Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong

Wolf Totem

Jiang Rong

A very sad tale of the destruction of the ancient way of life. For those who share the author’s passion for the landscape and a vanishing culture, this is a deeply affecting and absorbing read which allows you to live alongside the Mongolian herders and their stock. However others may be put off by descriptions of animal slaughter and a didactic tone. A book to divide opinions – but if you’re fascinated by wolves and weather, it might appeal.

Extract

As soon as the sun set behind the mountains, the grassland was cloaked in darkness. The two riders had no sooner reached the bottom of a slope than they were met head-on by the blizzard, like a tidal wave or an avalanche. It swallowed them up. The men choked on the wind until their faces turned purple; the pounding snow pellets forced them to shut their eyes. The horses too succumbed to fear, throwing their heads up in a desperate attempt to turn and flee from the wind.

Parallels
  • Mongolia Travels in the Untamed Land by Jasper Becker
  • Of Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez
  • White Fang by Jack London
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Violence