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A Wolf Called Romeo Audio CD – Unabridged, July 1, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,170 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"A wild wolf that became part of the author's life on the fringe of suburban Juneau, an animal not only tolerant of humans but also downright friendly to dogs...Woven through Romeo's story is the larger tale of humans and wolves, of close contact and fear, of wolves and dogs, and of an animal that lives both beyond and among us. As in Jans' previous works, the writing is both lyrical and factual, and through Jans' pen, we feel the crisp Alaska twilight and see the breeze ruffle Romeo's black coat."

-- "Booklist (starred review)"

"Insightful and philosophical, Jans probes the boundaries between wilderness and civilization and our responsibilities to the untamed creatures in our midst."

-- "Publishers Weekly"

"Jans is an exceptional storyteller--no nature writer can top him in terms of sheer emotional force--and he frames even the smallest moment with haunting power."

-- "New York Times"

An astute, deeply respectful encounter between man and wolf.-- "Kirkus"

About the Author

Nick Jans is an award-winning writer, photographer, and author of numerous books, including The Grizzly Maze, Black Bears of the Mendenhall Glacier, and The Last Light Breaking. He is a contributing editor to Alaska magazine and has written for Rolling Stone, Backpacker, and the Christian Science Monitor. He has been the recipient of numerous writing awards, most recently the co-winner of two Benjamin Franklin Medals and a Rasmuson Foundation artist grant. In addition, he is a professional nature photographer, specializing in wildlife and landscapes in remote locations. Nick lives in Alaska.

Tom Perkins, an award-winning audio engineer for over forty years, has expanded his skills to narrating and has earned an AudioFile Earphones Award. He learned by working with the world's best voice talent during his career, and he continues to engineer a variety of projects.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08XZCYVXN
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tantor Audio; Unabridged edition (July 1, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8200040452
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.2 x 5.7 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,170 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,170 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars What A Wolf Called Romeo Teaches Us
By NB on April 3, 2017
[[ASIN:0547858191 A Wolf Called Romeo]]

Here's what I think makes this book and the story it tells so unique that both the book and the story may be one of a kind:

1. It's about a wild animal, an exquisite black wolf in the prime of his life. He has the social and emotional intelligence to initiate and maintain for six years amazingly playful and nuanced friendships and relationships with countless people and dogs in a community of 30,000 people in the community of Juneau Alaska.
2. Significantly, the wolf was not domesticated either before or after he blended his life into the lives of the community, as evidenced by the fact that he did not go there for food or shelter, always sleeping and hunting for his food far away from the community and beyond its purview.
3. Even in the dead of winter when the live food the wolf needed was so scarce that he became quite thin, he stayed away from the community until he was strong enough to return.
4. The wolf came to be called Romeo, after being given this name by one member the community who noticed his seemingly flirtatious behavior around one of her female dogs, even though in six years he never tried to mate with any of dogs in the community.
5. Romeo not only figured out where and how to start his friendships and relationships with people and dogs in the community, but also how to manage, maintain and extend them. Just to take one example, he invented many of his own games using his own and other dogs' toys and props.
6. He also figured out how to work around tricky sensitivities and possible conflicts. For example, he managed to stay away from community residents who just could not bring themselves to trust or like any wolf, and would have shot him on sight, but chose not to do so because of community pressure and the love and respect showered on Romeo but literally thousands of community members.
7. An example of Romeo's wolf-based peace-making capabilities is reflected in his astute deflection of attacks by one small dog with bared teeth who could just not figure him out. After many years of deflecting the dog's attacks, usually by literally turning the other cheek, an exasperated Romeo finally picked up the dog in his mouth and flung him several feet as an object lesson -- even though Romeo could have used his sharp teeth, size and strength to kill the little dog in an instant.
8. Romeo established enduring friendships with several human members of the community in particular -- during which the wolf and the individuals always maintained a safe and respectful distance from each other, a customary practice when the wildlife world is penetrated by humans. Despite this symbolic distance, Romeo had no hesitation going on to his friends' property and waiting patiently for them and their dogs to come out to play.
9. Romeo established an especially close relationship with one member of the community in particular, Nick Jans, the author of this book.
10. Jans is a naturalist and wildlife expert whose wide-ranging expertise extends to wolves, photography and writing books. This expertise accounts for how this book, A Wolf Called Romeo, came to be written, replete with a highly professional repertory of unforgettable photographs that Nick took of Romeo over a period of six years.

