Kabloona: Among the Inuit

Version: Unabridged
Author: Gontran de Poncins
Narrator: Grover Gardner
Genres: Biography & Memoir, Non-Fiction, Travel, Social Science
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: April 2005
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 9 hours, 30 minutes
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Kabloona is a true story of a journey into the North. This extraordinary classic has been variously acclaimed as one of the great books of adventure, travel, anthropology, and spiritual awakening.

In the summer of 1938, the Frenchman Gontran de Poncins traveled beyond the "Barren Lands" north of the Arctic Circle to Kind William Island, an island of ten thousand square miles. The entire population of the island consisted of twenty-five Eskimos, their primitive lives untouched by the civilization of the white man.

For fifteen months Gontran de Poncins lived among the Inuit people of the Arctic. He is at first appalled by their way of life: eating rotten raw fish, sleeping with each others' wives, ignoring schedules, and helping themselves to his possessions. But as de Poncins's odyssey continues, he is transformed from Kabloona, The White Man, an uncomprehending outsider, to someone who finds himself living, for a few short months, as Inuk: a man, preeminently.

Reviews (3)

great book

Written by mp77 from Nashville, TN on February 21st, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This was a great book. Very interesting concepts. Really well read, and I don't usually like male narrators (they're typically boring). Really great stories, interesting people that I will never meet.

Excellent First-Person Account

Written by Albert from Annapolis, MD on January 9th, 2015

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I enjoyed the author's writing style. He set himself to accomplish a particular adventure and he executed his mission. His account of the experience frankly includes his own feelings and biases. In my mind's eye, I went along with him. I expect my feelings and observations would have been much like his if I had actually been there. I recommend this audio book. Listen to the whole thing the occasional tediousness is part of the experience.


Written by Steve Y on November 30th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

If you've read Robert E. Peary's "North Pole," you get a romanticized glimpse of the Inuit or Eskimo people. Kabloona, however, gives you the raw details. These are a very unique people to put it kindly. They run the gamut from disgusting barbarians to childlike innocents. Their almost Communist social order is very disconcerting. Property and personal rights are foreign, but under the harsh conditions of their exsistance, it seems to work well for them. Some of their qualities are admirable while others are not so palatable. Gontran de Poncins does a good job of tugging both at your heart and your stomach. It's interesting to follow this "white man," "Kabloona" as he adapts to a world vastly contrary to his own ideals and beliefs.

Author Details

Author Details

Poncins, Gontran de

Gontran de Poncins was a restless French aristocrat who gave up careers as an artist and a businessman to become a freelance journalist. After traveling the world, he returned to wartime France in 1940 and died in 1962. He is the author of Kabloona, The Ghost Voyage Out of Eskimo Land, and From a Chinese City: In the Heart of Peacetime Vietnam.