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Literature & Fiction

The Loop - Nicholas Evans

The Loop

Author: Nicholas Evans
Book title: The Loop
ISBN: 0552144959
ISBN13: 978-0552144957
Publisher: Transworld Pub; New Ed edition (August 1999)
Language: English
Category: Contemporary
Rating: 4.5/5
Votes: 422
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Helen Ross is a 29-year-old biologist, sent into a hostile place to protect the wolves from those who seek to destroy them. She struggles for survival and for self-esteem, embarking on a love affair with the 18-year-old son of her most powerful opponent, brutal and charismatic rancher, Buck Calder.
Reviews: (7)
Im not usually a big reader but this book came highly recommended by a native Montanan on a topic of interest to me. I loved and hated this book at the same time. The brutality and ignorance of man is sometimes hauntingly disturbing, and portrayed well in this story. The author pretty well nailed his details both on wolf behavior and sadly on many (but certainly not all) westerners. Having spent much time in Montana myself I couldn't help wondering was this a true story with names changed? or researched fiction? Sadly in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho there is no shortage of the character types described in the book.

The biggest surprise in the book for me was not the portrayal of ranchers, environmentalist, or wolves. It was the trapper that caught me off guard. You see, my father was a similar type person who had a similar, fitting end. Who could have guessed there would be more than one of those!
Stories about wolves, like the tales of centuries past, have suffered the animal to a yoke of unforgiving malevolence into a shroud of deepening despise. No animal on Earth has incurred the pen of cruelty, nor has any creature endured the cuts of loathsome fiction as much as the gray wolf. Now, Nicholas Evans, in his masterful novel, The Loop, turns the reader’s attention toward the only animal with rightful ownership of hate itself: Man.
Buck Calder, a philandering, yet influential rancher and his cattleman cronies exemplify the purest of evil and ignorance towards the beleaguered canids. Helen Ross, a biologist, commissioned to save the wolves from the hostility of ranchers’ detestation, finds herself embroiled in a hopeless fight against the townsfolk of Hope Montana with her biggest ally and love, Luke, the shy, unassuming son of the ruthless Buck Calder.
Nicholas Evans fleshes out his characters so well that I am at times wishing for less detail of their backgrounds so I may get on with his storyline. Regrettably, this is my bad, not Mr. Evans’, for his knowledge of wolf behavior allows us to see the canid character as it truly is: a creature of high intelligence, with devotion to its young and a capacity for love and compassion well beyond all animals below the primates.
As a writer, I found the brutal cruelty of Man toward the wolf in The Loop difficult to read, much less fathom, but there is more honest truth written here than most wolf antagonists dare speak of. Much a reflection of us, Evans depicts the gray wolf more realistically than in any book of fiction, save my novel Cry Wolf, Cry.
Nicholas Evans is an extraordinarily gifted writer in that his characterizations are perfection itself. He elicits the emotions of the reader, as well as moving the story along at a captivating pace. This book compares favorably with his THE HORSE WHISPERER. Its setting in cattle country near national parks where wolves are being loosed in hopes of promoting their preservation, and his development of complex relationships between people and wolves, people and people, is phenomenal. After reading this, I promptly ordered (in hardback) his THE SMOKE JUMPER and THE DIVIDE, both of which are equally fantastic reading. I understand THE SMOKE JUMPER is going to be made into a movie.
In my opinion, all of Mr. Nichols's books were really great reads, but "The Loop" was tops. A story you will not soon forget and so profound. I highly recommend this book to all.
Fascinating story on many levels. The book stayed with me. I have recommended The Loop to several people. Highly recommend.
Either Nicholas is brilliantly weaving a romance into very well researched subject matter (wolves, smoke jumpers, etc) or the reverse. What he produces with his excellent and intelligent writing is superb and impossible to put down. My writing this about "The Loop" so reminds me of what a good experience it was to read that I'm upping my rating from 4 to 5 stars.
A great read. I've never been disappointed by Nicholas Evans. Emotionally taxing story.
The Loop was an excellent book. It had been recommended to me by a coworker for many years and I finally purchased it. The intersecting story lines provide for a consistent good read, without any dull moments whatsoever. I am a history buff and the discussion of the history of the wolves and their land was fascinating to me. I highly recommend this book.
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