Roman Dial documents tragic search in ‘Adventurer’s Son’

"The Adventurer

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"The Adventurer's Son," by Roman Dial.

The literature of wilderness exploration is as much about mortal risk as anything else. From Jack London to Jon Krakauer, adventure writing shows us how the rich rewards of interacting with thrillingly raw nature, observing unfamiliar species and testing our reserves of strength and endurance coexist with the simple fact that we tempt fate – and a lonely death – whenever we step from the safely beaten path into the wild.

Underscoring this dangerous bargain, Roman Dial’s new book, “The Adventurer’s Son” (William Morrow, 368 pp., ★★★½ out of four), takes its place among modern accounts of tragic adventure with hard-won wisdom and grace. Dial is a renowned Alaskan biologist, mountaineer and National Geographic explorer who endured any parent’s worst nightmare, beginning in the summer of 2014. That’s when his son, Cody Roman Dial, 27, walked alone into Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park, a barely mapped rainforest along the Pacific Coast.

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