This is a really well-written book. The sheer intelligence of the narrator gives the writing a classic feeling. And I've always enjoyed travel literature--books like those of Patrick Leigh Fermor, etc. So the sense of being with an insightful person observing the world is quite winning.
Seeing a different world that is quite foreign to most of us, and reading the descriptions, shows a very different perspective and way of life. A lot of it has to do with "class" of course, social class and the way that people with less money and fewer opportunities might view outsiders with suspicion or resentment.
With the admixture of northern or Inuit mythology, you get an eerie sense of timelessness. In the end, the book is an adventure book, with life-and-death situations, and man set against the northern wilderness, not unlike something you might find in Jack London.