❮BOOKS❯ ✮ The Grizzly Maze: Timothy Treadwell's Fatal Obsession with Alaskan Bears Author Nick Jans – Dolove.info

The Grizzly Maze: Timothy Treadwell's Fatal Obsession with Alaskan Bears In October of 2003 Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard were mauled and killed by a bear in Alaska s Katmai National Park The first half of the book is about Timothy and his obsession with the bears Very little about Amie, just a mention here and there The second half of the book is about myths and statistics of a bear killing or harming humans The whole book touches on activist and researchers alike on what happen that day A audiotape in the only living witness to the horrific day and even it does not tell the whole story Nick Jans does a fair job on keeping the very controversial Timothy story neutral Timothy interactions with the bears were not well received with many and Nick Jans lets those voice be heard Nick Jans also lets the voices of Timothy s supporters to be heard I would have like story about Amie She too was a victim of Timothy s unhealthy obsession Overall a ok book. An interesting look at the man behind Grizzly Diaries Treadwell and Huguenard s deaths must have been horrific and agonizing, and are certainly haunting to anyone who takes the time to really think about them I would not wish such a horrible experience on anyone That said, Treadwell should have seen it come because so many others did He claimed to want to protect bears, yet he put them in danger by making them accustomed to his human presence He wanted to save these bears, but his selfishness caused two of the bears to die I might point out that the bears don t need saving they live in a National Park where hunting is banned Further, the National Park Service was aware of Treadwell s many violations including coming too close to the animals Had the Service acted and put an end to Treadwell s illegal activities, he and Huguenard might still be alive In the end, Treadwell was a psychologically unstable individual who seemed headed for disaster whether by bears or some other means. With A New Introduction On Werner Herzog S Film Entitled The Grizzly Man Timothy Treadwell, Self Styled Bear Whisperer Dared To Live Among The Grizzlies, Seeking To Overturn The Perception Of Them As Dangerously Aggressive Animals When He And His Girlfriend Were Mauled In October , It Created A Media SensationIn The Grizzly Maze, Nick Jans, A Seasoned Outdoor Writer With A Quarter Century Of Experience Writing About Alaska And Bears, Traces Treadwell S Rise From Unknown Waiter In California To Celebrity, Providing A Moving Portrait Of The Man Whose Controversial Ideas And Behavior Earned Him The Scorn Of Hunters, The Adoration Of Animal Lovers And The Skepticism Of Naturalists BACKCOVER Intensely Imagistic, Artfully Controlled Prose Behind The Building Tension Of Treadwell S Path To Oblivion, A Stunning Landscape LoomsNewsday This was a very insightful book often Timothy Treadwell story I was impressed by the detail, especially about the scene of investigation There is much greater detail into the actual attack than the film Grizzly Man offers My favorite part is where the author s friend Joel Bennett comes in This man presents a side of Timothy that the media decides to ignore When all is said and done, Timothy Treadwell will be remembered by those who knew him as caring for the future of bears At least he did something when most people won t or are too busy to bother 173 Bennett also speaks about the tricks of a camera, how Treadwell wasn t always as close to the bears as he seemed That s not to say that Tim didn t break those distance regulations, but I don t think it was the scenario that has become the exaggerated media story used repeatedly I do have a few problems with this book 1 the author s repetition It grew so annoying that I closed the book before reading that final chapter I couldn t stand it any It was the same dragged out, over fluffed material he d been examining throughout the entire book, which brings me to point 2 2 the length of this book is unnecessary, and I think it will put off some readers Because of the author s fluffy sentences, it s difficult to get through the pages It felt I d never reach the end of this book Now, I enjoyed the facts, but some of the sentences felt forced like he was trying to milk the story for everything it s worth and then some 3 i had problems with the author comparing himself to Timothy Isn t he doing the same thing here that Timothy did with the bears That s what it feels like to me Nick Jans bringing himself into the story which is great when he s talking about his personal experiences with bears and what it is like to live in the small and larger cities of Alaska and comparing himself with Timothy is overstepping his boundaries as a nonfiction writer He s never met Timothy He doesn t know Timothy as a person, except from the stories of other people Comparing himself with the bear activist is a step too far and blurs the lines of good writing Yes, it would be quite difficult to separate yourself from the person you ve spent so long writing about and trying to grasp an essence of, but ultimately you do not know the person It d be like me writing a book about Steve Irwin and throwing in a last chapter that said Steve Irwin and I are both animal lovers, but I don t wrestle crocodiles, but this means we have a personal bond No, you have respect for that person Which brings us back to point 2 Why is this book dragging on and on Does anyone agree with me that these last chapters seem forced and redundant Timothy Treadwell born Timothy Dexter is the subject of this book and he is a very complicated individual A self styled bear expert he learns about grizzlies through