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A River Out of Eden
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A River Out of Eden

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
On a night of torrential rain, a warrior appears near the Colombia River, where the Chinook people thrived before the hydroelectric dams came and changed their entire way of life. He has come to reclaim the river, to return it to its original majesty.

Soon after, government employees are found murdered with elaborate harpoons. As the body count grows, Francine Smohalla, a
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 9th 2002 by Anchor (first published 2001)
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Katy M
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm not sure what to make of this book. If you want a feel good book were everything is black and white, this is definitely not the book for you. However, if you want to grapple with questions such as, do the ends justify the means? Can the right thing be done for the wrong reasons or vice versa? How important are individual human lives in the grand scheme of things? Then, you might enjoy this book.

I found most of the characters absolutely unlikeable. I felt kind of bad for Jack and Rebecca, but
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
The portions of the book that describe the Columbia River setting are wonderful. However, the portions of the book that portray characters and convey plot are written in that exaggerated style that is often termed "purple prose". The difference between the nature writing and basically everything else in the book was striking. The plot was gruesome.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting locally set novel - set in the Columbia river area this story is a bit historical (history of the damming of this great river), the people who lived here before the dams (the native people) and those people that worked to tame the river. It took awhile to get into it but then had me.
Feb 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish the book. By the time I was 40 pages in, I was so irritated with the author that I had to stop.
That's not exactly what I did.
What I did was throw the book across the room (and I am a mild-mannered grandmotherly type).

I should have been tipped off when, in the preface material, the author whined that no tribal authority would help him with the pronunciation of native words used in the text.

That may be because they'd read it.

Hockenberry engages in the worst kind of stereotypical,
May 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Edward Abbey
Shelves: signed
This novel appealed to me on several levels. It is a first rate thriller that will keep you reading late into the night. It paints an accurate picture of the Columbia River, its dams and their effects on the people and environment. But it was the last last hundred pages that won me over. Some may consider this a dangerous novel. A book filled with radical notions. Me, being a fan of Ed Abbey, and a self-avowed anarchist, it appealed to my heart and soul.
James Cooper
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Imbert
Jul 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
It was awful! I had hopes of it being good since it was based in my home area & talked about so many places I know & love & featured our beautiful Columbia River & the local tribes. But it just never took off. I'm all for standing up & getting your voice heard through activism but not violent activism. As a Native American myself authors writing us in this vein is stigmatizing & harmful to the work the People have done to be heard.
Ken Yliniemi
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
The writer has such a great style of describing with such expression the area around the Columbia river gorge in the Pacific Northwest. It was a bit slow to start off in the story, but once it picked up, it was well worth it. I would recommend it to anyone who lives or has been up to this area, as you will recognize all the places on the Columbia.
Denesa Oberbeck
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved the idea of this book, and by the end I was captivated enough to stand in the middle of a busy sidewalk to finish the last paragraphs. I didn't think the writing was the greatest, but I liked the way that each character's perspective was brought forth so that you felt yourself rooting for each one, in spite of their opposing viewpoints.
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm sorry, this book was just too outlandish. Fond as we in the Pacific NW may be of John Hockenberry, this apocalyptic murder mystery is just over the top and ridiculous. Did rather enjoy some of the regional themes, places and lore in spite of the absurd plot.
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of my very favourite books - one of the rare ones I have read more than once.
Having just returned from a trip of the Columbia River Gorge, I was reminded of this book because of the setting. Wish this man would write more books like this!!
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
John's mother was my teacher in high school the year he had his accident and I have followed his career since then. I totally enjoyed this book as it kept my attention from start to finish. It was one of those "I can't put it down books".
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Worth reading if only to preserve the memory of Celilo Falls!
C Van
May 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Couldn't bring myself to care what happened to the charactors.
Francie Shoemaker
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
We used to stop and watch the Indians fishing there when I was younger.
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