Sunday, November 17, 2013

Book Review - Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf

  • Title: Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf
  • Author: John Hyde
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bunker Hill Publishing Inc
  • Review by: RJ Hayden

From the "Disneyesque" opening chapter to the fateful ending, Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf is one that will warm your heart while at the same time, dispel the myriad of myths and unbridled misinformation that is so prevelant these days regarding the North American gray wolf. 

Author John Hyde's work chronicles the fascinating true life story of a lone Alaskan wolf affectionately named Romeo by the localsCoupled along with his own personal encounters with Romeo, this book will leave you with an amazingly different perspective of canis lupus.

While the title's main focus is a solitary animal, Hyde also does a very credible job in providing an extremely readable description of the inner workings of a wolf pack; highly social creatures whose members all have a specific role in the pack's survival. From the alpha male and female to the lowest ranking wolf, it provides just the right amount of particulars to educate and inform the reader without getting overly involved with a lot of scientific detail or animal psychology. 

The heart of the story however revolves around Romeo's behavior and the relationship he develops with the townsfolk and their dogs . . . a behavior which might be classified as atypical if you were one who held on to the misguided belief that wolves are nothing more than vicious, methodical thrill killing predators. If so, you will be astonished and pleasantly surprised by what this remarkable story describes. Hyde carefully recounts how the citizens of Juneau transitioned from their initial fears of a wild animal playfully interacting with his canine cousins to an almost complete acceptance of this wolf which would eventually became a national celebrity. 

Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf, brimming with brilliant photographs, is certainly a must read for any wolf or wildlife champion. I also can't help but to think that it would offer great insight to those who mistakenly support the delisting of wolves from the endangered species list. 

Bravo zulu John Hyde - and thank you!

RJ Hayden  

Footnote: Romeo was believed to be an Alexander Archipelago wolf; a sub-species of the gray wolf and exceedingly rare, with fewer than 1000 wolves left in Southeast Alaska. (Ref: