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Wolf And Iron Mass Market Paperback – March 15, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

The U. S. has been devastated by worldwide financial collapse. Civilization as readers know it has disappeared. Marauding bands are terrorizing the countryside, killing and looting. Jeremy Bellamy Walthers' goal is to cross 2,000 miles of ravaged countryside to reach the security of his brother's Montana ranch. En route he befriends a wolf who becomes a partner and companion via verbal and nonverbal communication. The story deals with Jeremy's interaction with the wolf and the other human survivors of the economic collapse. Dickson has created another superior novel; it's colorful, well written, and peopled with well-developed, multidimensional characters. The wolf is especially fascinating. YAs who have cut their teeth on such works as George's Julie of the Wolves (Harper, 1972) or Mowatt's Never Cry Wolf (Little, 1963) will enjoy this survival story in sci/fi clothing. --John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (March 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812533348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812533347
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,353,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By dsrussell VINE VOICE on October 23, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I foundGordon Dickson's "Wolf and Iron" to be a gritty view of aworld thrown into chaos from world financial collapse. The story begins with Jeebee running for his life from a town that he has lived and worked in for five years. He leaves Indiana to seek his brother who lives in Montana, and what follows is basically a "coming of age" story. During his travels and his constant search for food and the daily fight for survival, his path crosses that of a lone wolf. Together they share a bond that is the heart of this story.
A man alone, with only an enigmatic wolf for company, creates a fascinating premise that, because of its theme, is extremely sparse on dialogue. Although laborious at times, it is never dull. Dickson has a clear writing style that is not the least bit flowery or poetic, nor should it be for this type of theme. Dickson creates a rugged, bleak, violent-infested world where people don't have the luxury to trust, so it's a `shoot first and ask questions later' type of mentality. However, Dickson also has the tendency to `rehash' certain points over and over, which slows the pace of the novel.
There is much to like and learn in "Wolf and Iron", not only about the behavior of the wolf, but also about basic survival. The theme of human societies dissolving down to its most basic level is certainly not new, but is dealt with admirably. Jeebee is no super hero. He is just a young man plunged into a world where everyone and every situation can be extremely dangerous. This reader felt the cold, the fear, the hunger, the lonliness and desperation.
The relationship of Jeebee and Merry was interesting, yet, I believe Dickson missed a real opportunity here. Several scenes were done well, yet had potential for so much more.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By TD on July 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book for the first time about 10 years ago. I have read it twice more since. It is simply one of the most enjoyable reads I have ever had. I have been hoping that Gordon comes back to these warm, great characters of Jeebe & Wolf and gives us a second book. It is just a great book. If you share my view of this try to find a copy of Sterling E. Laniers "Hiero's Journey" another great tale of comraderie between a man and his best friend who isn't quite human...
Gordon Dickson's a great writer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 28, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Science fiction is known for stories long on idea or action, and short on character. Wolf and Iron stands as a fine example of both the good and the bad.
The good: A well-written post-apocalyptic story, told with a thoughtful, measured pace, exploring the mind of a man and a wolf as they adjust to each other and to the new low-tech reality. The man learns the ways of the blacksmith, the wolf to trust and work with his human companion. The incidents which bond them are inventive; obviously the author has put considerable thought and study into the psychology of wolves, and the realities of laboring over an anvil and forge. The prose is stately and often lyrical.
The bad: A man-woman relationship so badly sketched the reader wonders whether the author has ever seen a woman. She gives birth to their child after the couple has been literally snowed in alone together together for an entire winter, yet they have never even discussed what to name their child. It hasn't occurred to the hero that their child would need one! After the birth the name is selected with the exchange of precicely two sentences. The author is preoccupied with the (well-handled) relationship of man and wolf; man and woman are purely secondary, and are treated so. The woman's previous experiences as a captive and slave are passed over as too painful (read: too uninteresting to the author) to be related.

The total: A satisfying read, imaginative in what it does well; and in what it does poorly, illustrative of a common SF fault.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Orianna TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 11, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a book that I enjoy reading again and again, about a man's journey across the country with the wolf who has adopted him as a packmate.

Don't get me wrong, there are some flaws. One of the best things about this book is the detail it goes into concerning survival in a post-apocalyptic world. But, it seems to have a lack of balance concerning these details. Sometimes it goes overboard, giving huge amounts of information about things that have nothing to do with the situation. The amount of knowledge that Jeebee happens to have is a bit extreme -- every time he needs to know something in order to survive, it's an amazing coincidence that he just so happened to learn about it, before.

Yet, at the same time, it completely ignores other details that I felt were vital to the story. For example, at one point Jeebee is attacked by a bear. He figures out how to use the nearby river's freezing water to help the massive bruising, he takes antibiotics, makes a crutch out of a tree branch, gets Wolf to bring him food, all these things to survive the ordeal, and yet there is no mention of the need to stitch the wounds closed! His scalp was hanging in front of his eyes, but after he pushes it back in place, there's no mention of it again, not even to describe the huge scar it must have left.

No timeframe is given, so that you don't really know when the story takes place. There's no mention of television, or computers, or music, or anything modern that the characters might be missing (aside from electricity and gas). And, it skims over things that I would have found interesting, such as the romance between Jeebee and Merry, and also how she survived, how she dealt with the lack of feminine products, birth control, etc.

Beyond that, it is an excellent story. It covers a lot of ground, goes into a lot of detail about survival. I wish there was a sequel, to tell the further adventures of Jeebee, Merry, and Wolf!
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