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Shadows on the Koyukuk: An Alaskan Native's Life Along the River Paperback – April 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books; Later Printing edition (April 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088240427X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882404271
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rearden was outdoor editor for Alaska magazine for 20 years.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 37 customer reviews
My favorite story was about his Uncle and Aunt who brought Sidney Beaver hunting in Winter the Indian way.
Walsh
My son did his quarterly book report on it and got an "A" and the school purchased a copy for their school library after his teacher read it.
A. Canfield
Mr. Huntington's book has painted a vivid portrait of life in this region of Alaska during the early 1900's.
Thomas M. Powell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Walsh on June 10, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's my understanding that as of this review, our main character Mr Sidney Huntington is still with us and soon to be honored, along with the co author, at a University of Alaska graduation ceremony. He's 90 years old God bless him. I'd be proud to shake his hand after reading this wonderful book.

The author wrote this book I think for many reasons. One big one is that he had a little Brother named James (Jimmy) who wrote a very good book many years before this one called "On the Edge of Nowhere". If you are going to read them both (which you should) start with Jimmy's book. This book is a little better in my opinion. But they are both terriffic!

Jimmy's book had a few inaccuracies that Sidney cleared up as they shared most of their youth. They were half Indian half white kids who both grew up to be quite accomplished. In Sidney's case he seems to have met with some financial success through his hard work and entreprenuerial spirit as well. Jimmy won some big sled dog races and was successful in many ways too. They both served in elected or appointed positions and helped to make Alaska a better state.

There were just so many great stories.

My favorite story was about his Uncle and Aunt who brought Sidney Beaver hunting in Winter the Indian way. They blocked up escape routes and chopped through the top of the Den. Then his Aunt went into the Den and passed the live Beavers out to her Husband who dispatched them with a club. There is more to it than that of course. You must hand out the Beavers in a certain order and must talk to them a certain way. You'll have to read this to get the details. I hope this intrigues you because I thought it was pretty cool.

How about the old Indian way of Hunting Grizz? First of all you go secretly.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Webster on October 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was given this book by my father, who met Sidney and said he was a heck of a guy. That alone is a glowing review. I have been born and raised in Alaska and even though I lead a more urban life, I could relate to and picture most of the accounts in this book. I think the more time you spend in the wilderness, the more you would appreciate this book. Hopefully, those of you who have not been in the wilds of Alaska will still get a lot out of this book. This book is without question one of the best books I have ever read (And I'm comparing it to classic literary works as well). I am not an emotional reader, but I had tears in my eyes more than once while reading it. One should pay special attention to the section on wolves - it is the real story - the one the animal rights activists don't want you to know. Sidney bridges the native and white cultures so well - I think both cultures would be better off if we lived to his ideals.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on April 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sidney Huntington grew up along the Koyukuk River in Alaska's harsh interior over 80 years ago. After his legendary mother suddenly dies, 3 year old Huntington protects & cares for his younger siblings during two weeks of isolation before rescue comes. As a teenager he plies wilderness traplines with his father, nearly freezing to death several times.
Shadows on the Koyukuk is a plain & simple memoir with unpretentious recounting of arduous survival interwoven with memories of cheerful, wholehearted contentment of where Sidney found himself in a fabled & beautiful land.
With names like Weaselheart & Schilikum, Monkey John & Cosmos Mountain, Sidney tells of his life on the edge & what happened when civilization arrived & bureaucracy took over. These are the memories of when Anchorage was a city of about 2,000 souls, after the great the Alaska Railroad system was built & the railroad crews had left. You will also find out what "tundra daisies" are. A pleasing memoir of a full life!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I arrived to work in the Bush for my first summer of '99. Immediately, this book was recommended. Simultaneously, I ended up visiting most of the villages mentioned in the book; very accurate, informative and fun! Sydney is still alive, fishing and living the Yukon River...
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By nina bovard on August 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I have ever read. I was fascinated the entire time I was reading this book, and I didn't want to put it down. I have decided to read this story to my children. I hope to find the story of James Huntington called "On the Edge of Nowhere". A compelling story and I would recommend this story to anyone.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Stelmak on November 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
This story takes you along the journey of a man and his great and courageous people, in a land that was beautiful, bountiful, but harsh. To our modern day standards, we wonder how they ever survived. To survive they had to be smart, inovative, ingenious, careful, and plain tough. If you want to know how honorable people lived life in the real frontier, read this book.

Tom, Belgrade, Montana
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
The experiance this man has growing up in the Koyyakuk is almost to unbelievable, but true. From losing your mom at age 7 and taking care of 2 younger siblings for days until they were discosvered, to killing a Grizzly bear by hand, this was the norm before civilization hit the region. A truly remarkable book. YOu will want to re-read again and again.
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