The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the American West and the Yukon Gold Rush

Howard Blum, Crown, $26 (448p) ISBN 978-0-307-46172-8
Blum, author of the bestselling and Edgar-winning American Lightning, displays all his creative gifts here. Using primary source materials from the three individuals around whom the narrative revolves, he tells a fascinating story of the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush. Charlie Siringo was a larger-than-life hero, a cowboy turned successful businessman turned Pinkerton detective renowned for his sense of duty. Jefferson "Soapy" Smith epitomized the frontier "confidence man" who considered dishonesty a way of life. George Carmack, the prospector who precipitated the great Alaska gold rush that drew the men together, deserted from the Marines, married a Native American, and pursued his prospecting dreams to the Klondike. Detailing crimes perpetrated and solved, relationships both happy and tragic, hardships unthinkable in the modern age, and the cold, magical allure of Alaska and the Yukon, Blum captures the spirit and mood of the last of the Old West. The final pages, especially, are filled with drama and a strange yearning. From a purely historical perspective, there should have been more information on Alaska as a Russian colony and American territory, but as an exciting narrative, this is a huge success. 8 pages of b&w photos; 1 map. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
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FORMATS
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-91461-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-91463-7
Open Ebook - 978-0-307-46174-2
Hardcover - 655 pages - 978-1-4104-4125-6
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-307-46173-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-00454-2
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