The River Why
Since its publication by Sierra Club Books nearly two decades ago, The River Why has become a classic, standing with Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It as the most-read fiction about fly-fishing of our era. Duncan's protagonist, Gus Orviston, is an irreverent young flyfisherman, a vibrant character who makes us laugh easily and feel deeply, and who speaks with startl...more
The paperback copy I had was a later edition, and I sent my copy to the Sierra Club in San Francisco, explaining that I knew they would not share the author's address, could they please s...more
It had aspects of all of my favorite books combined.
Comedy and fantastic writing that is at times beautifully simple, and intellectually dense.
Every character stood out as an incredibly interesting individual, so much so that if the author hadn't of said this was a work of fiction himself I wo...more
Some books draw you in.
Some books read you-- and in the process lay you out, naked and utterly absorbed in every sensation and feeling as though you were just born.
Welcome to The River Why.
I never thought of fishing and philosophy as a duo. I don't even particularly care that much about fishing (despite having done so with my grandfather when I was a little girl).
But Duncan has created a story so rich in thought and depth, that even the technicalities of fly making, cast...more
First let me say that I am neither religious nor "spiritual". I find books about discovering one's spirituality tiresome. I am solidly in the secular materialist camp. So with that said, let me now say that I loved this book. I loved it despite the moral of the tale, which is that God is (qui...more
It’s hard for me to express just how much I love this book. One of the biggest reasons why is because it’s laugh-out-loud hysterical. There are just not...more
From The River Why:
Across the road from my cabin was a huge clear-cut--hundreds of acres of massive spruce stumps interspersed with tiny Douglas firs--products of what they call "Reforestation," which I guess makes the spindly firs en masse a "Reforest," which makes an individual spindly fir a "Refir," which means you could say that Weyerhauser, who owns the joint, has Refir Madness, since they think that sawing down 200-foot-ta...more
Towards the end of the book, I read this passage, and then re-read it and re-read at least ten times...
"Dawn came up behind the hills, extending...more
The main character, Gus, grows up with fishing obsessed parents - but they are very different people: one a stuffy angler, who named his son "Augustus" and the other a bait fisherwoman with very earthy tastes, and both who use Izaak Walton's "The Compleat Angler" as a Bible (though one they don't understand). Gus grows up as a bette...more
This book has a little of everything for me. It tells the story of a philosophically curious young fisherman's coming of age. He walks us through all of his rebellions and all of his reconciliations with a wry wit and a compassion for each side of every circumstance along the...more
Of the 150 pages i've read,i can't help but feel dissatisfied considering the reviews on the basis of which i bought the book.makes me feel most reviewers must be teenagers or adolescents.
there are very few books i loathe(a confederacy of dunces),and fortunately this is not one of em'.It's just not to my taste.
although,i plan to return to it after i am finished with 5 other half read books i got in t...more
The River Why incorporates everything I could ever want in a book- it's hilarious, its spiritual, it involves fishing, and it's (again) hilarious.
The book is a fictional autobiography about a man who leaves his nutty family to discover himself as a sort of recluse-fisherman. He makes great friendships along the way, and eventually comes to appreciate his part in the bigger picture. It's a great book, nearly impossible to categorize, but trust me when I say that t...more
It took a while for fishing, philosophy and spirituality to come together for me, but once they did I was hooked. The combination is a natural, as it says on pg. 179, “Fishermen should be the easiest of men to convince to commence the search fo...more
I think this novel also has what I call Confederacy of Dunces syndrome: one's gender significantly impacts one's identification with and enjoyment of it. Maybe the best example of this is when he first sees Eddy. The description, his actions, etc. are hilarious and touching and we've all experienc...more
Both received the Pacific Northwest Booksellers award; The Brothers K was a New York Times Notable Book in 1992 and won a Best Books Award from the American Library Association.