trial and error, not by formal education, and eventually becomes a television bear celebrity From the very beginning the reader is told that Timothy Treadwell meets his end by being attacked and eaten Many bear scholars are amazed that he survived for so many years The author does a thorough job presenting the pros and cons of his personality. Meh Pretty much a case of too much information I kept thinking the book should be over about now the story s been told what could there bethen I d check the progress bar and I d only be, say, 64% done A book has to be really, really bad for me to put down without finishing, so I stayed the course and kept with it anyway I m a very fast reader typically I ll tear right through a book This one took me forever to finish, though, because my kids kept stealing my iPad to play Minecraft Usually I ll put my foot down on that action if I m really into a book, but with this one I kind of just let it goOne other note it was a bit annoying how the author used all the excess info in the book to continually jump back and forth in time, place, and topic It made for a very disjointed whole the transitions were awkward and left me wondering, Why bother Does this really matter Is he getting paid by the word A very bad use of my 8 This book is actually really bad, without many redeeming features It s based on a series of interviews and a collection of opinions gathered right after Treadwell s death, but it doesn t really give any information you cant find out in seconds on the internet It reads very much like someone trying to make a quick buck after the death of a celebrity Overall this is FAR FAR from any sort of biography, it cruises straight over his life and death with no detail whatsoever There aren t really any personal insights into bears either, if anything this book is a study of the psychology of the main players of Timothy Treadwell s death story The best thing about the book is sadly all its reference to other books I would suggest if you want to know about Timothy Treadwell you should read his own autobiography I wish I had Honestly I have no idea how this book got such good reviews when it went to press Three quotes to illustrate intesting accounts of other peoples work By all accounts, the Kodiak brown bear population is stable and well managed according to regional bear biologist Larry Van Daele, the 160 odd bears taken each year in the refuge the total number of permits is around three hundred are of at least equal size to those killed fifty years earlier a sure sign of the population s health If the cumulative record of all these behavioral experiments is meant to demonstrate the capacity of people and bears to get along, Lynn Rogers has secured his point about black bears In addition to his personal research, the wide flung presence of Ursus americanus in the lower forty eight seems irrefutable evidence that the black bear can indeed manage to live around people quite peaceably and unobtrusively, in fact on the edges of housing developments from Pennsylvania to northern California But when it comes to the big ticket item brown grizzlies the overall result amounts to a negative landslide Authors boring opinionated, American ethnocentric rants Build enough condos and strip malls on the Katmai Coast or in Yellowstone, and kiss the bears good bye Preserve habitat and give them enough room, and they ll be fine There will be no grizzly in the backyard, fence hopping like some mutant squirrel, nibbling a few nuts here and there White tail deer and raccoons, coyotes, and even black bears can make the suburban transition Ursus arctos has demonstrated by its simple absence in such environs that as a species, it can t It might be pretty to think otherwise, but the evidence offers scant room for debate They re creatures that demand landscapes as big and wild as themselves We don t have to look very far to butt against dozens of representations in popular culture some complimentary, some negative, others contradictory, and all somehow true to us Consider Yogi, the comical, happy go lucky thief the fearsome beast on seemingly every other outdoor magazine cover cute and cuddly Teddy solemn and wise Smokey the cloyingly kind Berenstain Bears the lurking, man eating monster in dozens of films To be sure, we re fond of lions, wolves, elephants, apes, and whales, but no single wild creature takes up as much space in our bestial cosmology An anthropologist from another planet would no doubt be intrigued by our preoccupation, and how we garnish our lives with bears Care Bears, Gummi Bears, and the Chicago Bears Gentle Ben and Goldilocks s famous trio the skin rug before the fireplace Our visitor might scratch his head and wonder what sort of god we ve chosen, and why we cast him in such strange and varying light Other peoples opinion on surviving a bear attack basically fight back if they are trying to eat you, but if they are trying to scare you away, play dead, don t run A word on tree climbing Black bears can climb like cats, so they may well follow you up and attempt to drag you down Then you end up fighting the bear in the tree Some brown grizzlies, contrary to popular belief, can climb at least as well as humans if there are limbs to hook with paws But still, many people have avoided bears, especially brown grizzlies, by climbing a nearby spruce or birch How high should you go Don t worry That detail will work itself out, and probably will precisely coincide with the height of your chosen tree Let s go to that next level, rare as it is The bear, instead of backing off, bites or claws you, even knocks you off your feet Here s where some variance of opinion sets in Herrero once preached playing dead for a brown grizzly, fighting back against a black