Title Information

Wandermust: A Hero's Journey to Seven Truths

Mike Green
Hosel & Ferrule Books (181 pp.)
$19.99 paperback, $9.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-0-578-36909-9
March 4, 2022

Book Review

An experienced life coach recounts his exploits across seven continents in this memoir with fictionalized elements.

In this book’s frame story, Green, a Master Certified Coach, is headed into the Alaskan bush with client Ian Roundbail, a Boulder, Colorado–based British CEO who, after 14 years, is on the track to burnout at work and alienation from his family. He’s hired Green for a session of “Adventure Coaching,” an outdoor leadership retreat in which the author tries to help his clients discover “ ‘the truths’ as I call them, of what matters, and after that make a plan to live out those ‘truths.’ ” Green grew up in western New York, driven by an adventurous spirit that defied a 9-to-5 lifestyle, and later traversed all seven continents, undertaking impressively difficult challenges along the way. Some were self-imposed, such as hitchhiking from Hornell, New York, to Denali Park, Alaska, without money or food or willingly undertaking the grueling work of a lumberjack, or “chokerman,” in the wet Scottish Highlands.Others were opportunities to acquire the emotional intelligence to be a good leader, such as when he cultivated leadership skills with obstinate oil rig workers in Oklahoma as well as laid-back, optimistic workers in New Zealand. As he aids Roundbail, he reflects back on these experiences and how they shaped the lessons he imparts over campfires, fine cigars, and bottles of Scotch in the wilderness. Green uses a clever framing device in this memoir; Roundbail is a composite character, a combination of many of his overworked clients, which lets the author highlight his own coaching techniques and the journey that informed them. The narration is upbeat in tone and emotionally vulnerable, and each chapter is short, well-focused, and smoothly engaging. This thrift has a downside, however, as only some of the people the author encountered on his adventures get to shine, such as Angus, an ill-tempered sky winch operator, or a candid Kazakh eagle hunter named Yntan, while others, such as his wife, Erin, are largely unexplored.

A passionate, if slightly uneven, remembrance packed with leadership lessons.

Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 2600 Via Fortuna Suite 130 Austin, TX 78746