Cover image for Looking for Alaska
Title:
Looking for Alaska
Author:
Jenkins, Peter, 1951-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
434 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations(some color), portraits ; 26 cm
General Note:
Maps on end pages.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780312261788
Format :
Book

Available:*

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F910.5 .J46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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F910.5 .J46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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F910.5 .J46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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F910.5 .J46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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F910.5 .J46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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F910.5 .J46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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F910.5 .J46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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F910.5 .J46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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F910.5 .J46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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F910.5 .J46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

More than twenty years ago, a disillusioned college graduate named Peter Jenkins set out with his dog Cooper to look for himself and his nation. His memoir of what he found, A Walk Across America , captured the hearts of millions of Americans.

Now, Peter is a bit older, married with a family, and his journeys are different than they were. Perhaps he is looking for adventure, perhaps inspiration, perhaps new communities, perhaps unspoiled land. Certainly, he found all of this and more in Alaska, America's last wilderness.

Looking for Alaska is Peter's account of eighteen months spent traveling over twenty thousand miles in tiny bush planes, on snow machines and snowshoes, in fishing boats and kayaks, on the Alaska Marine Highway and the Haul Road, searching for what defines Alaska. Hearing the amazing stories of many real Alaskans--from Barrow to Craig, Seward to Deering, and everywhere in between--Peter gets to know this place in the way that only he can. His resulting portrait is a rare and unforgettable depiction of a dangerous and beautiful land and all the people that call it home.

He also took his wife and eight-year-old daughter with him, settling into a "home base" in Seward on the Kenai Peninsula, coming and going from there, and hosting the rest of their family for extended visits. The way his family lived, how they made Alaska their home and even participated in Peter's explorations, is as much a part of this story as Peter's own travels.

All in all, Jenkins delivers a warm, funny, awe-inspiring, and memorable diary of discovery-both of this place that captures all of our imaginations, and of himself, all over again.


Author Notes

Peter Jenkins ' 1979 written chronicle and photographs of his first journey, A Walk Across America , spent three months on The New York Times bestseller list. Jenkins has written several more chronicles of his travels, including The New York Times bestsellers The Walk West and Across China , and Along the Edge of America and Close Friends . Born in Greenwich, Connecticut, he now lives on a farm in Spring Hill, Tennessee, with his wife, Rita, and their family.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Jenkins and his wife decamped to Seward, Alaska, in 1999 to collect material in the travelogue mode. His plan was to stay one year, through a winter, and to make forays from Seward to meet the state's individualistic denizens. Jenkins' forte of forging friendships with strangers, the backbone of his mega-selling A Walk across America (1979), is much in evidence here, providing fascinating profiles of typical Alaskan types: the commercial fisherman, the fish-and-game biologist, the homesteader, the musher, the native whaler. What first struck Jenkins was Alaska's wildness; even a relatively settled locale like Seward has bears and moose tramping through town, incidents that fill the police blotter Jenkins loves to relate. Striking out from home, Jenkins traveled on Alaska's characteristic conveyances: a floatplane, a kayak, several types of fishing boats, and a dogsled. His tutor in the latter generates the best passages in the book, as Jeff King, a top finisher in Alaska's Iditarod, schools the author on raising and mushing race dogs. Jenkins' skill in learning from unconventional outdoorsmen such as King, and in expressing the lure of Alaska, will attract armchair adventurers from the Lower 48. --Gilbert Taylor


Publisher's Weekly Review

The footloose Jenkins (A Walk Across America; The Walk West; etc.) hits the road again if not actually the blacktop. Jenkins's 18-month sojourn in Alaska involves more unconventional modes of travel: a nervy float-plane trip through the fog with a passenger who knows the route better than the pilot, for instance, or a wild ride across a frozen river on a sled attached to 13 surging huskies. For all its moments of adventure, though, this book feels more deliberate than Jenkins's earlier journeys. The people he meets seem to have been selected in advance by a booking agent. But that doesn't take away from their stories or from Jenkins's ability to draw them out. He is no poet, but maybe that's why he fits so easily into the company of a people with a natural distrust of outsiders, and why he can bond with a fisherman who "would feel much more at home at the dinner-table with ex-football coaches John Madden and Mike Ditka." Even if Jenkins comes across as more settled and his need for self-discovery a quest that added a spark to his previous works has lessened, the author's ability to inspire confidence in others is a quality that hasn't changed. Nor has his courage to even undertake such a trek. And whether it's the crepuscular sunlight ricocheting off a glacier, a massive brown bear rooting through his garbage or a grizzled mountain man named Wild Gene, Jenkins convinces readers that there is much to look at and to look for in Alaska. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Most of us who "look for" Alaska do so as tourists; we see the incredible rugged beauty of the Inside Passage and gaze with wonder at the glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, and other sights located in areas devoid of any sign of human habitation. Many residents, on the other hand, see a very different place; they face a daily challenge to survive in an unforgiving land. Then there are those like Jenkins-neither resident nor tourist-who are determined to go beyond the visible and look for the spirit. During his 18-month journey throughout Alaska, the author of the best-selling A Walk Across America found what he was looking for. He shares that experience in a narrative that sparkles with adventure, quirky characters, unbelievable hardships, and indescribable beauty. Not intended for the casual tourist, this book is for those who seek to understand the heart and soul of America's most distinctive state. For all public libraries.-Joseph L. Carlson, Lompoc P.L., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.