Leaving behind a madcap, fishing-obsessed family, Gus decides to strike out on his own, taking refuge in a secluded cabin on a remote riverbank to pursue his own fly-fishing passion with unrelenting zeal. But instead of finding fishing bliss, Gus becomes increasingly troubled by the degradation of the natural world around him and by the spiritual barrenness of his own life. His desolation drives him on a reluctant quest for self-discovery and meaning, ultimately fruitful beyond his wildest dreams.
Here, then, is a funny, sensitive, unforgettable story about the relationships among men, women, the environment, and the human soul.
©1983 David James Duncan; (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A veritable epic...moving, rhapsodic in its intensity." (Publishers Weekly)
"In the company of Catch-22 and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." (Houston Post)
I enjoyed the book. Many parts were quite funny and I liked the overall character development. His philosophical ramblings were insightful.
I had trouble hearing the narrator at many points throughout the book. His reading was overly dramatic, dropping to a whisper in many places, reaching up into treble clef almost falsetto on others. When he whispered I simply couldn't hear. When he reached high pitches in his drama it hurt my ears. I had trouble finding a good volume since some parts were so quiet and some so loud. These narrative difficulties made it hard for me to enjoy the book as much as I think I could have.
At best I would have rated this 4 stars but I chose to rate it only 3 stars due to :
1. Very uneven; some chapters were touching, warm and inspiring; other chapters I found myself lunging for the fast forward button - boring
2. In several places the author just seems to go "over the top" with extended and sometimes rambling and disjointed soliloquises; thought at times I was reading Carlos Castaneda
3. The last 1/3 of the book was excellent however I will weigh in with at least one other reviewer, the ending was very, very weak and just a little sappy and somewhat abrupt following 15 hours of content
4. The narrator is a little hard to take at times; I applaud him for getting into the voices and characters but he too went a little over the top (dramatically) at times
It was worth the read but I cannot put it into the "brilliant" and "perfect" review class as others have suggested. I will be curious to see how this story gets translated in the upcoming movie.
I love this book and have read it over four times! This year I downloaded it to listen with my dad on our way to the Yakima River and he also enjoyed it. This book is the side of fishing, family and life that we forget to appreciate. Everyone can find somehting good in this book. Its a bit slow in the middle, bare with it for an great ending!
As the above reviewer alludes, I too listen on my Ipod while working outside. People would come up to me while I was doubled over in laughter or had big tears coming down my face and ponder my mental balance. You do not have to be a fisherman to enjoy this book. Additionally, many of my friends who have recommended it over the years said they were envious that I was listening to it. The accents add and the verbal inflections make the journey all the more enjoyable. One of his other books "the Brothers K" not on Audible yet is another one to put on your list. I found myself 'finding' things to do so I could keep listening. Enjoy!
Duncan is one of my favorite authors. yes
A back east accented narrator is the worst choice for pacific northwest regional story. This narrator could do a big city crime novel. NOT the River Why. The disconnect between the narrator's voice and the subject made it impossible for me to listen.
in the top 20
couldnt say the whole book was great
up there he is a most gifted reader, no-body could have read this book but him, this book was written for him to read! He brings life to ANY book he reads, i think even the dictionary would be exciting if he read it
they all were
A classic, brought to life by the Reader!
He could have calmed down. He read like he was reading to a child. Every character had a ridiculous, overblown accent of some sort. Good narrators can differentiate between characters with very small changes.
As of now I cannot finish this book. The narrator is just killing it for me. He completely distracts you from the story. Maybe I'll be able to come back to it later.
Its amazing how Gus is presented with many different world views and in the end makes a conclusion based on experience! i loved this, it was very good!
i would say so, i would like to see this in open narration.
Titus, I need a good laugh
The deeper we look................
The River Runs Through It - both are fishing stories that tackle life issues.
didn't get audio
a classic never dies
Powerful, powerful book. Spiritually nourishing, hilarious, and heartwrenching story. I loved Duncan's Brothers K and have found this to be just as good. Very highly recommended.
I don't want to say I didn't like this, as I feel that would be harsh. I would say that it wasn't really of interest to me, but may be to others.
Gus grows up with a father who swears by fly fishing and a mother who swears by bait fishing. His younger brother is ten years his junior and totally uninterested in the sport. On finishing high school, Gus moves to a remote cabin to lead a solitary existence fishing, which he thinks will be bliss - but it doesn't turn out that way.
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