A gripping coming-of age story set during a hunting trip in the Alaskan wilderness from one of America’s most incisive writers.
Proud Texans Randy “D.J” Jethroe, his best friend, Tex Hyde, and D.J’s father, Rusty, embark on a hunting trip to the Brooks Mountain Range in the Alaskan wilderness with their eyes on the ultimate prize: the trophy kill of a grizzly bear. Rusty, the quintessential masculine big wig, asserts his brazen dominance at every turn, often placing himself and his fellow hunters in danger in order to prove his invincibility. DJ and Tex are hungry to claim the big kill for themselves in order to prove that they are powerful men, no longer crude, unrefined boys.
But in the midst of this fast-paced drama, the trip becomes more than just an initiation rite into manhood. With his unflinching, raw prose and his innate gift to capture the milieu and tensions of 1960s America, Mailer crafts an allegory for the impending Vietnam War, a critique of how men’s ignorance, bravado, and presumed superiority has brought America to its present cultural moment.