Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Loop

This is a book I picked up only because of the fact that I had read two of his other books and had quite enjoyed them (especially The Smoke Jumper).

The Loop by Nicholas Evans
First published by Bantam Press in 1998 (this edition by Sphere in 2007)

Description: (altered a little from Goodreads)
A pack of wolves makes a sudden savage return to the Rocky Mountain ranching town of Hope, Montana, where a century earlier they were slaughtered by the thousands. Now shielded by law as an endangered species, they reawaken an ancient hatred that will tear a family, and ultimately the town, apart.
At the center of the storm is Helen Ross, a twenty-nine-year-old wolf biologist sent alone into the hostile countryside to protect the wolves from those who seek to destroy them.
The Loop charts her struggle, and her dangerous love affair with the son of her most powerful opponent, the brutal and charismatic rancher Buck Calder.
A haunting exploration of man's conflict with nature and the wild within himself, an epic story of deadly passions and redemptive love set against the grandeur of the American West, The Loop is destined to capture the hearts and imaginations of readers everywhere.

I bought this book in the summer and hadn't picked it up until now. Even still, I was quite excited to start reading it. I had enjoyed the other two books by Nicholas Evans that I have read (The Horse Whisperer and The Smoke Jumper) and I wanted to read another one of his books.

This book revolves around the wolves. There have been sightings of wolves (and kills) near the small town of Hope in Montana. The ranchers' first instinct is to kill them all, so that the wolves don't kill their cattle. But (as it is only logical) the wolves are protected by laws of the American Government, as they are regarded as endangered species. Thus, Helen enters the picture. She is a biologist, who is especially trained in capturing and marking wolves, who she then lets go back into the wild (with a tracker on them, so she can monitor them). Obviously, the ranchers of Hope want her gone. There is a conflict of interests.

The book began in a very nice way. It wasn't a pleasant start, but it was a very nice way to introduce the problem with the wolves. How the whole story came to be. It shows how things can be blown out of proportion and how big a part the media can play in all that (yes, that's only in the first few chapters).

Reading on, I have to say that I found it rather difficult to get into the book during the day, but I just kept on reading and reading right before I went to bed (which resulted in my going to sleep at absurd hours...). I don't know why, really... That has never happened before, I don't think.. The book was rather long (a little less than 500 - very full - pages) and it did drone out at some parts, but I do understand that certain 'dronings' were necessary so as to properly introduce certain characters and explain why they acted the way they acted.

All of the characters were very thoroughly presented. Their stories before the time of the book are told within the narrative, not as separate chapters, making it seem as though they are reliving their memories in the present. It is a book that is very well written, but I can't say I loved it. I honestly hated Buck Calder! He is everything a woman does not want in a man, but nearly every girl in the book seemed to fall for him on some way. But Luke I just loved. Even from the description he sounded gorgeous. Regardless of that, he was such a nice person. Genuinely nice, despite having that idiot Buck Calder for a father.

I have a question to ask here: why are all his books set in Montana?? It doesn't bother me, but it does puzzle me...

I have to say, I don't think this is a very good review. It hasn't been easy to find things to write about the book. It's the first review that I can't find the right words to express what I think. Sorry about that.

Rating: 6/10 (Just a note: I would definitely recommend reading this - if you don't mind reading long books - but it's getting a 6 because of the fact that I found it inferior to The Smoke Jumper, which I remember loving when I read it quite a few years ago)

Nicholas Evans is a British journalist and author. He studied law at Oxford University, but worked as a journalist for three years after his graduation. He then moved on to making films for television, first by producing films about politics and then, with arts documentaries.
In 1993, he met a blacksmith somewhere in England who told him about horse whisperers - people who have the ability to heal traumatised horses. So, in 1995 he published The Horse Whisperer, the book is most well known for. (Probably because of the film starring Robert Redford).
His books include:

The Horse Whisperer
The Smoke Jumper
The Divide
 And his latest novel:
The Brave
If you want to find out more about Nicholas Evans and his books, you can click on the links under the pictures or follow these links here:

Counts as Book #25 in my 100 Books In A Year Challenge and as Book #12 in my British Books Challenge 2011!
Yay!! I've completed the British Book Challenge! I will just keep on reading books by British authors, anyway!

1 comment:

  1. I think it is a very good review and that you are too critical of it! I certainly enjoyed reading it. I am going through the same thing with a book at the moment. I can't be bothered to pick it up but once I do, I love it and don't want to stop reading. It's really weird but my book is also very long so I guess it makes me feel like it will take a long time to finish.

    I have no idea why he sets his books in Montana. Maybe it is a place he knows well or maybe he has a personal interest in the lanscape.


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