Alone Against The North: An Expedition Into The Unknown by Adam ShoaltsAlone Against The North: An Expedition Into The Unknown by Adam Shoalts

Alone Against The North: An Expedition Into The Unknown

byAdam Shoalts

Paperback | May 10, 2016

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Winner of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario's 2016 Young Authors Award 
Winner of the 2017 Louise de Kiriline Award for Nonfiction

The age of exploration is not over.

When Adam Shoalts ventured into the largest unexplored wilderness on the planet, he hoped to set foot where no one had ever gone before. What he discovered surprised even him.

Shoalts was no stranger to the wilderness. He had hacked his way through jungles and swamp, had stared down polar bears and climbed mountains. But one spot on the map called out to him irresistibly: the Hudson Bay Lowlands, a trackless expanse of muskeg and lonely rivers, caribou and wolf—an Amazon of the north, parts of which to this day remain unexplored. 

Cutting through this forbidding landscape is a river no explorer, trapper, or canoeist had left any record of paddling. It was this river that Shoalts was obsessively determined to explore. 

It took him several attempts, and years of research. But finally, alone, he found the headwaters of the mysterious river. He believed he had discovered what he had set out to find. But the adventure had just begun. Unexpected dangers awaited him downstream.
Gripping and often poetic, Alone Against the North is a classic adventure story of single-minded obsession, physical hardship, and the restless sense of wonder that every explorer has in common.
But what does exploration mean in an age when satellite imagery of even the remotest corner of the planet is available to anyone with a phone? Is there anything left to explore?
What Shoalts discovered as he paddled downriver was a series of unmapped waterfalls that could easily have killed him. Just as astonishing was the media reaction when he got back to civilization. He was crowned “Canada’s Indiana Jones” and appeared on morning television. He was feted by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and congratulated by the Governor General. People were enthralled by Shoalts’s proof that the world is bigger than we think.
Shoalts’s story makes it clear that the world can become known only by getting out of our cars and armchairs, and setting out into the unknown, where every step is different from the one before, and something you may never have imagined lies around the next curve in the river.                                             

ADAM SHOALTS, called "Canada's Indiana Jones" by the Toronto Star, has proven that the age of exploration is far from over. His expeditions into Canada's wilderness have generated new geographic knowledge and garnered international headlines. Focusing on the vast Hudson Bay Lowlands, this area, one and a half times larger than the Unit...
Title:Alone Against The North: An Expedition Into The UnknownFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.99 × 5.16 × 0.82 inPublished:May 10, 2016Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:014319397X

