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Review of The Last Hunter, a Book by Will Weaver

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

By

The last Hunter book by Will Weaver

The Last Hunter book by Will Weaver

Photo courtesy of Borealis Books

The Bottom Line

"The Last Hunter" follows the author's family history and heritage from immigration through the present day, including some time in South Dakota and much time in rural Minnesota. We learn of his gruff-but-loving father, and as the book progresses we see more and more how hunting was the common ground that helped glue father and son together.

Sadly, the author's own children do not hunt - and along the way, his own future in hunting is called into doubt - and thus a once-strong family tradition begins to wilt and wither in the cold, heartless passage of time.

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Pros

  • Well-written and engaging.
  • Contains an intimate and honest look at the author's family and history.
  • Hunting is honored in this book, including an honest look at family traditions and close calls.
  • I found all of it, including the portions about hunting, to be interesting and enjoyable.

Cons

  • Contains much content that's not about hunting.
  • Skips around chronologically, which can be off-putting.
  • Contains a small amount of coarse language.

Description

  • "The Last Hunter, an American Family Album" is a book by Will Weaver.
  • Hardcover, ISBN 978-0-87351-776-8. List price $24.95; available for less from multiple sources. 177 pages.
  • This book follows the author's family history from his ancestors' immigration to the present day.
  • His mother's side of the family never hunted, but on his father's side the ties to the land were very strong.
  • As he drifted away from the land, so did the family heritage: his daughter and son would not become hunters.
  • Engaging and enjoyable - and plainly honest, which scores a lot of points in my book.

Guide Review - Review of The Last Hunter, a Book by Will Weaver

"The Last Hunter," a small but poignant book about life in rural Minnesota and how hunting was inextricably tied to it, was certainly enjoyable reading for me, though I was put off by a few small things.

Chief among my complaints is the lack of chronological order in the book. For example, one may read at different times about the author's professional life, then college, then high school. The book as a whole is a journey through time, beginning in the fairly far-flung past and ending in the present day, but along the path connecting past and present, it tends to wander.

The author certainly understands hunting. One of the first lines I noted in this book is as follows: "In hunting, it nearly always pays to wait just a bit longer." How true. This is a basic truth of hunting that many modern hunters don't always learn - at least, not easily. That's not the only bit of hunting wisdom contained therein.

This book doesn't contain very much coarse language, but does include some. While some was surely necessary to retain the flavor of past happenings and personalities, some of it could have been easily avoided. I almost feel as if it was included just to make the book a little more earthy. Hmmmm.

All in all, though, this book is worth a read for anyone who's ever hunted, admired hunting, been curious about hunting, enjoyed a strong family bond centered around hunting, lost touch with the past, or mourned the loss of a cherished family heritage.

- Russ Chastain

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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