Thursday, May 1, 2008

First reviews, from LibraryThing

The first reviews of Jorgy are out! Two readers at LibraryThing have given the book four stars. Here's the the most recent, from MrsLee:
I was very pleased with this book. The cover is attractive and the size of the book is comfortable, as well as allowing the print to be comfortably readable. It included a great map illustration which made Jorgy’s travels come alive. Many photos, interesting captions and quotes from those who knew him, as well as an informative glossary and appendix made for a fuller picture of this man’s life. Having interviewed the elderly to try to write their memories down, I know how difficult it can be to get them to talk about themselves, that is why the notes from those who worked with and knew Holger Jorgensen are so helpful. Jean Lester did a good job of capturing Jorgy’s calm, dry, no-nonsense style of speaking and his quiet humor.

Aviation fans would probably enjoy this book even more than I did; it is filled with details of the flights and planes used in the bush of Alaska in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. It also tells much of the life of survival in Alaska villages in those years. There are many interesting anecdotes which made it an easy read. Holger faced and overcame tragedy, prejudice and hardship. He quietly, or not so quietly, did what was right and did his best. It is uplifting to read about such a man, and I felt by the end of this book that I had met a fine specimen of the human race.
The second reviewer, apparently a pilot, also enjoyed the book:
I sailed through this thoroughly enjoyable and well-told story of the life of native Alaskan bush pilot Holger Jorgensen, as told to Jean Lester. His description of Alaska and village life when he was growing up in the 1930s and 40s is fascinating by itself. Jorgensen describes his ascent through the ranks as a pilot, along with the discrimination he faced as a native. He also tells how the training, guidance and equal treatment he received from those who saw him only as a pilot - not a native pilot - helped him to achieve his goal to be the best pilot he could. I found the descriptions of flights, airports (or sometimes just spots to land) and piloting strategies and techniques to be particularly instructive, even if I never fly in Alaska. This is a handsome book, with photographs and a nice format.

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