October 09, 2011
Arctic Autumn by Peter Dunne
I had just read a book about travels in Alaska by one of my favored authors and was pretty excited to get started on this one. That being said, I didn't like this one near as much as I could have. It had some interesting thing to say, which was in its favor, but there were other things that weren't quite as desirable.
Pete Dunne and his wife are travel writer and photographer respectively. They decide to visit places in the arctic to help him with his writing and give her an opportunity to take pictures. Usually they have assorted friends and guides along with them too. They explore many places; like the Barren Lands and outposts in Alaska and also to other cities in the arctic, such as Churchill and Gambell. Pete does focus a lot on birds, which would make sense since he's part of the Audubon, but he also takes a short look at other species of wildlife like wolves, polar bears, and caribou.
I found the writing to be very choppy and jumpy and this was my main problem with the book. It seemed like it was constantly leaping about from chapter to chapter and nothing ever felt fully explained. There also was a lot of explanation about the people on these trips with him and I didn't find that very interesting when he had a whole arctic landscape and all the animals to write about. Sure you have some trouble with equipment and explain the camera details lots of times, what about that caribou right over there? Why aren't you writing about that more? Those were the thoughts that went through my head. I do have to say that I enjoyed the last chapter the most. Centered on Polar Bears he does let his mind wander to other things, but it always returns to the polar bear and makes it a focus. It was also nice to look at the photos included within the book.
Not a bad travel book, but not one I was particularly inclined to. I prefer the other book about Alaska I just read by Peter Jenkins way over this one.