Monday, June 16, 2008

A Book Review, Of Sorts

I was tired of surfing the Internet last night and decided to lay down to read. I didn't want to get into anything "heavy" so I picked a small paperback written by Gary Paulson called Brian's Return. The book is part of a series written about a boy who survived a plane crash in the deep north (Canada). It is written more for juvenile readers and I had bought it to help introduce my youngest son to the survival mindset.

As I read it I began to be a little more absorbed and didn't notice the time. I finished the book and looked at the clock which read 11:38 PM. Oops! I have to get up at 4:00 to get ready for work! Of course, I couldn’t fall asleep because, I needed to. So I lay there and thought about what I would do if I were put in the same position as this young man.

The books I read as a youth inspired a love of the outdoors as well as that of adventure: Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, The Boxcar Children, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, My Side of the Mountain, and a few more that I can't remember at this moment.

After reading this book I began to feel the same urges, the longing for the woods and freedom of the out of doors, the smell of wood smoke and the sighing of wind in the trees. I guess you are never to old to be one with nature.

In modern life we block out nature, enclosing ourselves in cacoons of sheetrock, fiberglass, wood, vinyl, aluminum and glass. We hide from the stars under steel and composition roofs, denying ourselves the freedom of the open sky.

If you have young children, take the opportunity to read these books to them at bedtime. You will instill in them a love for books and adventure, and perhaps kindle the spirit of survival in them also, creating a lifelong path of self sufficiency and acquiring skills sets for the future. Take them camping and teach them survival skills. It is an adventure they will not soon forget!


  1. May I suggest getting involved with Boy Scouts and doing some real time camping. My son ( who is 40 now) and I had some great times together and he and I actualled learned alot.

  2. I read "My Side Of The Mountain" probably a hundred times as a kid. I always wanted a hollowed out treehouse! "Call Of The Wild" was another favorite. Yet another was "The Cay", about a young kid and an old black man who are shipwrecked on a deserted island. Guess I had a survival mindset all along and just didn't know it.

  3. Years ago my wife worked every Thursday night. My two sons and I would watch the movie based on the book Hatchet, written by the aforementioned Paulson. I think the movie was called Alone in the Wild. The boys and I must have watched that movie at least twice a month for 10 years. That, coupled with a great Scoutmaster they developed a love of the outdoors and a survival mindset.

    I will always be a Dad, and worry about my boys, but I also know that they are good men and would take either in a foxhole with me. If TSHTF I fully expect both of them to arrive at the farm, maybe weeks late, but they will arrive.

    Question: does anyone remember reading a book, paperback, about a guy the survives a plane crash and survives. The one thing I remember most about the book was the way the guy got fire. He dried out his matchbox matches and built a huge fire that almost started a forest fire. I don't remember most of the book, probably because I knew the author knew squat about survival. Still, I would like to remember the name so I can review it again, just for the pure sweet hell of it.


  4. Don't know the book, but you're a damn lucky man to have the boys you got. And you're a good man for raisin' them right. It's a rare thing nowadays.

  5. Wolverine--I remember reading a book about a drunk guy, airplane crash in Alaska (or Canada)--and he knew squat about how to survive in the wilderness. He was on a plane that could land in water, and this one crashed into a lake and sank. I remember one scene where he is starving to death--and he sees a male duck out in the water kill another male duck. So the guy swims out and gets the dead duck, and that is dinner. He gradually learns to survive, but it isn't easy...I'll try to remember the name of the book.

  6. My grandson loves it when I read to him, just as my own kids did when they were youger.