bear For reasons I have yet to pinpoint, I am fascinated with Treadwell His life, his personality, the apparent dichotomy within him, the personal Treadwell, the private Treadwell and the way he reinvented himself Oh yeah, and and all of those BEARS With zero experience, zero training, and zero education in the field, he decided it was his destiny to spend months every year living in a tent amidst grizzly bears, studying them, protecting them, and taking some of the most incredible footage ever shot That he was eventually eaten by one is not a huge surprise That he managed to live among them for thirteen years, however, is a gargantuan surprise The kind of thing that makes it hard for even his staunchest critics to explain And that, I feel, is why both the author and people like me keep going back to his story, looking at it from every angle, trying to dissect it and apply meaning where perhaps none is deserved Some people are bigger than life, and like him or not, Treadwell was one of those people A very well written book about Treadwell and others who choose to lead unique lives in places where nature can be both beautiful and brutal. I read this after seeing the Grizzly Man movie, which I enjoyed for its low key bizzareness, and I enjoyed this book so much than the movie Nick Jans does his best to illuminate the Timothy Treadwell story by providing as much context as possible, including interviews with those who knew and loved him, as well as those who knew and despised him Jans is also an Alaskan nature writer by trade, and it shows in his details and intimacy with the landscape, and especially about the bears he writes about Because really, any book about Treadwell is going to be half about bears anywayI really appreciated the author s willingness to provide many differing opinions about that fatal day and to describe the contents of that audio recording in such gruesome detail I also very much appreciated the last section of the book, which gave education than probably Treadwell gave in his school presentations about North American bears and what to do possibly if attacked by one Treadwell and his associates would have done well to read this section.The entire story fascinates me mostly because there is something primal in my subconsious that really connects with bears, the mystique and awesome, gruesome power of these animals They are so frightening and so magnificent, and I believe Treadwell probably felt these emotions toward them as well Yes, Treadwell does come off as a crazy, conflicted person in this book, but less of an enigma than the Grizzly Man movie portrayed him as We do get a fuller picture of the man I came away also with a deeper appreciation for the untamable fierceness of bears I will always remember the descriptions of the maulings and the further discussions of the psychology of such a bear attack Fearsome Awesome Note I probably did read the new intro to the paper edition, but I don t think it did much to alter my views. The Grizzly Maze Timothy Treadwell s Fatal Obsession With Alaskan Bears by Nick Jans Plume Books 2005 599.764 demonstrates quite clearly that Tim Treadwell was crazy It is also the best of the books about Treadwell Here s a great and very long excerpt from the book Marc Davis is angry Furious might be accurate I d been working down a list of phone interviews a few days after Tim Treadwell s death Park Service officials, Alaska State Troopers, and bear biologists, and getting the sort of polite, helpful, but carefully guarded comments you d expect them to make to a writer who s busily jotting down every word on the record Then I come to Davis, a respected biologist, and all I had to do was mention Tim Treadwell to trigger a spontaneous combustion Actually, it starts out as a slow burn, then escalates into a four alarm wildfire I m reminded of that Three Stooges episode, when every time Moe hears Niagara Falls he goes crazy Anyway, halfway through the call, there s this guy practically leaping through the phone line I can imagine a clenched jaw, spittle flying, and index finger jabbing the air First off, I manage to make the error of framing a question that uses the words Tim Treadwell and bear expert in conjunction Expert Davis sputters Oh pleasewell, whatever Give me a break Call him that if you want to That sets the tone, and it doesn t take too much persuasion to keep Davis talking He has a personal stake in this bears are his life Davis begins his litany, speaking in precisely worded sentences that cut like a hot razor For starters, what Tim Treadwell did was patently illegal His mission was absolutely at odds with the National Park Service s stated goal of preserving and protecting wildlifeThe question to ask is, how do we justify his ignoring rules Davis points out that regulations for Katmai stipulate viewing distances of no less than fifty yards for brown bears, and at least a hundred yards for a family group a female with cubs Both Treadwell s personal videos and professional productions featuring him document distances far closer than the minimum half a football field Then there was that business about the fox that routinely slept in his tent The videos, Davis fumes, are all of outrageous behaviorcompletely unethical from a scientific point of viewa bunch of cheap theatrics, the most absurd, cockamamie crap As Davis pauses for breath, I allow that he s being pretty hard on Treadwell What do you mean I m hard on him Why are we trying to water this down I don t want to disrespect dead people, but what he was doing was illegal and absolutely selfish, he says, and reminds me that all the bears Treadwell named and followed around, including the two bears that were killed following his death, were wildlife belonging to the American people that Treadwell basically hijacked to satisfy his own agenda We have no right, intones Davis, to impose our stupid little personal mission on the universe I offer that with all that field time concentrated in just a few areas, and all that face time with bears, than some field biologists might amass in twenty years, Treadwell must have produced something of value to the scientific community My comment elicits another exasperated snort You show me the scienceThere was no science to himFrom where I stand as a biologist, he made a mockery of the word Davis points out that Treadwell never once submitted material or a paper for peer review an essential component of scientific inquiry The one study proposal Treadwell submitted to the Park Service was rejected, Davis says, due to vague objectives and virtually nonexistent design At the one professional bear conference Treadwell attended, Davis, who was also there, states, He just sat there He did not take part in the debate refused, in fact, to debate anything He had nothing at all to offer except his touchy feely Beanie Baby approachThat might work with fifth graders, but you can t advance a good science agenda on public relations and hyperbole Davis goes on to slam dance Treadwell s get close field methodology He systematically failed to acknowledge basic biological principles, including that of generalized habituation Bears get used to him, they re likely to approach other people, maybe far less experienced, and get in trouble when those people freak out and react inappropriately Katmai is a national park, and Treadwell hung around areas that see a fair to heavy amount of use In light of that fact, his behavior was especially irresponsible Davis also points out that by such close association with the objects of his supposed study, Treadwell was violating a prime biological directive altering the behavior of his subjects, therefore tainting any results and rendering them useless to researchers Not to mention permanently altering the behavior of entire populations of bears Shifting to a different tack, I observe that, if not an expert in scientific terms, Treadwell must have been a pretty astute student of bear behavior to have lasted as long as he did among the bears of Katmai This just serves to set Davis off again This time he s less like a fire than a human bomb You must be joking He was an absolute disaster with bears You ve been to Katmai you ve seen it yourself Those bears are so tolerant, so laid back, you could have a day care center out there No one s ever been killed in Katmai, not ever I don t know how he managed, but he finally goaded a bear into itDid Tim Treadwell teach me anything about bears Year, it was an incredible testament to their patience Look, there are only two reasons, from a mature bear s point of view, why any creature would approach it closely to mate with it or displace it That s the message he was constantly sending bears I want to hump you or I want to chase you off Everyone says he was a nice guy, I say, It s my final card, but by now I m braced for the retort Nice Davis sputters Nice Everybody s nice That s not the point here The measure of a person isn t how nice they are it s what they actually do in the world A bank robber might be pleasant and funny if you meet him on the street Then abruptly, Marc Davis is quiet It seems his quarter has run out Look, he says, I apologize for all this venting I m sorry to dump all this on you This incident has been very, very frustrating from a professional standpoint It s done tremendous damage to our mission of promoting brown bear conservation and education There s lots of anger among professionalsStill, I wouldn t ever say Treadwell deserved what happened to him Nobody I know wished ill on those two It s a tragedy for bears and humans alike The sad part is, these deaths were predicable and totally preventable, Davis sighs We can go right down the list of errors he made It didn t have to happen He was warned and warned and warned and warned Yet he negated, defied, and ignored all common sense For a time, Davis and I wander on different subjects chatting about things I can t remember After the force and emotion of our conversation, the mad scribbling on my part, it s pleasant and relaxed I tell him sincerely that I respect his honesty and forthright attitude, when so many seem to be guarding their words We circle back to the subject at hand, and though his voice is lower, Davis s anger and the force of his conviction carry through The hypocrisy here is what really gripes a lot of usThe internal inconsistencies in his life s stated mission makes you wonder, really, if Treadwell was mentally well Protect bears by putting them at risk Study them by crowding Export widely to the world a book and endless streams of videotape that basically says if you act like I do, then you, too, can be close to bears, which influences people to put bears and themselves at risk Tell thousands and thousands of kids how many forty thousand or fifty that bears are huggable and lovable, then get yourself, your girlfriend, and two bears killed and plastered all over the news What are those kids supposed to think I just don t get it, Davis says, and I can sense his bitter shrug from five hundred miles away Tell me, what kind of legacy is that The Grizzly Maze, quoting biologist Mark Davis, pp 160 163 It s a great book My rating 7.5 10, finished 7 27 11.


About the Author: Nick Jans

Nick Jans is an award winning writer, photographer, and author of numerous books, including The Grizzly Maze He is a contributing editor to Alaska Magazine and has written for Rolling Stone, Backpacker, and the Christian Science Monitor.


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