The River

Narrated by: Johnny Mack
Length: 19 mins
Categories: Sports, Other
5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

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so good

this was a short fun listen. i enjoyed it and the narrator was interesting to listen to make this story come to life.

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Deer hunting

It's about a man reminiscing about his experiences in deer hunting, and how it changed his life. The narrator's voice suits the character so well that I was engaged with the story.

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A coming of age story

What an interesting story... a boy becoming a man pretty much and not just in his eyes, but in the eyes of his peers.

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Very well done

I feel like I listened to a story about deer hunting, but there was soooo much more to it. Life lessons, parallels to society in general. It was quite a trip for such a short story, but it packed a punch.

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What a great memory of a Wisconsin youth..

This was a very poignant telling of a youth going on his first deer hunt. I loved the narration. Johnny Mack made this short story very memorable. I know this narrator's work under a different name and, as always, he did a great job with The River.

A complimentary copy of this audiobook was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author and/or narrator.

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thank you for the Audio

thank you for the Audio, I voluntarily give this a honest review. this was a wonderful short tale of growing up in deer country. of the night a soon to be journalist be a man out in the woods with family and friends.

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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!

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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  • LHunt
  • 10-19-19

When a boy transforms into a man at the river

The River is a wonderful short story by Bill Stokes and narrated by Johnny Mack. It involves an annual family deer hunt and a boy’s quest to land his first buck. His hunt for the perfect buck takes an unexpected detour to a bustling river that seemingly transforms him from boy to man over the course of a night. I’ve never been deer hunting, but I did grow up in the south, where it was a fairly normal occurrence, so I could appreciate the boy’s excitement to the start of hunting season. If you love hunting or outdoor adventures, then this book is for you. Even if those don’t appeal to you, listen anyway, because the beautiful imagery in this book (courtesy of Johnny Mack) will leave you speechless. Johnny Mack nailed it. I swear I can still hear the sound of the river and the thumping of his feet as he ran to catch the wounded beast.

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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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Profile Image for Todd (Toad) Vogel
  • 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.