Back Story Alaska

Reflections on the Wild Beauty and Characters of the Alaskan Bush

Non-Fiction - Adventure
172 Pages
Reviewed on 09/10/2018
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Author Biography

Lance Brewer was born and raised in Southern California. Lance played college baseball at UCLA and University of Utah. He was admitted to practice law in California in 1986. Thereafter, Lance became a pilot, gaining ratings as an Airline Transport, Multi-Engine, Seaplane and Helicopter pilot, which served him well in his exploration of Alaska.

In 1994 and 2005, Lance was the chief campaign strategist for Marilyn Brewer for Assembly and Congress, respectively. In 2005, Brewer was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of Advanced Photonix (API), a publicly traded company.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Back Story Alaska: Reflections on the Wild Beauty and Characters of the Alaskan Bush by Lance Brewer is the tale of an exciting Alaskan adventure of a life time. In 1993, Lance Brewer accidentally finds himself traveling to a remote fishing lodge located in Chuit Creek, west of Anchorage, Alaska. A California-based lawyer, he immediately falls in love with bush Alaska and so was planted the seed of this book. Learning how to fly a ski plane and planning to own a float plane to be able to explore Alaska, he goes back and stays at the Bear’s Den Lodge on the Ugashik River where he befriends Ted, Bob and Carol; people that share his fascination for the land, and are building a cabin adjacent to the Bear’s Den. He subsequently establishes Camp Brewer where he also hosts various guests as they share the Alaskan landscape with the bears, eagles, moose, whales and other animals that call Alaska home.

Lance Brewer's Back Story Alaska: Reflections on the Wild Beauty and Characters of the Alaskan Bush is an engaging adventure story that comes with beautiful pictures and heart tugging poems, and as such it is an original piece of work. Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, Lance Brewer shares his Alaskan interaction not only with its awe inspiring landscape, but also with its adventurous people and its varied animals, Alaska's original inhabitants. And as we go through the pages and gasp at man's encounters with nature, we cannot help but reflect on our own personal struggles with hope, survival, love and life itself.

Jack Magnus

Back Story Alaska: Reflections on the Wild Beauty and Characters of the Alaskan Bush is a nonfiction collection of travel memoirs written by Lance Brewer, with photography by Ugashik Bob. Brewer, a California attorney, lucked into his first Alaskan experience when his dad backed out of a ten-day trip he had planned with a number of his colleagues. He offered the spot to his son just a few days before the departure date, and Lance quickly accepted the offer. Brewer loved the outdoors, and the idea of being in the Alaskan bush during the salmon run was a dream come true. Even before he even got near a river or lake, he knew he was going to get his pilot’s license and a float plane. Alaska had gotten into his blood, and it was only going to get better from there. After those first ten days were over, he went home determined to get that license and start planning a second trip north.

Lance Brewer’s Back Story Alaska: Reflections on the Wild Beauty and Characters of the Alaskan Bush is a breathtaking and inspiring book filled with the author’s experiences in Alaska both as a tourist and after building his private fishing retreat. I loved reading about his interactions with the animals he encounters, and found his descriptions of his Campers’ adventures in the bush to be insightful and memorable. Ugashik Bob’s photography is stunning, especially those photographs that show foxes, eagles and bears in their natural environment. Brewer also includes his own inspirational poetry as well as his insights into native traditions in the bush. Anyone who loves the outdoors and has wondered about traveling up North to Alaska should grab this book -- it’s awfully hard to put down once you do. Back Story Alaska: Reflections on the Wild Beauty and Characters of the Alaskan Bush is most highly recommended.

Gisela Dixon

Back Story Alaska: Reflections on the Wild Beauty and Characters of the Alaskan Bush by Lance Brewer is a non-fiction travel memoir and adventure book based on Lance’s times and experiences in the Alaskan bush. In Back Story Alaska, Lance takes us through his very first trip to Alaska from California and how it hooked him for life. Over time, he made several regular trips to Alaska, being drawn to its beauty, the ruggedness, the remoteness, and the natural, free wildlife in abundance in addition to, of course, enjoying the outdoors, hunting, fishing, etc. Lance details the people he meets and forms lifelong friendships with, his own motivation for learning to fly, operating his own lodging, transportation, etc. while truly living off the land for some part of the year, getting a close up look at the Iditarod, a unique event native to Alaska, his hunting and fishing adventures, and much more.

Back Story Alaska: Reflections on the Wild Beauty and Characters of the Alaskan Bush is a good book that depicts the untouched natural beauty of Alaska. It is hard to believe the entire earth was once a remotely populated place filled with natural life, but in today’s world, places like Alaska are the last few truly remote places left away from the grip of human technology and civilization. I enjoyed reading about Lance’s adventures in the wild and more about the history of Alaska, and his dry, humorous writing style makes this book entertaining. The book also contains numerous photographs taken in Alaska of the scenery and wildlife as well as some of his poems. I thought the book was a fun, engaging, and entertaining read.