Andrew Vietze’s ‘This Wild Land’ is a captivating exploration of Maine’s backcountry, a region that is as beautiful as it is rugged. The book is a testament to the author’s deep love and understanding of the region, and his ability to convey its wonders in a way that is both engaging and informative. This comprehensive review will delve into the book’s strengths and weaknesses, providing potential readers with a clear understanding of what to expect.

Overview of ‘This Wild Land’

‘This Wild Land’ is a non-fiction book that takes readers on a journey through the backcountry of Maine, a region that is often overlooked in favor of the state’s more popular coastal areas. The book is divided into several sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the region, from its rich history and diverse wildlife to the challenges and rewards of backcountry living.

Author’s Background

Andrew Vietze is a former park ranger and a lifelong resident of Maine. His intimate knowledge of the region’s geography, flora, and fauna is evident throughout the book. Vietze’s love for the backcountry shines through in his detailed descriptions and personal anecdotes, making the book a pleasure to read.

Strengths of ‘This Wild Land’

One of the book’s main strengths is its ability to transport readers to the heart of Maine’s backcountry. Vietze’s vivid descriptions and engaging writing style make it easy to imagine the towering pines, crystal-clear lakes, and abundant wildlife that characterize the region.

The book also excels in its exploration of the region’s history. Vietze delves into the stories of the Native American tribes who first inhabited the area, the European settlers who followed, and the loggers and trappers who helped shape the region’s economy and culture.

Weaknesses of ‘This Wild Land’

While ‘This Wild Land’ is a compelling read, it does have a few weaknesses. Some readers may find the book’s pace a bit slow, particularly in the sections that focus on the region’s history. Additionally, while Vietze’s personal anecdotes add a unique touch to the book, they sometimes detract from the overall narrative.

Who Would Enjoy ‘This Wild Land’?

‘This Wild Land’ is a must-read for anyone interested in Maine’s backcountry, whether they’re planning a visit or simply want to learn more about this fascinating region. The book’s detailed descriptions and insightful commentary make it a valuable resource for hikers, campers, and nature lovers. Additionally, history buffs will appreciate Vietze’s thorough exploration of the region’s past.


In conclusion, ‘This Wild Land’ is a captivating and informative exploration of Maine’s backcountry. Despite a few minor weaknesses, the book’s strengths far outweigh its shortcomings. Andrew Vietze’s love for the region is contagious, and his book is sure to inspire readers to explore the wonders of Maine’s backcountry for themselves.


Overall, ‘This Wild Land’ earns a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. It’s a well-researched and engaging read that offers a unique perspective on a region that is often overlooked. Whether you’re a seasoned backcountry explorer or a casual reader, ‘This Wild Land’ is sure to captivate and inform.

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