Dan's Reviews > Deliverance

Deliverance by James Dickey
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's review
Jan 24, 2011

it was amazing

Deliverance is a book about four friends who journey down a dangerous and isolated river on two canoes, seeking adventure (and seemingly deliverance). As their three-day trek progresses, they are pushed into dire circumstances where they must make big decisions for survival.

I don't like to label something as "manly" or "womanly". Many reviewers here have considered Deliverance a manly book, and I don't fault them for it, but I believe words like that play into stereotypes about gender. I will say, though, that I am a man and I did enjoy this book. I don't know any women who have read it, so I can't say how they'd react to it. I know certain aspects may not be appealing to some women (we're talking about male bonding through beer and canoes, here), but in the end, Dickey creates interesting and sympathetic characters, even when they must make questionable choices, and every reader should sympathize with their plight.

Dickey also draws attention for his great style. Clear and accessible, but there's still plenty of great lines. As I read, I wished I could remember every sentence. It was a great novel.

I suppose I should discuss the film at some point, but I haven't seen it aside from a few clips. The "squeal" line isn't in the novel, that was added for the film, and I don't think it needed it. The scene is serious enough as it is, and I believe the "squeal" line just opens the story up for humour (how many people have referenced that part for comedic effect since?), which I don't believe was intended.

At any rate, I'm more interested in seeing the film, but I'm wary of the creative decisions made in it. In the meantime, I'll just reflect upon this great novel.

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Reading Progress

January 24, 2011 – Started Reading
January 24, 2011 – Shelved
January 24, 2011 –
page 20
January 31, 2011 – Finished Reading

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