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Books - North American Game -

Return to Toonaklut

Davis, Jeff
The Russell Annabel Story
Price: EUR 49,-
2002 Long Beach, 324pp, b&w photos
ISBN: 1-57157-250-3
Binding: Hardcover with dust jacket
Russell Annabel is by any account one of the most colorful and controversial characters ever to set foot in Alaska. Born in 1904 in Tacoma, Washington, Rusty moved to Alaska as a teenager and quickly made a name for himself as a top guide. Early on he hooked up with the legendary Tex Cobb, another character of the Alaskan bush. Rusty soon started writing stories about hunting in the Northland, mainly for Sports Afield. These were among the best-written outdoor stories of the twentieth century, and they made his reputation far and wide. His extraordinary talents allow us, even today, to share in the excitement of Alaska in the first half of the twentieth century. It is widely accepted that Rusty was given to hyperbole, but what is truly amazing is how many of his characters—such as Blind Nick—were based on real people. Rusty's sense of adventure and his courage to walk into the unknown brought him into contact with a harsh, beautiful land and the wild two-legged and four-legged characters that lived there. Those of us who grew up after World War II cannot imagine the Alaskan frontier Rusty encountered in the early 1900s. From his homestead in Toonaklut, he could describe a wilderness populated with majestic Dall sheep, ornery moose, dumbbell caribou, and enraged grizzlies as no other man could. But his personal life was full of drama, and he eventually left Alaska under a cloud, one step ahead of the law. His American wife and children left him, and Rusty moved to Mexico, where he drifted about. He attempted to pick up the pieces of his life, but he was pulled into a meager existence from which he was unable to escape. Based on interviews with Rusty's American wife and his recently discovered Mexican family, and illustrated with rare photos, this is the story of the man behind the legend, and it is as fascinating as any tale Rusty Annabel ever spun for the sporting magazines. Illustrated with dozens of never before published original photos of Rusty, Tex Cobb, and the Alaska they loved.

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