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Publisher's Summary

The predatory genes we cannot deny are never more exercised than in deer hunting. In each individual, they travel an age-related arc that begins in youthful passion and settles finally into old-age relaxation. The blood lust with all of its attendant furies and dictates can be an awesome thing when it consumes the deer hunter in the velvet of his life.

Crossing the wild water was crazy, I knew, but I had a desperate need to bag the buck.

©1961 Bill Stokes (P)2017 Stokes Creative LLC

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Great short story!

Another great short story by Bill Stokes! This is a story about deer hunting but more of a coming of age story about Bill as well. He goes on a hunting trip to get his first deer. Like most teenagers, Bill was a bit reckless. Act before you think! lol The fastest way to learn important life lessons. Great narration by Johnny Mack.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent tale of a youth's first deer hunt.

This is a tale of young man’s first deer hunt. The author starts us off with a personal note of how deer hunting has been a part of his life even if he no longer directly participates.

Set in Wisconsin in 1947, a teen boy on the cusp of manhood is invited on his first deer hunt. On the first night of the hunt, there’s stories and manly cooking at the hunting cabin as Uncle Duffy and his friends deal out the cards. Our hero soaks it all up. He desperately wants to be considered one of them. He feels a driving need to prove himself on this week-long deer hunt and he fears he won’t measure up.

First, I was a bit surprised that he was allowed to wander the woods alone on his first hunt as we typically make sure to go by twos on any kind of hike that is over an hour long. It’s a little unclear if the area was well known to our young hunter or not. Anyway, he navigates his way back to the cabin day after day.

There’s a rising urgency as the hunt progresses. The men shares stories of hunts past. I liked how the story built up and up. I could really feel the young man’s need to prove himself worthy. When finally the moment comes, there’s a big snag in his triumph, followed by a triumph of another kind. I was surprised by how things ended but was also well satisfied with it. Years later when this kid is a seasoned hunter, he will look back on this incident with wry humor.

I received a free copy of this book.

Narration: Johnny Mack continues to do justice to this author’s short stories. He does a good job of sounding like a young man and also of sounding like an older Uncle Duffy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Youth, Manhood, and the Road Between

Would you listen to The River again? Why?

Yes, I have listened twice before sitting down to review it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The River?

The beaver dam

Have you listened to any of Johnny Mack’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to Johnny Mack before. He does a great job, this is the norm - great!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did. It is brief, 19 minutes.

Any additional comments?

I surely love the stories from Bill Stokes! As I listen, I can relate similar experiences in my youth and later, as an adult!Thanks for the opportunity to review it!<br/><br/>A review copy was gifted to me at no charge. In return, I am happy to provide an honest review. Also at no charge.

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Incredible storytelling and narration

Any additional comments?

Thoughtful story of a young man and the wilderness. All of the authors stories evoke feelings with every listen. He had a rare talent to make any subject interesting. Cannot recommend highly enough. I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

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  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 03-23-17

A coming of age short story

The River is a story about a young man out deer hunting trying to get his trophy buck and prove himself. There aren't many pages (or minutes) here, but it will make you feel something.

I love these stories by Bill Stokes. I know these are from ages ago (this one being published originally in 1961) but they still have such great feeling and "oomph" to them. This is the second short story I read by Stokes and it won't be my last.

Johnny Mack narrates The River and does a great job. I felt like he was the character in the book. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that he was the perfect narrator for this.

Overall, The River is a great sub-20 minute short story that had me smiling throughout told by a master storytelling (in both the writing and the narration).

I was given a free copy of this book. This has not affected my review of it in any way.

If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! If you'd like to see more like it you can check out BriansBookBlog DOT com.

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I gave this story a shot . . .

and it turned out hitting the bulls-eye on all counts. Short, straight to the point, and beautifully narrated. As a lover of the outdoors I felt as though I were right there with the main character as the story spoke with such accuracy and authenticity. I would venture to say that even city dwellers could lose themselves in the wild for a few minutes during this listen; it's that true to life. Again, the narration by Johnny Mack does the trick by hitting the target dead-center.

This is the first time i have read a work by Bill Stokes and I can assure you I will be checking out several of his other stories. Although this audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Boom, I will be purchasing others in anticipation of similar levels of enjoyment.

As an aside, I have already enjoyed listening to this book a few times and anticipate doing so again and again . . . whenever I have 20-minutes to kill.

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Not for Bambi lovers

The author does a great job bringing you back to a clean time of wheee hunting was something we did as a right of passage and everything was still eaten. The author gives you a great window into the time and the narrator takes you there. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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A Gem of a Story

What I like about Bill Stoke's stories are that they are timeless and relevant. He's not only an author but a painter. He has the ability to put the listener into the story. You feel as if you were there. Hunting, fishing, and gathering are what we do and I am so glad to have the pleasure of listening to these gems.

This story is ideal for the young at heart whether you hunt or not. It's about the river. And Bill and the buck. I don't hunt but I do rely on other family members to provide me with wild game. I have three pounds of venison thawed out at this very time.

Johnny Mack is a terrific narrator. He lends such a wonderful voice for Bill's stories.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Boom.

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  • Emily
  • 03-30-17

The Buck

I recieved a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

This is another great short story by Bill Stokes which is nominally about deer hunting, but really about coming of age. As is common with teenagers and young adults, simple mistakes are made in the attempt to catch his first deer, giving the lesson to take your time and think things through. Also, Johnny Mack, much like many of Bill Stokes's short stories, is a brilliant narrator.

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  • Todd (Toad) Vogel
  • 02-27-17

Great short story!

Any additional comments?

Another great short story by Bill Stokes! This is a story about deer hunting but more of a coming of age story about Bill as well. He goes on a hunting trip to get his first deer. Like most teenagers, Bill was a bit reckless. Act before you think! lol The fastest way to learn important life lessons. Great narration by Johnny Mack.