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This is one of the best books! The descriptions are so evocative and the characters are developed with subtle interactions. The action keeps the story moving perfectly. I look forward to reading his other books.
I truly enjoyed reading this book, it pulled me in right from page 1. Jack and Wynn have a fantastic relationship and both have their own strengths, they compliment each other well. The setting was detailed enough to make me feel a part of the journey.
Like other books that pull me in like this, I was sad when I finished because it was such a good read.
I enjoyed this book somewhat: parts of it were good. It's an interesting outdoor adventure. The writing style was a bit basic at times though.
For me, the story had a slow start, but then I couldn't put it down! I loved the setting, Jack and Wynn, the storytelling. Beautiful. I won't give away anything, but man, I was thinking about this one long after I finished it.
It almost didn’t keep my attention starting off very slowly but picking up a little in the middle. I am glad I didn’t give up on it but it was still a little less enjoyable than I expected Just not my kind of story
I got about 4-5 chapters in when I decided if the book had a story to tell it would have told it by then so I dropped it to find something with... more.
Modern Mrs Darcy
Good book and writing style, read more from this author
An inferior book compared to the author’s Dog Stars. I’ve read much better survival in the wilderness books than this. When you start listing the full inventory of the equipment etc. remaining in your canoe, it starts to read like an REI catalog. Fortunately, it’s a fast read.
The description of this book was so promising, but I couldn't really get into it. Too much back story for each character, too little suspenseful thrill and harrowing survival story for me. I had high hopes based on all the positive reviews, but I just can't recommend it.
A most enjoyable and quick read. Very good character development of very likeable main characters. A gripping, hard to put down book.
If you happen to love the great outdoor wilderness, flight of raptors, the burble of the river plus being caught in the path of a wildfire storm, AND have a suspected murder to interfere with your survival then this is your best choice for your next book to read. Heller sure knows his outdoors and describes it in vivid detail. Choices of survival are at the forefront. Would you have made the same decisions?
The book reminded me of the true story of the misguided murderous teenagers found in the northern wilderness of Manitoba this year (2019). Set in the same area, this suspenseful book kept me on my toes, as did the media coverage of the manhunt for the murder suspects. I felt I was paddling through Canada’s lovely wilderness along with the voyageurs. I loved the author’s earlier work The Dog Stars, a great post-apocalyptic story.
A gripping and nuanced tale that explores what happens when two young men are thrust into unexpected, threatening, and converging natural and human dramas. The story is character driven and evocative and not about surprise plot twists and tidy endings and so some readers may find the ending unsatisfactorily abrupt. An enjoyable, quick, unsettling read.
Great survival tale; couldn't help but hope for the best but brace for the worst. Yes, there were flaws, but overall compelling enough that I will definitely pursue additional offerings by this author.
This was a beautifully written book. The language and descriptions brought me into the story in a vivid way. My complaint is that the other characters in the wilderness were never fleshed out or explained. What were their backstories? Why were they on the River then? This would have helped me understand their motivations for why they acted as they did toward the main characters.
I've enjoyed other Peter Heller novels and The River can be added to that list. It makes you think about how perception can be affected under the threat of wildfire, starvation, then possibly a killer. How far will you you go to act on your suspicions and the possibility you might be wrong? Doing the right thing can have terrible consequences. Beautiful descriptions of nature will take you along for the ride with Jack and Wynn.
Note: I listened to the audiobook for this one.
Full review available under Summary
A gripping survival tale. I really liked Jack and Wynn, and was rooting for their accidentally heroic quest the whole time. The ever growing peril from the fire, starvation, and perhaps a homicidal maniac had me hooked. The conclusion was truly moving. This was my first Peter Heller novel, and I will definitely be reading more.
Peter Heller keeps getting better and better. Both fast-paced and contemplative, The River is a doozy of a ride.
The River offers up a translucent Illumination of the inextricable interlace between nature (physical world) and human nature (emotional psychology). Heller weaves a claustrophobic tale of sequential encounters between a half-dozen people, never all at once. Even though set in the far north (Hudson Bay basin), there's a pervasive sense of being hemmed in, chance hovering in the background, shaping encounters and experiences. In a sense, one would be able to make the case that this novel is a microcosm of The Dog Stars.
Wow. Keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole ride. Two young men, best friends, on a canoe trip in Northern Ontario. Alone and enjoying every minute up until things start going sideways: a forest fire, a couple of drunken men on a boat trip of their own, two voices arguing on a very foggy morning, a woman whose been hurt. A really great read.
I enjoy survival stories, and this one was well done as combined forest fire and dodge the killer story. Although I found the character Wynn too naive to be believable, the other one Jack seemed realistic. What I was most intrigued with was following the author's descriptions of the progress of the fire toward these two friends on the river. The use of the smoke, the sounds, the heat, the water...it was so easy to envision and reminded me of experiences my former husband and I had during our many woodsy treks. Their struggle to rescue the young woman seemed truly and relentlessly committed.