But in addition to Jans and the wild wolf Romeo being the main characters in a stellar cast of thousands harmoniously living their lives together in this unusual community in Juneua, Alaska, they are also messengers of what I think is a universal Manifesto to inspire the rest of us to follow in their footsteps. The way I interpret this Manifesto is that each and every one of us human beings should strive to create similar relationships with members of the animal kingdom in our communities so they can teach us important about how to survive on this planet and make life more worth living on it and less destructive. Here are several of the messages I discerned from this story and their Manifesto.

1. Human beings are in the process of rendering more and more animal species extinct every day, directly and indirectly, causing great pain and unnecessary suffering, just as they are doing to plant life and increasing forms of bio-diversity.
2. Many of these species, like elephants, have evolved, over thousands of years and even millennia, far more complex, caring, and compassionate social structures than human social structures, many of which are cruel and predatory in nature, and inflict great harm and suffering on human beings, as well as animals and plants.
3. As Romeo's behavior exemplifies, he brought with him into the community in Juneau an advanced social and emotional intelligence that enabled him to interact harmoniously and playfully with humans and dogs, even while he remained fundamentally wild and undomesticated.
4. But while Romeo's insertion into the welcoming Juneau community enabled him to live a longer life than lived by most wolves fighting for survival in the harsh Alaskan wilds (because its members "broke trail" for him, which enabled him to find food more easily) Romeo's life was cut short by two sadistic and perverse social deviants who deliberately shot him in 2008 at close range, just for the fun of it, while Romeo was waiting patiently inside the community for his friends to come out and play. These two sickies planned and sought out the sick pleasure of not only killing the trusting, unsuspecting Romeo but also of causing countless members of the Juneau community to grieve unremittingly at his loss -- including and especially Nick Jans who to this day appears to be still coping with his grief -- in company with the rest of us who now know the story.
5. But the victory here, snatched from what otherwise might appear to be the jaws of defeat, is the lesson that Romeo and Nick is teaching us, together with the two lost souls who killed Romeo. This lesson is that in the "top-down" controlled, conflict-plagued 21st century, we have to learn how to build new forms of inclusive, caring communities from the "bottom-up" that nurture all of its members' capacities' for love and sharing -- animals and humans. These new communities should leave none of their members so abused, denied, enraged and drug-addicted that they seek revenge in cruel and wanton acts such as killing an extraordinarily trusting wild wolf who created unprecedented friendships and loving relationships throughout an entire community.
6. We need to shift our attention from the similarly lost souls of so many heads of state and government lawmakers who continuously prove themselves incapable of building the trusting and caring relationships that one wolf built in a single community.
7. What I think Romeo's and Nick's Manifesto is telling us is that we need to start at the grassroots, to invent new communities with each other and our animal friends, wild and domesticated. We need to use these new communities to create increasingly harmonious relationships and social structures -- including political structures -- working upwards until we figure out how to live together on this planet before we destroy it and everything living here.

These are the lessons that Romeo and Nick and the Juneau community have taught me. What more can I say?
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42 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 23, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2016
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bonniecat l
2.0 out of 5 stars Got so bored in the beginning, just could not complete the book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 8, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE WOLF!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 10, 2015
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Ms. C. J. M. Eastwood
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good and well written book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2017
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Mrs. J. Goodman
3.0 out of 5 stars Small print book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2018
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't give up on it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2016
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