todd's Reviews > Two Coots in a Canoe: An Unusual Story of Friendship

Two Coots in a Canoe by David E. Morine
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Oct 17, 2010

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Read in October, 2010

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 strangers," a la Blanche DuBois in Streetcar. One is a career conservationist. The other is a retired "deal guy." The year is 2003. They advertise their plans, sort through a large number of responses of people willing to put them up for a night, and work out an itinerary.

Knowing a bit about the Connecticut River made the book more interesting to me, but my big problem was that I liked the people they stayed with much more than the main protagonist coots. Not surprisingly, two people who knew little about paddling or had spent any time together in decades had some rough patches.

The book is recommended to reinforce two things that probably should not need reinforcement. First, preserving or resusitating our rivers should be a major priority for all of us. Second, the time spent on such larks should be with people you never have enough time for in your everyday lives. I kept thinking this is why we go on Quetico trips rather than go on alumni sponsored tours.

If you pick up this book (and my copy will be available to circulate if anyone is interested) DO NOT READ THE INTRODUCTION OR ANYTHING BEFORE CHAPTER 1. I don't know what the author was thinking putting important "tells" in this material. Any suspense I was supposed to get from the actual narrative was spoiled, which is why I only rated the book 3 stars.
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