Far Alaska – HC


A novel by Mason Smith

Hardcover edition
6" X 9"
Dust jacket
256 pages
SKU: 9781935655275 Category:


Mocked and ridiculed in his North Country home for being unable to change
with the times, a stubborn, ignorant old man lights out for Alaska at 72,
taking with him the daughter of a skinflint farmer he has worked for years
back. Clarence knows little of women or of living with anybody or even of
living in the present tense, nor does he really know where Alaska is. But he’s
given up self-respect and good conduct, he’s on the road across Canada in a
pickup truck with a fat and talkative person, determined to sin at last and
going into a land he knows only in folk-ballad, the Wild West and Klondike
confused. As Clarence and Hesther journey farther and farther toward far
Alaska, their partnership blossoms. They astonish themselves (or at least
Clarence) in bed. She proves to be a barrel-racer in disguise, a shaman and a
mischief, game for anything, while Clarence pushes ahead, surprising them
both as he expands with the territory. His long-imagined West comes alive
with bank robbery, horse theft, Indians, grizzly bears, trouble in a saloon,
gunfire and gold and moral choices. And, when they finally get there, one
more gal than you’re allowed back in the lower forty-eight.

“Mason Smith is a special, original writer who has in ‘Far Alaska’ turned his
gifts to a late-in-life adventure that is as indiscreet and vital as anything
usually ascribed to a more hormone driven, hopeful cast of characters.
Delightful, heartfelt and painfully reassuring.”
—Tom McGuane