Liz's Reviews > The River Why, Twentieth-Anniversary Edition

The River Why, Twentieth-Anniversary Edition by David James Duncan
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's review
May 01, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: novel, spiritual, animals-nature, fiction, favorites, classics
Read from May 17, 2011 to November 05, 2014 — I own a copy , read count: 3

What a gem of a book! Beautiful prose, hilarious stories and short chapters. When he writes about the profound and deep questions of life, it makes your heart ache so much your eyes leak. Filled with unique characters and an obvious familiarity with nature, especially rivers and the art of fishing, the book takes you there- more than takes you there- immerses you in it. It is easy to see why it has become such a classic. I read this back when I lived in Bend Oregon and it was one of the library's 'Community Reads' selections. The author came and spoke. I have now read it again and it remains an inspiring read.

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Quotes Liz Liked

David James Duncan
“When people are kids their parents teach them all sorts of stuff, some of it true and useful, some of it absurd hogwash (example of former: don't crap your pants; example of latter: Columbus discovered America). This is why puberty happens. The purpose of puberty is to shoot an innocent and gullible child full of nasty glandular secretions that manifest in the mind as confusion, in the innards as horniness, upon the skin as pimples, and on the tongue as cocksure venomous disbelief in every piece of information, true or false, gleaned from one's parents since infancy. The net result is a few years of familial hell culminating in the child's exodus from the parental nest, sooner or later followed by a peace treaty and the emergence of the postpubescent as an autonomous, free-thinking human being who knows that Columbus only trespassed on an island inhabited by our lost and distant Indian relatives, but who also knows not to crap his pants.”
David James Duncan, The River Why

David James Duncan
“the thing i found offensive, the thing i hated about mohican-mountain-makers, gill-netters, poachers, whalehunters, strip-miners, herbicide-spewers, dam-erectors, nuclear-reactor-builders or anyone who lusted after flesh, meat, mineral, tree, pelt and dollar - including, first and foremost, myself - was the smug ingratitude, the attitude that assumed the world and its creatures owed us everything we could catch, shoot, tear out, alter, plunder, devour...and we owed the world nothing in return.”
David James Duncan, The River Why

David James Duncan
“And so I learned what solitude really was. It was raw material - awesome, malleable,older than men or worlds or water. And it was merciless - for it let a man become precisely what he alone made of himself.”
David James Duncan, The River Why

David James Duncan
“Life is short. It's God's fault. Sorry.”
David James Duncan, The River Why

Reading Progress

11/01/2014 marked as: currently-reading
11/09/2014 marked as: read

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