The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed

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Random House, Jul 9, 2015 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages

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On a bleak winter night in 1997, a British Columbia timber scout named Grant Hadwin committed an act of shocking violence: he destroyed the legendary Golden Spruce of the Queen Charlotte Islands. With its rich colours, towering height and luminous needles, the tree was a scientific marvel, beloved by the local Haida people who believed it sacred.

The Golden Spruce tells the story of the sadness which pushed Hadwin to such a desperate act of destruction - a bizarre environmental protest which acts as a metaphor for the challenge the world faces today. But it also raises the question of what then happened to Hadwin, who disappeared under suspicious circumstances and remains missing to this day.

Part thrilling mystery, part haunting depiction of the ancient beauty of the coastal wilderness, and part dramatic chronicle of the historical collision of Europeans and the native Haida, The Golden Spruce is a timely portrait of man's troubled relationship with a vanishing world.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LGCullens - LibraryThing

Surrounding a specific event, this book not only depicts a very interesting history of Haida Gwaii (formally Queen Charlotte Islands) that is well rounded with applicable tangents, but also presents ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kcshankd - LibraryThing

Fascinating tale, mostly well told. The story of the end of old growth is disgusting, and a blight on all of us alive to witness the spectacle. So short-sighted. The protagonist of this tale is not ... Read full review

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About the author (2015)

John Vaillant has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, and Men's Journal among others. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and children. Of particular interest to Vaillant are stories that explore collisions between human ambition and the natural world. His work in this and other fields has taken him to five continents and five oceans. The Golden Spruce is his first book.

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