The Dolphin Tooth: A Decade in Search of Adventure


370 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 0-7710-9566-X
DDC 910.4




Reviewed by Janet Collins

Janet Collins is a freelance writer in Sechelt, British Columbia.


Bruce Kirkby leads a life that any armchair traveller would envy. An
insatiable appetite for adventure and exploration has led the Canadian
author and photographer to travel to the farthest corners of the
globe—from the Himalayas to Arabia, and from the depths of the Blue
Nile Gorge in Africa to the High Arctic. His first book, the bestselling
Sand Dance, won a TORGI and was shortlisted for the Best Adventure
Travel Book at the Banff Mountain Book Festival.

In his latest book, The Dolphin’s Tooth, Kirkby chronicles the events
that caused him to leave his boring (for him) engineer’s cubicle for
life in a seemingly ever-expanding world of adventure. In a fit of
rebellion, he quits his job to bicycle the Karakoram Highway in northern
Pakistan. He is 22 and absolutely clueless. Through humour, heartache,
and several more adventures, he finally finds the way to his true

This is the life story many of us who cling dutifully to the
“responsible adult life” dream of having ourselves. Perhaps that is
why Kirkby’s whining about his desk job sometimes grated on this
reader’s nerves. At times, one can’t help but marvel at the
naпveté with which he put himself and others around him at risk
several times during his early experiences. Then again, that’s what
novices do, that’s how they learn.

The Dolphin’s Tooth is the sort of book that could easily inspire a
latent explorer’s gene in just about anyone with even a passing
interest in the world around them.


Kirkby, Bruce., “The Dolphin Tooth: A Decade in Search of Adventure,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,