Kings of the Yukon
One man's thrilling and transporting journey by canoe across Alaska in search of the king salmonThe Yukon river is 2,000 miles long, the longest stretch of free-flowing river in the United States. In this riveting examination of one of the last wild places on earth, Adam Weymouth canoes along the river's length, from Canada's Yukon Territory, through Alaska, to the Bering Sea. The result is a book that shows how even the most remote wilderness is affected by the same forces reshaping the rest of the planet.Every summer, hundreds of thousands of king salmon migrate the distance of the Yukon to their spawning grounds, where they breed and die, in what is the longest salmon run in the world. For the communities that live along the river, salmon was once the lifeblood of the economy and local culture. But climate change and a globalized economy have fundamentally altered the balance between man and nature; the health and numbers of king salmon are in question, as is the fate of the communities that depend on them.Traveling along the Yukon as the salmon migrate, a four-month journey through untrammeled landscape, Adam Weymouth traces the fundamental interconnectedness of people and fish through searing and unforgettable portraits of the individuals he encounters. He offers a powerful, nuanced glimpse into indigenous cultures, and into our ever-complicated relationship with the natural world. Weaving in the rich history of salmon across time as well as the science behind their mysterious life cycle, Kings of the Yukon is extraordinary adventure and nature writing at its most urgent and poetic.

Kings of the Yukon Details

TitleKings of the Yukon
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 15th, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
ISBN-139780316396707
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Travel

Kings of the Yukon Review

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    5 King Salmon stars to Kings of the Yukon! 🐟 🐟 🐟 🐟 🐟 We traveled to Alaska and the Yukon Territory on our honeymoon, and I must say, I have never seen anything more majestic, pristinely beautiful, and untouched, as the Yukon, its waters, the land, the mountains. In Kings of the Yukon, Adam Weymouth weaves a tale of adventure, his own in fact, as he travels the Yukon River by canoe in order to study the migration patterns of the king salmon, also including the history of the fish. But this book i 5 King Salmon stars to Kings of the Yukon! 🐟 🐟 🐟 🐟 🐟 We traveled to Alaska and the Yukon Territory on our honeymoon, and I must say, I have never seen anything more majestic, pristinely beautiful, and untouched, as the Yukon, its waters, the land, the mountains. In Kings of the Yukon, Adam Weymouth weaves a tale of adventure, his own in fact, as he travels the Yukon River by canoe in order to study the migration patterns of the king salmon, also including the history of the fish. But this book isn’t just about salmon...Weymouth shows the connection between the people of Alaska and fish by painting descriptive vignettes of the characters he meets along his journey. I found the writing to be as stunning, intriguing, and pristine as the Yukon. Well-done, Adam Weymouth! Thank you to Adam Weymouth, Little, Brown and Company, and Netgalley. Kings of the Yukon will be available on May 15, 2018. My reviews can now also be found on my shiny new blog! www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    I just won a giveaway for this book! Yay! I'm so excited to read this one. Sounds like it will be a book I'll really enjoy. Review coming ASAP!Update: just received my goodreads giveaway copy in the mail! Hopefully review coming soon.Well, I finally finished this book and can happily say that I loved it!a beautiful mixture of nature, adventure, history, natural science, sociology and politics. The author shows how all of these things are intertwined with the history of the Chinook and has clearl I just won a giveaway for this book! Yay! I'm so excited to read this one. Sounds like it will be a book I'll really enjoy. Review coming ASAP!Update: just received my goodreads giveaway copy in the mail! Hopefully review coming soon.Well, I finally finished this book and can happily say that I loved it!a beautiful mixture of nature, adventure, history, natural science, sociology and politics. The author shows how all of these things are intertwined with the history of the Chinook and has clearly done some extensive research. I found the book to be very informative and interesting while still providing that rustic, out in the woods, river voyage adventure feeling that I was so hoping for.I'm honestly putting this book right up there beside Walden as my favourite nature (but this book is so much more) related book of all time.
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  • Janis
    January 1, 1970
    Author Adam Weymouth paddled thousands of miles in a four-month journey down the Yukon River in an effort to puzzle out the status and patterns of the king salmon migration. Here, he offers a fascinating account of his experiences, of the life cycle and current state of these magnificent creatures, of the people who have historically fished for them, and of the agencies that study and manage them. This is a thoughtful and powerful book, one that presents the complex forces and issues of this cou Author Adam Weymouth paddled thousands of miles in a four-month journey down the Yukon River in an effort to puzzle out the status and patterns of the king salmon migration. Here, he offers a fascinating account of his experiences, of the life cycle and current state of these magnificent creatures, of the people who have historically fished for them, and of the agencies that study and manage them. This is a thoughtful and powerful book, one that presents the complex forces and issues of this country clearly while bringing the people and the animals of the North to life for the reader. Look forward to reading this one on its publication date of May 15, 2018.
