The Grizzly Maze by Nick Jans

  • Title: The Grizzly Maze
  • Author: Nick Jans
  • Published: 2005 (Plume)
  • Genre: Nonfiction/Biography


Timothy Treadwell made himself known for living out among the grizzlies in Alaska. His goal was to educate and protect these aggressive and dangerous animals. When he and his girlfriend were killed by a bear in 2003, they passed into the mythology of what the wilderness can do to careless travelers. Author Nick Jans focuses in on on the man behind the myth and his fascination with the Alaskan wilderness that ultimately killed him.


I don’t know how I learned about Timothy Treadwell, I just seemed to be aware of a man who seemed a little crazy. After all, what else is going to happen to a man who thought he was going to be able to live with the bears without any protection?

I appreciate that Jans was able to focus in on the man that was Treadwell by showing both the good and bad sides of his nature rather than leaning in towards him being crazy or ultimately being a superhero like Chris McCandless has become. Through this book, I could see that Treadwell was a man of good intentions but tended to have a flair with the dramatic in order to get himself (and others) closer to these animals. This ultimately got him killed by the very thing he was trying to protect.

I’m convinced that if this author had written Into the Wild, he would hav done a better job of painting McCandless’ life than Krakauer did, given the amount of care and information he wrote on Treadwell.

Rating: 5 Stars


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