmazov. Having said that, this is a great story of life growing up in the wilds of northern Alaska. It begins with the 1,000 mile overland survival walk of the author's Indian mother across the tundra to return home after testifying in the trial of the murderer of her first husband. From there the hard fought life of her trapper son gets chronicled as he and his brother virtually raise themselves in the wilds of the frozen country. The beauty and wildness come through, but more than that the spirit of the author and his family in not only pulling themselves up with the own bootstraps, but doing it time and time again after losing everything to floods, fire, disease, and even peculiar laws.
There was so much territory to cover, fitting in a way for a book about Alaska, that some stories such as his dogsled races (Iditarod precursors) that the author won could've filled a whole book but get only enough ink here to leave the reader wanting more. In any case, it's a great book, and well worth your time. The story of a miner, trapper, dogsled racer, merchant and eventually politician. To use a cliche, among the last of a fading breed.