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    'There’s a salmon colored girlWho’s set my heart awhirl...'Adam Weymouth’s Kings of the Yukon combines parts travelogue, science journal, history, and serious warning in the compelling story of his canoe trip down the Yukon River in the summer of 2016. Weymouth presents a startling case for the protection of the king salmon in a well-balance argument. He enlightens the audience to the complexities of the issue through the science, the Native American cultural bonds, and the globalization of the 'There’s a salmon colored girlWho’s set my heart awhirl...'Adam Weymouth’s Kings of the Yukon combines parts travelogue, science journal, history, and serious warning in the compelling story of his canoe trip down the Yukon River in the summer of 2016. Weymouth presents a startling case for the protection of the king salmon in a well-balance argument. He enlightens the audience to the complexities of the issue through the science, the Native American cultural bonds, and the globalization of the industry. The lure of the fish is expertly contrasted with the problems a of shrinking population and the cost overfishing and climate change has wrought on their habitat.Weymouth weaves all this through the story of his float from top of the salmon run at the headwaters of the Yukon to their habitat in the Bering Sea. He describes the animals and scenery with jealousy-inducing detail. As a side note: My classes (high school English teacher) are currently reading Krakauer’s Into the Wild. I told them about this book today and we had a good time mapping out Weymouth’s journey.From reality stars to scientists to Native elders, each of the the book’s cast of characters provides a unique voice that provides necessary knowledge of The Last Frontier. The life cycle of the salmoninae, living above the Arctic Circle, the cost of substance abuse, the Gold Rush, farmed salmon, the net, the spear, the fish wheel. Much like Rinker Buck’s The Oregon Trail, Weymouth describes a time that has past and the costs of that change. The travelogue is a type of writing that attracts the fellow adventurer and the envious spectator. My hope is that this book will create awareness of this cause and commit both parties to action. Kings of the Yukon serves as a homage to the animals, the people, the land, and the journey. The paddle is the only way this story could have been written. Excellent job Mr. Weymouth.Thank you to NetGalley, Little, Brown, and Co., and Adam Weymouth for the advanced copy for review.
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  • Eleanor
    January 1, 1970
    The Yukon River in Alaska is home to the king salmon, a fish that has been commercially hunted to the point of absolute peril and which also forms a large part of the religious and cultural life of the indigenous folk of both Alaska and Canada. (Adam Weymouth, in Kings of the Yukon, uses the words "Indian" and "Eskimo" to distinguish between ethnic groups which are not differentiated by catch-all terms like "First Nations" or "indigenous peoples". He notes, also, that many Alaskan indigenes use The Yukon River in Alaska is home to the king salmon, a fish that has been commercially hunted to the point of absolute peril and which also forms a large part of the religious and cultural life of the indigenous folk of both Alaska and Canada. (Adam Weymouth, in Kings of the Yukon, uses the words "Indian" and "Eskimo" to distinguish between ethnic groups which are not differentiated by catch-all terms like "First Nations" or "indigenous peoples". He notes, also, that many Alaskan indigenes use "Indian" or "Eskimo" themselves. It never particularly stands out, or at least it didn't to me, and never appears to be used in disrespect.) This book is an account of a voyage made down this enormous river in a canoe, over the course of several months, on the trail of king salmon.Weymouth's nature writing, particularly his descriptions of river, forest, and wildlife encounters, is reminiscent of John McPhee's extraordinary Alaska travelogue Coming Into the Country. So is his journalistic eye: his encounters with the people who live and work along the Yukon are reported with a sense of interested detachment (except for a scene in which Weymouth and his partner Ulli Mattson encounter some young people at a fishing camp who seem particularly threatening; the intrusion of authorial fear is jarring enough that the reader understands how truly serious the situation seems.) The real star of the book is, of course, the king salmon, a mysterious creature that engages in behaviour unlike any other animal on earth, that has supported whole civilisations on its back. It is now the cheapest fish you can get in a supermarket. Weymouth focuses on the differences between commercial and subsistence fishing, demonstrating how enforced Department of Fish and Game quotas disproportionately affect subsistence fishers and do little to discourage big commercial businesses. He also writes with some wonder on the weird biology of the king salmon, its restlessness and relentless homing instinct, and how hatcheries are at best a partial solution to the problem of a shrinking population. Most importantly, though, Kings of the Yukon is intensely readable: a mix of adventure and natural history with a dollop of sociology. Like  The Feather Thief , it is immensely worth your time.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    Visited Alaska and the Yukon last summer. To be able to read about the places that we visited was a delightful experience, able to remember the scenery and people who make their homes along the Yukon. If you are planning a trip, read the book as you travel, you won't regret it. Well written book.