Book Review of Young Men and Fire

Young Men and Fire
reviewed Amazing epic of history, science and storytelling on + 8 more book reviews


I originally ordered this book for my husband, a forest firefighter (not smokejumper) in his youth. I was captivated by not only the tragic story of the 1949 Mann Gulch fire, and Maclean's efforts to learn what were the physical causes of its ferocity, but his narrative style that casts it as a Homeric epic. Once you get the flick that his unusual writing style is to bring this simple tragedy to a greater level, and recalling his background as woodsman and literature professor, it all makes sense.

I read this book almost annually. I'm currently listening to it on audio-book (CD) read by his son. I'm reminded again how the language really elevates this tale to something greater.

I'm haunted by the tale and the telling. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.