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The Blue Bear: A True Story of Friendship, Tragedy, and Survival in the Alaskan Wilderness
Nature writing at its best. Lynn Schooler, an Alaskan nature guide and photographer, tells the story of his friendship with renowned Japanese photographer Michio Hoshino. This friendship and their quest to photograph the almost mythical blue bear transformed Lynn from a misanthropic loner to a man in love with the world. The nature writing is transcendent and the story of their friendship will both warm your heart and, in the end, break it.
Synopses & Reviews
With a body twisted by adolescent scoliosis and memories of the brutal death of a woman he loved, Lynn Schooler kept the world at arm's length, drifting through the wilds of Alaska as a commercial fisherman, outdoorsman, and wilderness guide. In 1990 Schooler met Japanese photographer Michio Hoshino and began a profound friendship forged by a love of adventure and cemented by their mutual obsession with finding the elusive glacier bear, an exceedingly rare creature, seldom seen and shrouded in legend. But it was only after Hoshino's tragic death from a bear attack that Schooler succeeded in photographing the animal — and only then that he Was able to complete his journey and find new meaning in his own life.
Set amid the wild archipelagoes, glittering fjords, and dense primordial forests of Alaska's Glacier Coast, The Blue Bear is an unforgettable book that shines with purity and passion.
"The strength of this beautifully crafted memoir lies in its evocation of the overpowering Alaskan landscape and the thoughts it imposes on the author's agile and receptive mind, gradually opening his solitary heart to the grace of true friendship." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Alaska is made for adventure, and the two men have plenty, though Schooler is sharp enough to keep drama pressurized but under a lid....An emotionally punishing memoir that finds beauty in the frailty of life and impermanence against a grand setting." Kirkus Reviews
"[Schooler?s] prose is pure cinematography, with Alaska made a character in the story." Seattle Times
Book News Annotation:
Photographer and wildlife guide Schooler recounts the story of his friendship with Japanese photographer Michio Hoshino, their trips into the Alaskan wilderness in search of the rare glacier bear, Hoshino's death by mauling, and the lessons that Schooler drew from Hoshino's life and death.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This haunting memoir is about the search for one of the world's most elusive animals, the friendship it forged, and the tragedy that ensued. 8-page color photo insert.
About the Author
Lynn Schooler is a two-time winner of Alaska magazine's grand prize and winner of the National Wildlife grand prize for wildlife photography. He has lived in Alaska for more than thirty years. The Blue Bear is his first book.
Table of Contents
Author's Note ix
1 Severance 11
2 First Encounters 20
3 Eruption 38
4 Refugia 69
5 Russell Fjord 88
6 Johnstone Bay 102
7 Malaspina and Disenchantment Bay 109
8 Tsunami 123
9 The Butcher, the Baker 141
10 The Place Without Storms 160
11 South to Cape Fanshaw 180
12 Storm 189
13 Transients 195
14 Miraculous Fledglings and Shape-Shifting Bears 207
15 Wildfire 222
16 Kamchatka 232
17 Primary Colors 246
Select Bibliography 271
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