Monday, 22 September 2008

Historical Fiction

Finished September 20
Above the Falls by John Harris
The story in this book is based on real people and real events in Canada's north. Harris has researched this well, and provided capsules on each person at the end of the book.
The setting is up in the Northwest Territories above the South Nahanni river at the lakes named Rabbitkettle and Glacier in 1936. The bush pilot George Dalziel (Dal) was known as the flying trapper, as he flew men to his traplines and gave them a cut of what he got from their work. There was a movement to close down this sort of activity as it was seen as encroaching on the natives' livelihood. Two trappers that Dal set down at his line disappeared near the end of the season, with their cabin destroyed. Harris takes that unsolved event and makes a story for it. The story is one that could have been true, and the events surrounding it are described well, with as much basis in fact as possible.
I found this interesting as it is an area and time that hasn't had a lot written about it, and thus opens new territory in Canadian literature. The conversations are well-written and flow and the story is made interesting for more than just the mens' disappearance.


  1. For some reason, I keep thinking this is Alaska-based, which seems very current, given the GOP VP nominee! I know, I know, it's Canada. This sounds very interesting, however.

    From the frozen north, consider the hot and humid south, Bedlam South, that is. This book is about to be published, and I'm very much looking forward to it. Maybe because I've always been a Civil War buff, and that's what this is about, with the interesting twist of combining mental health (and the internal chaos that results in so many soldiers as the result of combat) and the atrocities of civil war. I think this is well worth a look.

  2. The Higginbotham book is not QUITE on the nightstand, but it's getting closer. I go through phases with books -- am on a mystery phase at the moment, but am highly anticipating a phase of historical fiction. I am eagerly awaiting the publication of a book of historical fiction on the Civil War, Bedlam South. We all know the incredible suffering that war brought to our land. In this book, the characters battle their own demons, as well as the enemy. an insane asylum is a major setting, which has got to be where the name came from (in my own opinion). I'm expecting the Civil War to come alive with this book, and as I'm a big Civil War buff, I'm pretty stoked.

  3. Silly me, ignore the above, please! You can tell I am looking forward to this one...

    It comes out next month, by the way. (Something even more interesting -- to me at least -- is that part of it is set in Fredericksburg, Va., which I've visited several times for its Civil War history and battlefields.)