The Golden Spruce

  • by John Vaillant
  • Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
  • 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A tale of obsession so fierce that a man kills the thing he loves most: The only giant golden spruce on earth.
As vividly as Jon Krakauer put readers on Everest, John Vaillant takes us into the heart of North America's last great forest, where trees grow to eighteen feet in diameter, sunlight never touches the ground, and the chainsaws are always at work.
When a shattered kayak and camping gear are found on an uninhabited island, they reignite a mystery surrounding a shocking act of protest. Five months earlier, logger-turned-activist Grant Hadwin had plunged naked into a river in British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Islands, towing a chainsaw. When his night's work was done, a unique Sitka spruce, 165 feet tall and covered with luminous golden needles, teetered on its stump. Two days later it fell.
The tree, a fascinating puzzle to scientists, was sacred to the Haida, a fierce seafaring tribe based in the Queen Charlottes. Vaillant recounts the bloody history of the Haida and the early fur trade, and provides harrowing details of the logging industry, whose omnivorous violence would claim both Hadwin and the golden spruce.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting story but ??

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I loved John Vaillant's book "the tiger" . This book, does not match up to that book in my opinion. He does a great job telling the story, but it's just too long. There is way to much bashing of the logging industry. I am a tree hugger by nature, I believe trees have spirits, and I liked how he discribed this, the First Nation people, and all the characters. He also does a good job discribing the horrible practices of some in the logging industry. But he keeps going back to bashing the logging industry. Toward the end of the book, I felt like he was trying to manipulate the reader and fill pages. Get his book The Tiger, but wait on this one until it's discounted. Then listen to the first 75% and move on.


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- robert

Fascinating history

This book stretches out a what seems like a simple story of environmental terrorism by giving a ton of background. Going back not just centuries, but providing events in the context of millennia - weaving the disparate facts, opinions, and myths into one fascinating book. While at times the historical diversions seemed a little long winded, especially in the middle of the climactic act, it didn't annoy me & somehow worked. I really enjoyed the thorough exploration and deep history of the story presented in this book. My one complaint about the audio book performance is the mispronunciation of "Weyerhaeuser" - this was grating, plus there's no excuse because they have commercials on the internet where this can be checked.
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- West Seattle Bookworm

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-21-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios