I read this novel several years ago and admired James Dickey's writing talents even then. However, listening to it read by my favorite narrator, Will Patton, made me realize what a great work it really is. I found myself thinking of the river as a real character in the story - one who could push others to do things, both good and bad, they had never dreamed they could do. I thought about the reversal of the roles of Ed and Lewis as the story went on. Lewis almost forced the others to go on his trip and he seemed to rule the river in the beginning. Ed was content to be a follower until confronted by real evil. Then he becomes the true leader of the group and is forced to make decisions that will haunt all of them for the rest of their lives. I was moved near the end of the story when Ed went back down to the river and drank. I felt much meaning in this - that he had not been beaten by the river, but still respected it. This is a near perfect combination of author and narrator. I would give it more than fire stars if I could. Read it!
James Dickey has an amazing way with words. Several times I re-listened to passages just to enjoy the dialog and descriptions again. Many times I would think "yes, that feels true" whether he was talking about things I've done (gaining confidence in a canoe) or things I hope I never do (tracking someone through the woods). And I can't imagine anyone doing a better job reading this than Will Patton! He made the book come alive for me.
A classic story that holds up well over time and is expertly told. You could set this in current times, make the guys lose cell coverage and nothing else would really change.
It felt like I was sitting next to Will Patton while he told me a story of a trip he took. It never sounded like reading or even acting. He infused the whole book with life and character without overdoing it. We just re-watched the movie and found myself constantly disappointed by the lack of his voice (even though I knew he wasn't in it).
While Lewis is an interesting character, this is Ed's journey. I like seeing a character go through experiences that helps them learn more about themselves and push their limits.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves good storytelling.
It's in the top 5. Will Patton as the narrator definitely helps this ranking.
Yes, I just kept waiting for the next bad thing to happen. I was disappointed that the banjo scene didn't happen in the book.
Ed's scene where he waits for the shooter in the tree after climbing up the cliff.
Ed. I would have to ask him how he decided to trust Lewis to plan a canoe trip down an unknown river and how he managed to climb the cliff without any help and find the shooters location.
Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.
This book was on sale sooooo many times and after reading the reviews I had an inclination to read it. So finally I broke down and bought it. There was many references of James Dickey's writing to be poetic. Which should have been a clue to me since I don't like poetry. This isn't my typical type of book to listen to, but I always loved a good survival story. The first hour was really boring and I was defiantly ready for an adventure by the time it actual came, about the time they got on the river. Ed started out as a complete bore, not only to himself but to me too. This book is good, but for me it was a little wordy and descriptive. The narrator was good and authentic sounding. With all the description of the book and the low sound of the narrator I did have a tendency for my mind to wonder, mostly when Ed was in his own head mussing. On the plus side I was able to fully visualize the land. Once the action started happening I was right there in the wilderness fighting for our lives along with the rest of the gang. Overall I would give this book a rating of 3.5.
Will Patton did a fantastic job
Everyone who has seen the movie or read the book knows the most memorable moment.
Highly recommend this audiobook!
Love to exercise while listening
Not sure. I thought this was more about adventure.
I'm glad this was over. A little too deep for me.
I couldn't separate myself away from Remember the Titans. I guess his voice was perfect for this. His slow southern drawl.
Don't think so.
Absolutely blown away by the narration. So would've thought will Patton was so good
Really enthralling book and great American novel.
All... He nails it. Riveting book you just want them to get away
Old book breathed new life by narration
Get this one
Having seen the movie years ago I was keen to read the book to see if it had the same haunting quality. It totally did, and more
Yes... The way the story unfolds is pretty horrific and sinister without being overly dramatic
His voice, intonation and characterisation was flawless
Listen to or read the book!
I would imagine that the audio book is better than the print version because Will Patton truly brings the narrator to life in a way I don't think many could do on their own.
Ed's smart quips and ethereal observations easily lend him to be my favorite character.
Even from the beginning, I was capitvated by the author's style. Any moment when he is describing a scene or setting up an emotion are simply beautiful. My favorite moment of the book was towards the beginning when I realized that I was looking forward to taking a canoe trip on Friday, as well as the characters.
Louis - he seems like an entertaining dinner guest.
The narrator, Will Patton, has delivered a truly mesmerizing performance, breathing life not only into the characters, but to River itself. Truly a masterpiece.
This book is nearly perfect. The language is beautiful and the subject is horrible and the balance between the two is really, really good. If you liked the movie (also excellent), the book is really worth a listen. Also, Will Patton is a great narrator.