Thursday 14 March 2019

#BookReview The River by Peter Heller @AAKnopf

The River by Peter Heller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, this is a masterful tale of wilderness survival in the vein of Into the Wild and The Call of the Wild. It is the story of two college friends on a wilderness canoe trip--a gripping tale of a friendship tested by fire, whitewater, starvation, and brutality.

Wynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. Wynn is a gentle giant, a Vermont kid never happier than when his feet are in the water. Jack is smaller, more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado where sleeping under the stars and cooking on a fire came as naturally to him as breathing. When they decide to canoe the Maskwa River in Northern Canada, they anticipate long days of leisurely paddles and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and paperback western novels. But a wildfire making its way across the forest adds unexpected urgency to the journey. When they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank and decide to warn them about the fire, their search for the pair turns up nothing and no one. But: the next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the man they heard? And if he is, where is the woman? 

From this charged beginning, master storyteller Peter Heller, unspools a head-long, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival.


The River is an interesting book about two best friends that decided to canoe the Maskwa River in Northen Canada. This leisurely trip takes a different turn when they discover that a wildfire is looming. Then, they hear a couple arguing while paddling. The day after the man turns up, paddling alone. If this was the man they heard the day before what happened to the woman?

This book feels a bit all over the place for me. It was not really that thrilling until the very end. I did enjoy reading (and listening to the audio version at work) however, I never felt totally engrossed with the story until the very end. If the 2/3 of the book had been as good as the last part had this book been awesome. I only feel mildly interested in Wynn and Jacks endeavors after the man shows up without the woman and the things that happened before. The characters' thoughts and recollections just not always rocked my boat. The ending is something entirely else. That is one hell of a sucker punch. Sad and so bittersweet. I do recommend reading the book, the story is interesting and the right reader will love it!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

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