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Nature Forests & Rainforests

Beating Around the Bush

A Life in the Northern Forest

by (author) Wilf Taylor & Alan Fry

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
Jan 1989
Forests & Rainforests, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1989
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


When Wilf Taylor defied his parents' wishes that he give up "beating around the bush" and get a real job, he embarked upon a career that could best be described as "professional survivor." Add to this a sound understanding of the storyteller's art - a skill Taylor undoubtedy learned and honed in the same precarious environment - and you have Beating Around the Bush, a fascinating and revealing collection of stories about real-life survival.

In this irreverent look at backwoods life and politics, Wilf Taylor recounts his dealings with testy bears, inept supervisors, and overzealous hunters. But he also reveals the spirit of the true backwoods survivors, those who make do with very little and, when necessary, bend the rules to make things work. Told with humour and compassion, Taylor's stories reveal the human side of a rugged and unforgiving land.

Wilf Taylor's stories are brought to life under the skillful hand of writer Alan Fry. An outdoors expert himself, Fry has used the wilderness as a backdrop for several novels, including How a People Die, Come a Long Journey, and The Revenge of Annie Charlie. He has also written a comprehensive guide to backwoods lore, Survival in the Wilderness. Alan Fry brings his love and knowledge of the backwoods and its people to this entertaining book.

About the authors

Wilf Taylor's profile page

Alan Fry's significance in B.C.'s literary history lies in his accurate and sometimes humourous portrayals of life on B.C. Indian reserves and the corresponding inflexibility of white officials, including police. Some of his titles have been reprinted but Fry's literary reputation has faded due to the constraints of `political correctness`.

Alan Fry was born and raised on a family ranch near Lac La Hache, B.C. in 1931. Although some of his ancestors were farming Quakers in Wiltshire, his grandfather Roger Fry, a member of the Fry family that prospered in the chocolate business, was a Cambridge graduate who kept company with the Bloomsbury Group. Fry is the author of The Ranch on the Cariboo, first published in 1962, about a teenager's introduction to manhood and ranching in the early 1940s.

Alan Fry's profile page