Dreaming of Wolves: adventures in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania
Dreaming of Wolves: adventures in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania

Dreaming of Wolves: adventures in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania


Regular price $24.95


By: Sparks, Alan E.
ISBN: 978-0-88839-663-1 [1st Edition 2010]
ISBN: 978-0-88839-714-0 [2nd Revised 2022]
ISBN: 978-0-88839-738-6 [ePub]
Binding: Trade Paper
Size: 8.5" X 5.5"
Pages: 256
Photos: 96
Illustrations: 2
Publication Date: 2010/2022


Winner, National Indie Excellence Book Awards for Nature (2011); Finalist, National Indie Excellence Book Awards for Adventure (2011).

An extraordinary portrait of the lives of wolves, the researchers who study them, and the rustic highlanders who share their landscape in the mysterious wilds of Transylvania.

Here we take an enchanting journey, tracking wolves through the deep snows and dense forests of Romania, where "Old Europe" still hangs on, hardly touched by modern trends or discovered by western travelers. Guided with humor, insight, and vivid description, we fend off belligerent shepherd dogs and foul weather to discover not only wolf behavior and ecology but also human history, culture, and myth: ancient "wolf-warriors" (Dacians), colorful Romani (Gypsies), legendary vampires (Dracula) and more. And as we contemplate the benefits of wilderness, the joys of self-discovery, and the nature of time and consciousness, we are entertained with 32 pages of black & white photographs.

This revised & updated edition includes a two-page preface updating the status of wolves and other large carnivores in Romania.

Author Biography

Alan E. Sparks is the award-winning author of Dreaming of Wolves and Into the Carpathians, and has written articles about wolves for International Wolf Magazine and other publications. He has a BS degree in engineering physics from the University of Maine and an MS degree in computer engineering from Stanford University, and worked for over twenty years developing advanced technologies in the telecommunications industry. A voracious reader and student of the natural and cultural histories of the places he visits, he has supplemented his indoor studies with training in mountaineering, expedition leadership, and winter ecology/animal tracking from the Colorado Mountain Club, the National Outdoor Leadership School, and renowned animal tracker Dr. James Halfpenny. As a teacher of English, commercial actor, and web designer – and as an avid hiker, backcountry skier, and animal tracker – he has lived, worked, and trekked extensively in the Carpathian Mountain region of Central and Eastern Europe.

Book Reviews

"Life flashes past many eyes: resident, tourist, voyageur, even those of wolves. Dreaming of Wolves provides introspection through the eyes of a wolf. Alan's journey explores an inward look at mid-life crises, personal feeling, community economics, ethnic survival, cultural bias, and national politics while trying to [understand the life] of a pack of Romanian wolves. To know life, his life, the author travels to a remote, foreign setting seeking knowledge about wolves, and learns about himself. Yes, it is a travelogue, a personal adventure, but it is also a narrative explaining wolf ecology and behavior versus rural cultural integrity and history. Read it to understand wolves and to understand people at the delicate interface were a few wolves exist almost secretively next to rural people still attached to their lands and agricultural practices. I recommend Alan's work not only as a natural history reference but for showing that we can exist with wild animals even as planet earth approaches an overflowing human population."
-- Dr. James C. Halfpenny, President, A Naturalist's World and author of Yellowstone Wolves in the Wild, Field Guide to Mammal Tracking in North America, Winter: An Ecological Handbook


"[Provides] rare insight into the behavior of wolves, as well as a close-up look at life in the backcountry and small towns of the Carpathian Mountains. The author’s experiences tracking wolves, combined with the people he meets and his descriptions of the locale, make for a compelling and invigorating story. Sparks writes well, even eloquently at times… A thoroughly enjoyable read for animal lovers and explorers alike.”
-- Kirkus Discoveries


"This is indeed [a] book written by an incredible observer of character and landscape, a sensitive listener and ultimately a passionate conservationist… Buy it, read it carefully. It's a book I will not be letting anyone borrow. It has a heart and a very powerful one...
-- Wolf Print Magazine (UK)