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The River Why  By  cover art

The River Why

By: David James Duncan
Narrated by: Dick Hill
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Publisher's summary

The classic novel of fly fishing and spirituality republished with a new afterword by the author.

Since its publication in 1983, The River Why has become a classic. David James Duncan's sweeping novel is a coming-of-age comedy about love, nature, and the quest for self-discovery, written in a voice as distinct and powerful as any in American letters.

Gus Orviston is a young fly fisherman who leaves behind his comically schizoid family to find his own path. Taking refuge in a remote cabin, he sets out in pursuit of the Pacific Northwest's elusive steelhead. But what begins as a physical quarry becomes a spiritual one as his quest for self-knowledge batters him with unforeseeable experiences.

Profoundly reflective about our connection to nature and to one another, The River Why is also a comedic roller coaster. Like Gus, the listener emerges utterly changed, stripped bare by the journey Duncan so expertly navigates.

©1983 David James Duncan (P)2016 Blackstone Audio

Critic reviews

"A veritable epic of flyfishing...done in a high-velocity, exuberant style, sprawling in scale, heedless of form.... The feeling for and evocation of the imperiled natural world is rhapsodic in its intensity; the writing energetic, literary in a distinctly American way.... So amiable is the prevailing tone that the flowing narrative is able to absorb Koranic and Eastern mysticisms, Tao, Sufism, Zen-the religions of oneness and gospel of love-without turning into the kind of maudlin choral chanting that so often disfigures treatments of fusion of self and the world." ( Publishers Weekly)
"This is a modern-repeat, modern -tale of maturity and redemption." ( Christian Science Monitor)
"A whirlwind, madcap, humorous and sensitive novel." ( New York Times)