Two Coots in a Canoe: An Unusual Story of Friendship
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Two Coots in a Canoe: An Unusual Story of Friendship

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A journey of whim, humor, and self-discovery along the Connecticut River

When retired CEO Ramsay Peard, 61, called his old friend David Morine, 59, and asked the longtime conservationistif he wanted to canoe the Connecticut River, Morine said he’d do it under one condition: no camping. “We’ll rely on the kindness of strangers.”



And that’s what they did. Mooching their way do...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 11th 2009 by Globe Pequot (first published September 1st 2009)
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Naomi
Initially, this sounds like something my dad would do.

Yep, something he'd do. Canoe down a river, staying with a wide variety of semi-strangers with a healthy dose of conservation interests thrown in on the side.

On another note, it is my opinion that the author does not understand, nor have a semi-working knowledge of depression. He explains away all clues and when he does get a stronger whiff that there might be a problem he dismisses it. I was disturbed and saddened by his lack of understandi...more
Melissa
I liked it less and less as the book went on...I started out really liking it. I love the Connecticut River, and the first part of the book described some of my very favorite places, so that was fun. But Bugsy seemed like he cared a lot more about conservation than his friend. I doubt that's true, but his focus was much more on donor issues than on Ramsay or rekindling their friendship through this trip. The constant talk about donor issues mixed with slightly intolerant/ insensitive commentary...more
Jeff
When I spotted this book in my public library, I knew I needed to read Two Coots in a Canoe. Dave Morine and Ramsay Peard are the two coots and the canoe is a 16 foot Mad River Glen and the plan was for these two 60 year-old coots to paddle the length of the Connecticut River, 400 miles from the Canadian border to the Long Island Sound. I'm still a couple of years shy of 60, but I'm unquestionably a coot, and my canoe is a 16 foot Old Town, and the thought of spending a month on the Connecticut...more
Connie
Ramsay Peard asked an old college buddy, David Morine, to take a trip down the Connecticut River in a canoe. Ramsey was a former CEO who had felt bored with his life after he retired, and this trip was a "bucket list" request. They traveled 400 miles from the Canadian border to Long Island Sound, going through the states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. They relied on the kindness of strangers for lodging and dinner every evening, mostly through contacts with environmen...more
todd
I was attracted to this title only because of a sign advertising the author doing a signing at a local bookstore, which of course was during the middle of a Wednesday! The signing was not going to happen, but Amazon came through as always.

This is the tale of two 60 year olds, who were classmates many years earlier but had not seriously crossed paths in 20 years. For some strange reason they decided it would be cool to paddle the length of the Connecticut River, "relying on the kindness of strang...more
Ed
To me this is a pretty unique book, mostly because it is a genre that I'm not sure, until now, I've ever read. Although at times I found it difficult to relate to the characters, Morine does a great job of telling the story. This book is about far more complex things than two coots' journey down the Connecticut River. It is about, among other things, the unique relationships we form with people, even complete strangers, as we navigate our way through this life.

The whole time I read this book, o...more
dead letter office
I feel bad trashing this, but I found the author distractingly hard to take. He's not half as funny, witty, or clever as he thinks he is. On top of this, his casual sexism really started to rub me the wrong way about 50 pages in. From a single two-page spread about a third of the way in (if I seem hypersensitive about this, please factor in that I just pulled these off of the first two pages I opened the book to):

1.
Woodsville looked old and tired, like an aging call girl in need of a facelift.
...more
Cheryl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff
I did not enjoy this half as much as I wanted to. The author is not as funny as he thinks he is. Lots of discussion on the business side of conservation, some interesting characters but many are half drawn, most interactions are glossed over, and the act of canoeing (along with descriptions of the river) are virtually ignored except where he points out the horrible things mankind has done to the pristine wilderness. There is no haunting cry of the loon in these pages, just the mechanical clank a...more
Karen
Two Coots is a quick non-fiction read about two old "semi-friends" who decide to canoe down an east coast river together and document the trip. They seem a bit ill suited to be spending this much time together although it made me want to take the same trip.

They decide to stay with random strangers and acquaintances along the way instead of camping and some of the more amusing bits come from their interactions with their hosts.