ISBN - 13:9780143193975

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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointing I thought I would love this book. I just couldn't. I found him arrogant, naive and self absorbed. I had to battle to get through it.
Date published: 2018-10-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Northern Adventure What a fantastic tale of exploring Canada's North. Shoalts' passion shines in his writing. Engaging, intelligent, and educational, this is for anyone who wants to go on a wilderness adventure without leaving the comfort of your favourite chair. I LOVED this book!!
Date published: 2018-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read One of my favourite non fiction books of all time. Shoalts really brings the adventure seekers out of all of us with this incredible read!
Date published: 2018-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Alone Against the North As someone who loves hiking but doesn't quite have the nerve to really venture into the unknown, I found this book exciting and interesting.
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well worth my money! Very interesting and entertaining book. The author also includes small stories of Canadian history throughout the book to go along with his own personal journey. Recommend for anybody interested in Canadian wilderness exploration and the great Canadian outdoors!
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from For the mountain man to the weekend canoeist! Shoalts has a knack for bringing out the kid adventurer in us all. He tells the gripping tale of man vs. nature while simultaneously providing insight into Canada's rich historic and natural past. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys nature and good tale of exploration!
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A nature lover's dream This book literally made me want to quit my job, sell almost everything and go packing through the woods looking for uncharted territory. Adam Shoalts does what a lot of us outdoors people only wish we could do and he does a superb job of writing about his adventures and making you feel like you're right alongside him the whole way. 10/10, fun and education book.
Date published: 2017-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read!! I purchased this book for my husband as a Christmas gift as he loves, adventure, history and learning of the outdoors and he was amazed at how well put together the story was!!
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read!! great gift for my husband and mother-in-law as they are both history and adventure fans!!
Date published: 2017-07-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Pretentious. This is an exciting adventure story about the exploration of a nameless river in Canada's north. But having said that, I'm honestly surprised a canoe could support this guy's head. The book reads like one big ego trip.The author fancies himself a gritty explorer, and repeatedly decries the "softness" of modern society. He builds himself up as a beacon of light in a world full of "slacker" millennials. As a young reader it felt patronizing. Additionally, his heroes are explorers of a colonial past, and his veneration of these men and their ideals is archaic and possibly troubling.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating. A great read! The story of his adventure was captivating and I did not want the book to end. Would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2017-05-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Inspiring Although this is a great read about physical exploration of the uncharted Canadian north, for me it speaks more to the indomitable spirit that drives anyone to conquer their 'unexplored territory'.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just Amazing Just an amazing read, Adam tells all in a great novel about adventure and exploration. Could not put this book down.
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Adventure in the Palm of your Hands A very good book for someone who dreams of adventure and tackling the depths of the Canadian wilderness. Adam Shoalts is a modern day explorer and his writing puts the reader directly into his adventures.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb Adventure! Inspiring true life adventure charting a new river never seen by humans amid dangerous rapids, voracious mosquitoes, bears and deadly rapids. This book opened my eyes to the fact that Canada is one of the last frontiers for modern day exploration. Mr. Shoalts has defined what a modern hero looks like. Great book!
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome!! A thrilling adventure tale about exploration and Canada's vast wilderness. Shoalts isn't the best writer in the world, but he does have a great story to tell!
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Bought this as a gift for my father who is a big outdoorsmen, and he said this book was a great read!! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Homegrown exploration The author is not a great writer, but he tells a very good story. I don't know how he survived some of his more reckless trips. But he did, and has given us a true Canadian adventure tale. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A thrilling and uplifting adventure in Canada's backyard Alone Against the North is definitely a recommended read for anyone looking for an adventure. Adam's story is both educational and uplifting. His ability to overcome the physical and mental barriers during his expeditions will leave you inspired and empowered. There is no greater triumph than achieving a personal goal no matter how big or how small. Alone Against the North serves as a reminder that you can achieve anything if you believe in yourself.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I CAN'T WAIT I just bought this book and can't wait! I read the spine and it sounded perfect! Very Canadian.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fast-Paced, Classic Adventure Story I love books like this; fast-paced, old-fashioned adventure stories but written more like novels with dialogue. It tells the story of the author's journeys exploring and mapping rivers and combines some of the history of previous explorers with the author's own experiences.
Date published: 2016-10-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not a Real Adventurer Brought this book for my husband since he loves outdoor adventure/wilderness books, and to his disappointment he could not finish it. From the perspective of a millennial, it was hard to relate as he complains about science not being real science any longer since it uses fancy technology, then he himself uses this same technology with lots of brand name dropping like an endorsement.
Date published: 2016-09-09

Editorial Reviews

Shortlisted for the 2017 Louise de Kiriline Award for Nonfiction“Rare insight into the heart and mind of an explorer, and the insatiable hunger for the unknown that both inspires and drives one to the edge. Adam Shoalts, twenty-first-century explorer, calmly describes the things he has endured that would drive most people to despair, or even madness.” —Col. Chris Hadfield, astronaut, author, space station commander   “Adam Shoalts is Canada’s Indiana Jones—portaging in the north, dodging scary rapids, plunging into darkness, and surviving to tell the tale.” —Toronto Star    “Adam Shoalts has captured the world’s imagination with his discovery of uncharted waterfalls.” —The Royal Canadian Geographical Society    “Move over Jacques Cartier, Christopher Columbus, and Sir Francis Drake—Adam Shoalts is this century’s explorer.” —The Hamilton Spectator    “Doing things the easy way has never been my style. There is no adventure in that! In Alone Against the North, Adam Shoalts does nothing the easy way. He travels to places no one has ever seen before and as a result comes back with an amazing story. As gripping to read as it must’ve been exciting to live!”—Les Stroud, Survivorman"Explorer Adam Shoalts's remarkable solo foray into the quietly dangerous and mysterious Hudson Bay Lowlands is the kind of incredible effort that fosters legends." —The Winnipeg Free Press  “Anyone who thinks exploration is dead should read this book (Alone Against the North).” —John Geiger, author, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society“While the book is a nail-biting chronicle of polar-bear encounters, brutal swarms of black flies and surprise tumbles down waterfalls, Shoalts also vividly describes an area of the country most of us will never witness.”                                                                                          —Metro (Toronto)  “His narrative is both humourous and honest, and at times intensely gripping.”                                   —St. Catharines Standard   “Keeping up with the Kardashian's? Give me a break. Just try keeping up with this guy…”— Blog“It (Alone Against the North) is a story of brutal perseverance and stamina which few adventurers could equal.” —Life in Quebec Magazine  “Shoalts is a fearless adventurer…Alone Against the North is a rip-roaring yarn.” —The Great Canadian Bucket List“My first impression of Adam Shoalts, author of Alone Against the North, was that he was a wacko…But after delving into his remarkable, page-turner of a book about canoeing Canada’s north, I realized that Shoalts is…a highly intelligent individual.”—Nicolas Ross, What’s Not to Hike? blog“Shoalts’s love of nature, cool professionalism, and almost archaically romantic spirit draw us into his adventures….Shoalts is a knowledgeable and observant guide.”                                           —Quill and Quire