October 05, 1981 12:00 PM

by Robert F. Jones

A rare, direct descendant of an honorable literary tradition—the he-man adventure yarn—this novel is about men who prove their manhood by beating, knifing and killing each other. Women are the reward for the survivors. The setting is Alaska, a land so brutal and beautiful here that it comes vividly to life. The narrator has an opportunistic friend who becomes his deadly enemy after oil is found on land they stake out after World War II. This book transcends most of its kind because Jones, a special contributor to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, is a top-notch stylist—brisk and confident. Best of all, he adds an element of magic—ghosts from Alaska’s violent past, native shamans, a symbolic raven—and that gives the book an extra, enchanting dimension. (Simon and Schuster, $10.95)

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