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The River
by Peter Heller




Overview -
A Nominee for the 2020 Edgar Allan Poe Awards

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A fiery tour de force... I could not put this book down. It truly was terrifying and unutterably beautiful. -Alison Borden, The Denver Post

From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, the story of two college students on a wilderness canoe trip--a gripping tale of a friendship tested by fire, white water, and violence

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 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 paddling and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and reading paperback Westerns. 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 headlong, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival.

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More About The River by Peter Heller

 
 
 

Overview

A Nominee for the 2020 Edgar Allan Poe Awards

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A fiery tour de force... I could not put this book down. It truly was terrifying and unutterably beautiful. -Alison Borden, The Denver Post

From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, the story of two college students on a wilderness canoe trip--a gripping tale of a friendship tested by fire, white water, and violence

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 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 paddling and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and reading paperback Westerns. 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 headlong, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525521877
  • ISBN-10: 0525521879
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: March 2019
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The River

Fresh on the heels of 2017 bestseller Celine, Peter Heller has struck gold again with The River, about two college friends whose peaceful camping trip turns into a nightmarish combination of natural dangers, life-threatening disasters and human malice.

Dartmouth classmates Jack and Wynn have cleared a few weeks for fly-fishing and whitewater canoeing in northern Canada. Raised on a ranch in Colorado, Jack finds camping and hunting to be as natural as breathing. Wynn is a gentle soul from rural Vermont whose random trailside installations of stones, twigs and flowers do not take away from his acumen out of doors. The young men share a love of literature and outdoor sport, and imagine their two-week trek to be one of leisurely paddling, blueberry picking and reading around the campfire. This idyll is abruptly shattered when they sniff out the fumes of a swiftly approaching forest fire. Wynn and Jack agree to turn back and warn a couple they heard arguing the day before. This proves to be a fateful decision, as the woman, Maia, is found injured and bloody, and her husband, Pierre, no longer on the scene. The two men, with the badly shocked Maia in tow, are now on the run from the fire and, equally threatening, from a possibly homicidal husband. As if this weren’t bad enough, the crises put a strain on the two men, and an element of mistrust creeps into their friendship.

Masterfully paced and artfully told, The River is a page turner that demands the reader slow down and relish the sheer poetry of the language. Heller is an experienced outdoorsman and has an extensive background in journalism, having written for Outside and Men’s Magazine and with several nonfiction books on surfing, camping and fishing to his long list of credits—and his familiarity with all facets of the river trip shows. Though stories of man versus nature date back to the Odyssey, The River thrills as Heller invites his characters to confront their own mortality without losing sight of the deep connections between humans and their environment.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Peter Heller for The River.

 

BAM Customer Reviews