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The Last River Rat: Kenny Salwey's Life in the Wild

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Kenny Salwey is a modern-day American hermit who has lived most of his life in the Mississippi river bottoms, coming to know the river ecosystem with an intimacy unavailable to most. Now, Kenny shares his love of, and knowledge about, the mighty river. The Last River Rat is a seasonal look at Kenny’s unique life. Each chapter covers a month of Kenny’s year and starts by de ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 25th 2005 by Voyageur Press (first published 2001)
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Rebecca Burke
Jan 25, 2013 Rebecca Burke rated it it was amazing
If you have no experience of growing up on and around rivers, you may not grok this small masterpiece of nature writing. And that's a shame (for you in re: your impoverished life). Those of us who know, or used to know, a lot about rivers have probably run into folks like Kenny Salwey, the hero in this book. He and his kind believe the term "River Rat" is an honorific. I do too, even more so after devouring this wonderful book.

The Last River Rat is a pure joy to read, funny as hell in places, bu
...more
Daniel
Nov 28, 2007 Daniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A one-year "diary" of living the life of a "river rat" in the backwaters of the Mississippi River.

Broken down first by month, and then each month having three parts, 1)River Rat Almanac, 2) Scott Bestul's report on what he learns from Kenny during that month, 3) Kenny's Tale. Each is interesting in its own way, but Scott's narration is direct and honest and brings the reader right to the Whitman Swamp with him.

An engaging read, interesting, and dare I say, unique in so many ways. Better, I think
...more
Chris
Apr 08, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the sections of this book that Kenny Salwey wrote himself. The sections that were written by Scott Bestul were ok, but they seemed to have a little bit of hero worship in them.

Kenny's writing have really motivated me to move my family and career onto Iowa's east coast, and the Mississippi. I always love spending time on the river when i was younger, and I lookforward to getting back there.

I am looking forward to reading the follow-up to this book that Kenny wrote himself. I have
...more
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