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Beyond the Trees

A Journey Alone Across Canada's Arctic
Written by: Adam Shoalts
Narrated by: Adam Shoalts
Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (98 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A mesmerizing odyssey through an unforgiving landscape, and the rich history it reveals.

What does it mean to explore and confront the unknown? Beyond the Trees recounts Adam Shoalts's epic, never-before-attempted solo crossing of Canada's mainland Arctic in a single season. It's also a multilayered story that weaves the narrative of Shoalts's journey into accounts of other adventurers, explorers, First Nations, fur traders, dreamers, eccentrics, and bush pilots to create an unforgettable tale of adventure and exploration. 

Interspersed with his stories of navigating mazes of shifting ice floes, facing down snarling bears and galloping musk-ox, and portaging along knife-edge cliffs above furious rapids, are the fascinating legends, historic persons, and incredible anecdotes that make up the lore of the North. They include the saga of the Mad Trapper, a man whose feats of endurance and ingenuity were almost as legendary as his violent end; the story of the controversial Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a redoubtable dreamer but also one who was blamed for the deaths of his companions; the tale of the "Lost Patrol" of the Mounties who perished in a blinding blizzard; the formidable Tyrell brothers who together charted much of Canada's North; the eerie ruins of Fort Confidence that was built nearly two centuries ago on Great Bear Lake; and the decaying remnants of gold prospector David Douglas's cabin overlooking the Dease River. The North is indeed a perilous place. Also told in the book is the tragedy of John Hornby and his two companions who starved to death on the banks of the Thelon River; their bones are still resting just above the riverbank in shallow graves. 

Beyond the Trees also discusses folklore about wendigoes, strange lights, and the mystery of Angikuni Lake, where in 1930 an entire Inuit camp supposedly vanished without a trace. These mysteries and wonders are Shoalts's only companions as he sets out on his own path through the adventure of a lifetime.

©2019 Adam Shoalts (P)2019 Allen Lane

What the critics say

Shortlisted for the 2020 Louise de Kiriline Lawrence Award for Nonfiction 

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What listeners say about Beyond the Trees

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

What an experience!

Adam is a adventurer, passionate about Canada and a thrill seeker. I am jealous of the journey he was able to complete across Canada's Arctic. I would recommend this novel to anyone who needs inspiration for nature and the beauty that's in front of you once you put your phone down. I can't wait to hear Adam speak at the event on Friday! Thanks for taking your readers along on your Journey!

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feels like retelling the same event

I feel.like I listened to the same event retold 4 or 5 times. just didn't engage me at all

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A compelling adventure!

An astounding solo adventure and challenge, igniting wonder and appreciation for this arctic journey and the joy of isolation, nature, wildlife and endurance. The author provides a glorious perspective of Canada that so few have the opportunity to experience.

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Loved every minute of it!

If you want a real-life story within the wild that's both captivating and has a sense of humour, definitely check out this book. The author narrates it perfectly so it keeps you on the edge of your chair instead of falling asleep.

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Exhausting but intriguing story.

The author described day after day of gruelling, at least to most mortals, his trip alone for months. The dangerous conditions and his creative ways to deal with them were inspiring to read. Amazing adventure very few will experience, but I’m glad he wrote about it for us mortals to experience through his perspective.

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Amazing adventure

Such a great adventure. Well narrated. Listened to it in one sitting. Look forward to hearing about the next great adventure.

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Awe Inspiring

Few of us "common" adventurers can even come close to the magnitude of this venture. With determination and purpose, Adam surpasses many challenges. I could only hope that some day we may hear of more detail about this and future explorations. As this book is narrated by the author, it makes the journey of listening even more personal.

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Fascination story

I loved listening to Adam's story. It is truly impressive what he accomplished. I just watched the film, so it was interesting to see the locations, but I thought his words in the book captured it best. Great book!

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Awesome!!

What an amazing adventure. There were so many moments where things could have went bad fast. Anyone who loves adventure should read this account from the Canadian North. I also loved the added history. Great book, thank you.

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WOW

loved this book, can't wait to get out and paddle! amaizing story. so much determination and drive to achieve a goal.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-07-26

Great Adventure Story

Amazingly told, put you right there, the details aren’t overwhelming, this listen kept me transfixed, from chapter to chapter, one of my Favorites on Audible so far, at nearly 60 plus Tittles, Audiitor is believable and Genuine who I believe is the Author, Great armchair Adventurer, and the remote places visited breathtaking A+

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  • gerry
  • 2020-07-08

Fantastic and anxious ride

This book keep me on the edge of my seat, like he is the author so you know he makes it but like how the EFF does one man, one young man, do that SOLO!!!! Enjoy this book and find out I mean, now I believe it’s time for me to Katie his advice and book a back woods camping trip. Thank you Adam for bringing me into this wild ride!

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  • Brickyard
  • 2020-06-24

Adam's a badass and doesn't know it

Adams a badass his adventures are insane. the trips he takes are never ending not only is adam a beast physically his mental aspect is second to none.