The classic novel of fly fishing and spirituality republished with a new Afterword by the author.
Since its publication in 1983, THE RIVER WHY has become a classic. David James Duncan's sweeping novel is a coming-of-age comedy about love, nature, and the quest for self-discovery, written in a voice as distinct and powerful as any in American letters.
Gus Orviston is a young fly fisherman who leaves behind his comically schizoid family to find his own path. Taking refuge in a remote cabin, he sets out in pursuit of the Pacific Northwest's elusive steelhead. But what begins as a physical quarry becomes a spiritual one as his quest for self-knowledge batters him with unforeseeable experiences.
Profoundly reflective about our connection to nature and to one another, THE RIVER WHY is also a comedic rollercoaster. Like Gus, the reader emerges utterly changed, stripped bare by the journey Duncan so expertly navigates.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
David James Duncan is the author of the novels The River Why and The Brothers K, the story collection River Teeth, and two nonfiction collections. His work has appeared in numerous national anthologies, including Best American Essays (twice), Best American Sportswriting, and Best American Spiritual Writing (five times). Duncan is widely renowned as an activist and expert fly fisher. He lives with his family in western Montana.
Table of Contents
|Book 1||The Compleat Angler|
|1||"Gus the Fish"||3|
|2||The Rogue River Fishing War||10|
|3b||Some Biographical Statistics||17|
|5a||The Great Izaak Walton Controversy: the Parental Version||29|
|5b||The Great Izaak Walton Controversy: My Own Rendition||36|
|6||Excerpts from the God-notebook||40|
|7||Being "Educated" and "Gittin' Brung Up"||45|
|8||The "Ideal Schedule"||56|
|9||Voiding My Rheum||59|
|Book 2||The Undoing of a Scientific Angler|
|1||Where I Lived and What I Lived For||70|
|2||Water on the Brain||83|
|3||Anvil Abe and the Phantom Fisherman||90|
|4||Fainting Before the Duel||98|
|Book 3||Characters in Nature|
|1||The River Writes||130|
|3||The Warble of the Water Owl||149|
|5||Jesus Keeps Fishing||163|
|8||Little, But Strong||184|
|9||Closing the Door||191|
|Book 4||The Line of Light|
|3||Nick the Convert||220|
|5||The Raven and the [characters not reproducible]||244|
|6||Googler and Mangler||252|
|7||Trick or Treat||260|
|8||The Line of Light||268|
|Book 5||At the End of the Line|
|Acknowledgments and Dedications||292|
|Heart Work: An afterword, twenty years later||294|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The passage on the Shadow World is one of the most magical 10 pages I've ever read.
Definitely on my list of top ten books I have ever read. Despite the fact that I don't fish, and I'm not nor ever have been a teenage boy (the protagonist), this book spoke to me. Plus, it is laugh out loud funny.
I read this book and 'The Brothers K' in such a rush, and loved both. Read these books.
Possibly the best book I've ever read. David Duncan has mastered the English language and he creates a story that takes you through your emotions and leaves the Soul begging to truly live. Remember your dreefrees!
I got the suggestion to read this book from my junior english teacher. When i read it it was a great book but 2 months later i read the book again and totally got emersed. i want to read it a third time but have other books to read. But definetely one of the elite.
This book was a required read in freshman lit class many years ago. I have read it several times over the years, and always discover something new every time I read it. This book touched me in many ways. The River Why isn't really about fly fishing, but is about finding out who you are and how you're going to live. This is, without a doubt, my favorite book ever.
I read this book about 15 years ago and still think about it and rate it as one of my all time favorites. I'm not a fly fisherman, but obviously you don't have to be to enjoy this book. It grabs you right away and you can't put it down. It's funny, sad, thought provoking, GREAT!!!
I have read this book twice, and loved it each time. Duncan has spun a tale that spans generations and eras; a story of love, life, finding oneself, coping with adolescence and adulthood, trying to fit into society, and more importantly, trying to fit into one's family... this is a novel that anyone can read and enjoy. Passion for fishing is what drives the family of the story; however, Duncan also uses fishing as an analogy for life, love, and relationships. He captures the essence of the sport as easily captures the essence of life. Duncan's 'The River Why' is sure to become a classic in the years to come.
Duncan blends visul images of fishing that prove an irrisistable lure to even the least fisherman savvy of us. He tells a tale of growing up in a way that makes me want to run out and buy both a casting reel and a fishing pole. His parents are both two dimensional characters and down to earth people that I wish I had known in my youth. The analogies are so funny that when I was reading the book for the first time, I laughed in the bus seat I occupied out loud and without care. What a gift he offers by way of his stories. Not to miss, not to let go by you, this book is a must read for everyone.