Adventure Fiction

31 July 2013 6:00 pm0 commentsViews: 56

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” – Muriel Rukeyser

Welcome to this installment of adventure book recommendations.

While all adventure books are a phenomenal way unwind from your busy schedule, there is something special about the way good fiction writing read lets your mind get lost in the narrative. I find keeping myself serially involved in reading at least one work of fiction is a soothing practice when I am away from the trail. A well constructed story, especially one set among wild places, creates a powerfully refreshing effect on the mind.

Check out the table below for some suggestions for great adventure fiction books to let your mind get wrapped up in!

Book Description
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Call of the Wild is set in the untamed north lands during the 19th century Klondike gold rush. The main character is a dog, who is named Buck. He undergoes some harsh treatment during the story that is historically accurate but may still be offensive to those with delicate sensibilities. However, this book remains a primal, invigorating, and very worthwhile refreshment via fiction.
White Fang by Jack London
White Fang is the sequel to Call of the Wild and has a similar setting and canine protagonist. This book is another helping animal invigoration that will allow your mind to wander while realizing the harsh reality of big wilderness. This will be very worth while for those who liked the former London title.
Once a Runner by John Parker Jr.
This classic running novel captures the essence of the consuming intensity inherent to the pursuit of a singular medium of excellence. While the characters seek excellence in competitive running, this book will be relevant to outdoor adventurers who pursue excellence at any other medium of physicality. It’s exceptionally well written story. And, it will undoubtedly resonate with anyone who was once a runner competitively.
Solo Faces by James Salter
This novel is a contemporary of Once a Runner, which is to Running as Solo Faces is to Climbing. The narrative of Solo Faces focuses on specific climbers but is much more about the lifestyle of those torn between the call of the mountain and “ordinary” life. The writing is, again, wonderfully done (see the opening quotation of this post for an example of Salter’s writing). Lastly, this book also happens to be on sale for $1.99 on Amazon on the day this post was published!
The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Just to clear things up, Hemingway is one of my favorite authors. It saddens me to think you have not read this book yet. It’s a quick read, which makes it a good place to start for any of you who aren’t yet big time readers. It’s centered on an elderly Cuban fisherman who, you guessed it, takes to the sea. More worthy words for this recommendation are failing me at the moment, so I will simply say that it’s a powerfully written book.
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
This classic fiction is my default recommendation for a Hemingway. It’s set during the Spanish Civil War and is as much a story about life and conflict as it is about “adventure” as you may be expecting. It’s rugged setting and timeless subject matter make it a more than fitting addition to your adventurous fiction reads.
151 Public Domain Adventure Books
If you’re looking to explore more adventure fiction, this list of 151 additional titles is a great place to start. All books on this list are in the public domain and can be offered free of charge by as explained here.


Take 30 minutes of the next 24 hours and set it aside to read something adventurous,

“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.” – Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and The Sea

[Image: Flikr user Juho Holmi]

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