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Review in The Nexus

“Cold, wind, ice and lunatics...” Add fistfights, cowardice and heroism to Bill White’s comparison of the prairies and the Arctic tundra, and you’ve summarized the new book Mountie in Mukluks.

Patrick White is not a relative of the famed Mountie, Bill White. His father, Howard, was a good friend of Bill though, and Howard recorded hours of Bill’s tales of adventure as a young Mountie in the Canadian North.

Howard’s plans to write a novel fell short and the tapes were set aside. Time passed, Bill died, and dust collected on the old tapes. When the author stumbled upon his dad’s old tapes, he found the stories were just as vibrant and captivating as they ever were.

This novel is written in first person, and after reading pages of Bill’s salty language and amusing anecdotes, you can imagine the wrinkly old man cussing while leaning back in a big chair.

Some of his memories are so fantastic, or even ridiculous (boys, skip page 92 if you don’t want to hear a detailed account of an attempted self-castration), that they come off as being stretched. But the facts consistently back him up; the man had an incredible memory. The author provides footnotes wherever historical detail can be added, as well as pages of original photos.

An iconoclast, Bill White managed to debunk many long-held myths about the RCMP, such as “The Mountie Always Gets His Man.” Bill was one of the good guys, and he proved himself over and over again by befriending, instead of belittling, the Inuit. And he learned many important skills and values along the way.
Sandra Dukarm, The Nexus