Where to purchase:
The Great Book of Alaska: The Crazy History of Alaska with Amazing Random Facts & Trivia (A Trivia Nerds Guide to the History of the United States) by Bill O'Neill and narrated by Derek Newman is a fun listen! I’d recommend (with some caution- see below) if you are looking to expand your knowledge, wanting something interesting to pass the time on a road trip, or looking for something new.
Some examples of what to expect: permafrost, why there is no professional sports team, gold mining, weird laws (it’s illegal to push a moose from a plane), why prices for food and gas are more expensive, pizza deliver via airplane, hunting, igloos, the real purpose behind kunik, famous people born in Alaska, the most climbed mountain, what is a reindeer dog, kayak origin, powdered beer, the Alaska Bushman, Alaska Bermuda Triangle, and plenty more! At the end of each chapter there is a quiz.
The narrator, Derek Newman, did an awesome job! I would listen to another book by him.
~A brief description~
1) Title, author, and narrator (18 seconds).
2) Introduction. Approximately 3 minutes.
3) Alaska’s History and Random Facts. Approximately 39 minutes.
4) Alaska’s “Eskimos”: The Natives, and Their Culture. Approximately 38 minutes.
5) Alaska’s Pop Culture and Sports. Approximately 35 minutes.
6) Facts About Alaska’s Attractions. Approximately 31 minutes.
7) Alaska’s Inventions, Ideas, and More. Approximately19 minutes.
8) Alaska’s Biggest Haunts, Supernatural, and Other Weird Facts. Approximately 38 minutes.
9) Conclusion (title, author, narrator, and publisher- 27 seconds).
Regarding the bad reviews which list three things specifically (you can decide if they are inaccurate or not): 1) Christopher McCandless- The author discusses the movie Into the Wild and how it’s one of the better known movies that have been filmed in Alaska, it was based off a book, and mentions Christopher traveled across North America making it to Alaska, had planned to live off the land, “The Magic Bus”, and McCandless’s death and the controversy surrounding it. 2) Bristol Palin and her TV show Life’s a Tripp- the author says “The show followed Bristol Palin, who was then new teen mother of Tripp, as she relocated to Los Angeles from Alaska and then back to Alaska.” 3) Jerry Lee Lewis song- the author talks about songs that have been written about Alaska, “some of these include “When It’s Springtime in Alaska” by Johnny Horton, “North to Alaska” by Jerry Lee Lewis, and...” This fact is the one I have a problem with as Johnny Horton originally recorded the song. Whether or not it is an error on the author or editor, it should be fixed.
Parental guidance/trigger warnings: talk of serial killers, war, pipeline controversies, mention of Alaska being the rape capital of the USA, derogatory term used multiple times (Eskimo)- the history and explanation of why it is derogatory, mention of sex life (tribal traditions). No swearing.
*I was given a free review copy of the audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book!
Where to find the author: Bill O'Neill