Synopses & Reviews
Ursus arctos horribilis
, commonly known as the grizzly or brown bear, is one of the most feared animals on the planet. As its most outspoken protector, Timothy Treadwell tirelessly sought to overturn the perception of grizzlies as dangerously aggressive. It was therefore a media sensation when in October 2003 Treadwell and his girlfriend were fatally mauled by a bear in Alaska's Katmai National Park, the first such attack in the park in eighty-five years. The horrifying audiotape of Treadwell's final, frantic screams begged the question: How could this happen?
In The Grizzly Maze, Nick Jans, who for years has written expertly and lyrically about the Alaskan wilderness, ventures to answer this question. Based on exclusive access to the killing site and his own and other's expert knowledge of Alaskan bears, Jans plots out Treadwell's final expedition and encounter with the grizzly. In doing so, Jans provides a moving and complex portrait of the man known as the "Bear Whisperer," whose controversial ideas earned him the scorn of hunters, the adoration of some animal lovers, and the skepticism of naturalists. The Grizzly Maze also offers a definitive, close-up look at bears, bear behavior, and our complicated relationship with them. It promises to be the blockbuster adventure read of the season.
"Jans (Tracks of the Unseen, etc.) presents a fast-paced, thoughtful and evenhanded account of the life and death of self-appointed bear guardian Timothy Treadwell, who, along with a girlfriend, was killed and eaten by grizzlies in Alaska's Katmai National Park in 2003. Treadwell had for 13 summers befriended the bears, camping in territory that includes a labyrinth of trails known as the 'grizzly maze.' No one knows why the grizzlies, normally tolerant of humans, turned on him. Two bears had to be shot, and many people felt vindicated by his death, because bear biologists and Park Service officials had for years criticized his activities, believing that contact with humans is not in the bears' best interest. Jans is ambivalent about Treadwell (whom he never met), sympathizing with his desire to communicate with the animals, yet admitting that the man was self-serving, courting the media and writing a mawkish book about his experiences. Jans doesn't stint on the details of Treadwell's troubled past, his gory death and the media frenzy that followed, but he tackles a broader issue as well: our evolving relationship with nature and the folly of this kind of attempt at interspecies interaction. Agent, Elizabeth Kaplan. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Wonderful new voice, all the more alive against the grave and ancient background of Inupiat tradition, and the waiting landscape. (Peter Matthiessen on The Last Light Breaking) Many are drawn to the North, but few are chosen by it. Jans is one of those chosen. (Booklist on Tracks of the Unseen)
With a new introduction on Werner Herzogs film entitled The Grizzly Man
Timothy Treadwell, self-styled bear whisperer” dared to live among the grizzlies, seeking to overturn the perception of them as dangerously aggressive animals. When he and his girlfriend were mauled in October 2003, it created a media sensation.
In The Grizzly Maze, Nick Jans, a seasoned outdoor writer with a quarter century of experience writing about Alaska and bears, traces Treadwells rise from unknown waiter in California to celebrity, providing a moving portrait of the man whose controversial ideas and behavior earned him the scorn of hunters, the adoration of animal lovers and the skepticism of naturalists.
Intensely imagistic, artfully controlled prose . . . behind the building tension of Treadwells path to oblivion, a stunning landscape looms.”
With a new introduction on Werner Herzogand#8217;s film entitledand#160;The Grizzly Man
Timothy Treadwell, self-styled and#147;bear whispererand#8221; dared to live among the grizzlies, seeking to overturn the perception of them as dangerously aggressive animals. When he and his girlfriend were mauled in October 2003, it created a media sensation.
Inand#160;The Grizzly Maze, Nick Jans, a seasoned outdoor writer with a quarter century of experience writing about Alaska and bears, traces Treadwelland#8217;s rise from unknown waiter in California to celebrity, providing a moving portrait of the man whose controversial ideas and behavior earned him the scorn of hunters, the adoration of animal lovers and the skepticism of naturalists.
and#147;Intensely imagistic, artfully controlled prose . . . behind the building tension of Treadwelland#8217;s path to oblivion, a stunning landscape looms.and#8221;
About the Author
Nick Jans is a contributing editor for Alaska magazine and a member of USA Today's Board of Editorial Contributors. He has written for Rolling Stone, Backpacker, and the Christian Science Monitor. His books include Tracks of the Unseen: Meditations on Alaska Wildlife, Landscape, and Photography; A Place Beyond: Finding Home in Arctic Alaska; and The Last Light Breaking: Living Among Alaska's Inupiat Eskimos.
Table of Contents
Into the Maze 1
The Birth of Treadwell 10
Lifeguard to the Bears 24
Fifteen Minutes and Change 46
The Grizzly Maze 59
The Last Trip Out There 76
Final Darkness 92
The World of Fears 106
Bear 141 117
Monkey Pajamas 137
A Mighty Lightning Rod 148
What Sort of Man ... 159
The Skulls That Are Mine 175
Grizzly People 192
Treadwells Bears 209
Afterword: The Beast of Nightmare 220
A Selected Bibliography with Annotations 253