The author is possibly a bit more harsh than he needed to be about h...more
Melissa Guimont
Being very familiar with the "north country" of New Hampshire/Vermont I was excited to read the details of canoeing down the Connecticut River. I only swam in it, but never paddled it and was intrigued by the description on the book jacket. I'm glad I only swam in it at the top near Colebrook, because the description of the pollution in the river made me very sad and angry. The good thing is that one of the "coots" was a retired Nature Conservancy employee and was able to distribute grants to va...more
Patricia
I bought this book...... and lots of other stuff at L. L. Bean in Freeport.....

Two old guys decided to take a canoe on the entire length of the Connecticut River. One of the guys says he is too old to camp sleep on the ground any more. It is decided that they will rely on the kindness of strangers for their evening meal and a place to sleep.The stories are of the people they meet and those who are caring enough to save the river and its tributaries from the stres ses of the modern world.
Becky
This is the story of 2 men who travel down a river together and stay with strangers each night. They have great dinners and a bed to sleep in every night. This is NOT a story of two men pushing themselves to the limit of their abilities. It is primarily a story about conservation of the river with some interesting stories of the people they meet on the trip. There is a strained relationship between the two men, and the reason for that becomes clear at the end of the book.
Lill
Great book to read just before heading south from Maine! I agree with one comment- don't read the intro, just start the book. I am looking forward to observing parts of the river as we travel. It is reassuring to know that there are many gracious, friendly people who care about the environment and will put up two coots for the evening. Interesting study of cities and how they handle their part of the earth. Enjoy, if this is your type of book!
Philip E.
Two guys my age canoe the Connecticut River "from source to Sound." Unlike most guys, they decide not to camp along the way. They arrange ahead of time to stay in the homes of strangers who respond to their appeal for a free night. In this way they meet a varied cast of players whose stories enrich the tale and draw you on to the next chapter as surely as the current takes you down stream.
MaryAnn
I guess it just wasn't what I expected. I thought there'd be more stories about the two friends, or at least more information about their relationship over the years, but apparently there really wasn't much to talk about in that regard, so most of the book is about conservation of the river and environmental issues, which is ok, but not what I wanted to read!
Regina
Sometimes I admit it drug, but it is a true story told of a rafting trip down the Connecticut River by two old friends. The author is a conservationist and sometimes the conservation aspects were over my head but in the end, I could certainly see his point. There is more to fear in life than terrorists....we need to care for each other and clean up our rivers!
Siobhan
The title is true - it is an unusual story of friendship. One of the protagonists is really quite unlikeable. Although Morine seems to be giving an honest portrayal of the journey, I sense that things were actually much worse than he lets on. I guessed what the ending would be. Strange and tragic but inevitable. I'm glad I read it.
Elizabeth Tolman
I enjoyed this book. It's a memoir that tells the story of two old friends who decide to canoe down the Connecticut River relying, Blanche DuBois style, "on the kindness of strangers." Each night they stay with strangers. It's not a perfect book, but is more thought-provoking than I would have expected.
PJ
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Issy
This is the book of my father's that I pick up whenever I'm at my folks' house. I finally finished it last week. This is interesting, especially if you're from Western Mass you will identify with a lot of it. However, the book gets very repetitive towards the end.
William May
This is an excellent book and worth every minute of the read. Well written with an ending that will come as quite a surprise.
Carrie
What an interesting premise to canoe down the Connecticut River relying on the kindness of strangers each night. I enjoyed meeting each of their strangers and learning about the two friends who fulfilled a longtime dream. Kicker of an ending though.
Candy
It was just OK. I don't know if it would have been better had I NOT known the one guy died at the end. The people they met were interesting but not compelling. This is certainly NOT a "Good Bye to a River" level novel.
Don & Marge Miller
A wonderful book about friendship, paddling, and the goodness of people. Two college friends in their later years decide to paddle the length of the Connecticut River. A quick read well worth the time.
Sara
I wish I could give this 3.5 stars. I can't quite get myself to give it four. I did enjoy this book, but I didn't burn through it. There are some very funny parts, and not so funny parts.
Todd Beauregard
Two old dudes decide to take a canoe trip down the Connecticut River relying solely on the kindness of strangers to put them up each night. A Conservationists tale of angst and woe.
Fred Bayley
Wow! This broke into my top 5 all time favorite book list. It was a fun adventure with depth, humor, and warmth. It will be one of the few books I will read again.
Peg Lotvin
Two old friends, who haven't seen each other for 20 years canoe down the Connecticut River staying with local strangers, to them, each night.
Karen
Loved it! I drive on I91 all the time. We miss so much from the window of our cars.
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