Immortal North by Tom Stewart
I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair review. While not an apocalyptic, dystopian, or post-apocalyptic novel, I think it’s a perfect fit for our survivalists and preppers!
A novel as heartbreaking as it is immersive, immortal north is a visceral and raw story that will stay with you for a long time.
This book blew me away. It’s perfect if you like survivalism stories, novels set in northern Canada, and the spectacle Only (check my Season 9 reviews every Monday).
He is known as the trapper and his family has a long history in these isolated woods. Now it’s just him and the boy, and he’s going to raise him in the world he knows, the forest, where threats take recognizable forms: harsh climate, peak of predators, encroachment of civilization contrary to their way of life. But for these lands and these spirits with an unstable past, other dangers may lie in wait for the woods where father and son hunt wood. One fateful day, their life in the woods is violently shattered – shouldn’t those responsible for such injustice be held to account? Although at times gritty or even violent, there is a raw grace to these pages like veins of gold running through black quartz.
A story told in captivating wildlife prose, where human skin is no boundary for
the beauty or cruelty of nature. A book strewn with reflective wonder, entirely a story of the deep bonds of human love. The great woods of the Great North in all its naked majesty become an arena for the duel of the forces of life: joy and suffering, good and evil, compassion and revenge. Although the forest is isolated, it can be a story of the wilderness that exists in all of us. A story that will not be easily forgotten because there is something that lives on here. Immortal North.
This book is painfully beautiful. I’d go so far as to compare it to Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy, not just in the highly descriptive style that keeps you both at bay and gets you deep into the character’s psyche, but the harshness of the situation. Although it is not a gory book or even that violent, it is a book full of tension from the very first lines. You read everything with your heart in your throat. Even if you can guess what will happen, it still comes as a shock. In fact, the novel’s ominous tone is so pervasive that the tension is as tight as a bowstring (hunting joke).
I rarely cry while reading books, but I cried twice in this novel. Not just a sniffle, but I had tears rolling down my cheeks. It’s such a raw novel that it forces you to acutely feel the emotions of the characters.
It also contains many intricate and realistic details about off-grid survival. The trapper and the boy (they don’t have names, which reminded me a lot The road– he also shares the same gloom of tone) spend the first three-quarters of the novel living their usual life in the desert. This is intercut with memories the trapper has of his late wife and his experiences growing up. As such, it falls into a semi-stream-of-consciousness style while remaining firmly grounded in the desert. You intimately understand what their life is like, both the challenges and the rewards.
The novel is full of descriptions of the beauty of nature, of hunting, of animals being dressed in the field, and showing the positive aspects of ethical hunting. It also breaches the topic of toxic masculinity in the hunt (which I thought was excellent).
The novel, for lack of a better word, is Deep. It’s honestly the closest thing I’ve read to Hemingway in a modern novel. I absolutely loved it. It’s an amazing piece of literature and I can’t thank the publisher/author enough for the free copy. This end… phew!
I highly recommend it to anyone interested in survivalism, who loves isolation stories, who loves having their heart broken into a million pieces, and anyone who loves the outdoors and the North.
Tired of reading book reviews? Discover our opinions in the form of a video on our Youtube channel!