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    Kings of the Yukon is a nonfiction book that defies classification. It serves several purposes: it chronicles the author's trip traversing the Yukon; follows the salmon's journey with stops along the way at places that count or propigate them as well as places where people catch them or factories process them; tells of the history of the salmon and the folk who depend on them for food and livelihood; and looks at the science and folk wisdom surrounding the many viewpoints on the reasons for the Kings of the Yukon is a nonfiction book that defies classification. It serves several purposes: it chronicles the author's trip traversing the Yukon; follows the salmon's journey with stops along the way at places that count or propigate them as well as places where people catch them or factories process them; tells of the history of the salmon and the folk who depend on them for food and livelihood; and looks at the science and folk wisdom surrounding the many viewpoints on the reasons for the decline of the King Salmon including remedies being tried and how the various factions feel about them. Some or all of that may appeal to you.Adam Weymouth beautifully describes the land in places in gorgeous detail. He makes the threat of bears palpable. These were the most enjoyable parts for me. In other places you are immersed in how gross the smelly, gorey mess surrounding the salmon fishing lifestyle is. It took me back to the smells of the fish cleaning stations in Pulaski, NY and the wooded areas surrounding the area before it was mandantory to have the salmon cleaned and disposed of by someone else. Parts read like On the Road as Adam meets various folks and relates what their life is like, telling of the personal histories that lead them to their current situation. Tradition is valued by many he met along the way as well as the unquestionable hospitality they show to strangers. There are folk tales and sad stories of how the government separated children from their parents so they would forget the old ways. Everywhere people relate how fantastic the salmon harvests were in the past. Adam tells of his investigation into why the change may have happened. He talked to various scientists and officials who crunch the numbers or study climate change. All viewpoints appear to be represented as how the limits affect the people, industries and salmon populations are discussed. If some of this seems like something you would like to read about, give it a try. The author did not sanitize the stories, so you experience the language and sordid details just as he did. That said, this is not a book for children or anyone who would be put off by that sort of reality. (I received a paperback version of this book in a goodreads giveaway.)
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  • Peter Kralka
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting narrative of life on the Yukon River told by someone who paddled its entire length in a canoe. Vivid descriptions of the ever changing landscape, visits and discussions with the peoples who live on the river banks and their ways of life. The peoples lives historically revolved around the Chinook or King salmon and greed by both national and foreign companies have decimated the salmon populations which in turn greatly affected the peoples of the Yukon River. Government actions to p An interesting narrative of life on the Yukon River told by someone who paddled its entire length in a canoe. Vivid descriptions of the ever changing landscape, visits and discussions with the peoples who live on the river banks and their ways of life. The peoples lives historically revolved around the Chinook or King salmon and greed by both national and foreign companies have decimated the salmon populations which in turn greatly affected the peoples of the Yukon River. Government actions to preserve the fishery came far too late resulting in extreme measures to aid fish stock recovery and caused hardships for the native peoples especially those who lived far up river.
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  • Bart
    January 1, 1970
    Adam Weymouth recounts a 2000-mile canoe trip, from the upstream end of the Yukon River’s tributaries to its sprawling delta on Alaska’s Bering Sea coast. As a travel tale the book is first-rate. But Weymouth’s keen interest in the Chinook – aka King – Salmon, and his listening skills when he meets dozens of river-dwellers whose cultures have been shaped by the migrations of this fish, combine to fascinating, awe-inspiring, and often heart-breaking effect.Full review at:https://anoutsidechance.c Adam Weymouth recounts a 2000-mile canoe trip, from the upstream end of the Yukon River’s tributaries to its sprawling delta on Alaska’s Bering Sea coast. As a travel tale the book is first-rate. But Weymouth’s keen interest in the Chinook – aka King – Salmon, and his listening skills when he meets dozens of river-dwellers whose cultures have been shaped by the migrations of this fish, combine to fascinating, awe-inspiring, and often heart-breaking effect.Full review at:https://anoutsidechance.com/2018/05/2...
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  • Elaine Burnes
    January 1, 1970
    You can’t write about nature these days without being depressing. In Kings of the Yukon Weymouth points out all the ways we are destroying not just the salmon but the entire Arctic. Sigh. But excellent.
  • Stephen Richardson
    January 1, 1970
    Only seems appropriate as I'll be canoeing 200+ miles down the Yukon this summer.Slightly disappointing. Don't worry Jack London, Pierre Berton, or Robert Service you're in no danger.
  • KarnagesMistress
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. It is an advance reading copy.
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