The River by Peter Heller

The River

From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, the story of two college friends on a wilderness canoe trip—a gripping novel of a friendship tested by fire, white water, and violenceWynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. Wynn is a gentle giant, a Vermont kid never happier than when his feet are in the water. Jack is more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado ...

Details The River

TitleThe River
Release DateMar 5th, 2019
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
GenreFiction, Thriller, Adventure, Mystery

Reviews The River

  • Jen
    Holy F***ity *f*ck. 2 days and I couldn’t put this one down.This story moves as fast as the white water rapids these 2 pals are portaging through. Intense.Jack and Wynn are trekking through the Maskwa river in Northern Canada an enjoyable journey that turns into one of survival. They encounter a forest fire, in which they are pacing themselves to the village they need to get to, Which is a 10 day trek at best and the flames are only 20 miles aw...
  • Holly B
    A little too slow-building and descriptive for me. There is some intense, suspenseful moments, but the detailed and somewhat repetitiveness stalled the flow of the story. He even describes how fast they paddled the canoe (3mph) , the various species of birds singing and the brand of sleeping bag they slept in. I know this would be a plus for many, but I was ready for something to happen.This one was a favorite of many of my GR friends. I like to ...
  • Diane S ☔
    Wynn and Jack meet at orientation, both sharing a love of literature, they become fast friends. Wynn comes from Vermont, loves the water, Jack, raised on a ranch in Colorado. Both boys have a keen sense of adventure and in the summer they decide to take a leisurely canoe trip down the Maskwa River in Canada. They are more than well provisioned, and the first part of their trip goes smoothly indeed.In this first part of the book the reader is trea...
  • Karen
    What a gripping, intense story! Wynn and Jack are best friends, they met freshman year of college and bonded over their love of the outdoors and books. They are on a wilderness canoe trip in Canada anticipating a grand time of fishing, paddling, stargazing, reading.... but things go awry when they become aware of a wildfire making its way across the forest. This wildfire is just the start of occurrences that add an urgency to this heart-pounding ...
  • Linda
    "The turning of a card that sent a life in one direction or another. The slip of a single hoof on stone, the sound of two voices in the midst. He believed in it as much as he believed in any other thing, like loyalty or hard work. And sometimes the places that happenstance sent you weren't as vague as a direction, sometimes they were as steel-cast and unforgiving as a set of rails."Life is like that. It nudges you down unexpected corridors and se...
  • j e w e l s
    FOUR STARS AUDIOThe River is for you, IF:You are the outdoorsy/backpacking/hiking type. Or live vicariously through books!You love a modern adventure story with an old-timey feel.You adore descriptions of nature.You go gaga over detailed lists of camping suppliesNOT kidding!You love a very literary writing style in above mentioned subjects!So, I kinda meet the above requirements (helloI live in Oregon by choice!!). I plunged into this lovely, lit...
  • Dianne
    “The River” is a very engrossing and beautifully written outdoor adventure/friendship tale that knocked my socks off. Heller is an absolute master at capturing the fierce beauty and terrible majesty of the natural world. His powerful descriptions of nature often took my breath away. Here’s a passage where he brings a monstrous beast of a forest fire to life:”Over the trees – they could still see the wall of trees through smoke like fog ...
  • Paula
    I saw this audiobook on the shelf of my local library and decided to pick it up knowing that many GR friends had recently rated The River very highly.Adventure and survival stories are always of interest to me. Unfortunately, The River did not live up to the others I have read. The book is not intense or a thriller, but a slow burn. It is more of a character study of the 2 young men that are taking a journey down a river in northern Canada. The b...
  • Cheri
    ”They loved how the darkness amplified the sounds – the gulp of the dipping paddles, the knock of the wood shaft against the gunwale. The long desolate cry of a loon. The loons especially. How they hollowed out the night with longing.” These two young men who meet during the first days of college on the Dartmouth campus, Jack and Wynn, share a love of nature, fishing, water and the outdoors, camping as well as a shared love of poetry, and b...
  • Cathrine ☯️
    5 If you go out in the woods today,You'd better not go alone.It's lovely out in the woods today,But safer to stay at home. . .But it’s not a picnic you should worry about. Best friends Wynn and Jack are on a Canadian canoeing adventure minimalist style, no phone because “What would be the point? They didn’t have much first aid. They traveled light in that regard—they were boys” — Oh the confidence of youth. They do have bear spray...
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    Find all of my reviews at: say I was not the correct audience for this book is a serious understatement. Don’t even call me a wrongreader either because the blurb was responsible for making me think it was going to go all . . . . With a story about a dude who maybe killed his wife on the river and the two young fellas who happen to stumble upon him both with and without his better half accounted for that al...
  • Libby
    4.5 stars rounded up. Peter Heller’s elegant prose enthralled me, along with a couple of engaging characters in an intense backcountry adventure. Wynn, a big athletic guy from Vermont, who loves poetry and making impromptu sculptures from natural objects identifies with the ephemeral beauty he sees around him. Jack is a rough and tumble cowboy from Colorado who is still struggling with his mother’s tragic death when Jack was only eleven. They...
  • Cheryl
    THIS BOOK IS WHY I READ.It had me at hello and didn't let go.Literary perfection. A beautiful tribute to nature. The ultimate buddy read.I will read more Peter Heller.
  • JanB
    Wynn and Jack couldn’t be more different but because of their shared love of the outdoors and reading they become fast friends as freshmen in college. They decide to take a relaxing leisurely canoe trip down a river in Canada. The first part of this slim book meanders along at a leisurely pace. The author is a travel and adventure writer and it shows. Normally I’ll put down a book with descriptive writing, but in this book it works. As with t...
  • Iulia
    A novel that started off well, and then the writing became progressively lazier. If you want to read a book chock-full of camping and fishing minutiae, this might be for you. Style-wise, about 90% of it reads something like this:They got up. They were cold. They made a fire. They took the pot to the river and filled it with water. They boiled the water. They added sugar. They drank it. They decided to do some fishing [insert page after page after...
  • Kelli
    Ugh! Here is another book that everyone loves...seriously, everyone, but, I even have to say it?! Ugh! I would rather not. This just wasn’t the book for me. If I hadn’t skimmed parts of it, I’m not sure I would’ve finished it and I really don’t know why. I was bored. Forgive me, friends and fans.2.5 stars
  • Beverly
    Action, adventure, and a gorgeous setting, The River was hard for me to put down. Jack and Wynn are best friends on a college break making a canoeing trip. They are also something that is very unusual and little described in literature, decent, kind and smart. Their love of books is what brought them together; they are voracious readers. They also love nature and all its beauties as well. Both boys are good to their families and love them and bot...
  • J.K. Grice
    "There's always relief in committing to a decision, even when there's no choice." ~from THE RIVERPeter Heller's latest novel is just one helluva ride, not to mention outdoor adventure literature at its finest. You can place THE RIVER right up there beside Elwood Reid's Midnight Sun and James Dickey's American classic, Deliverance. Jack and Wynn are two college boys taking the fall off from their studies at Dartmouth. It's August in Canada, and th...
  • Lisa
    The River is an exquisite adventure. Here is my reading experience: I am hurtling down a river, filled with adrenaline, desperate to flip the page when I am stopped in my tracks by a sentence, describing perfectly the sky or forest or the feelings of Wynn or Jack. I have to read it twice. Slowly. My pulse is racing, I charge forward and AGAIN am stopped by Heller's language. Meanwhile, I am becoming seriously attached to Wynn and Jack so every ac...
  • Candie
    I thought the writing in this book was beautiful. I was hooked from the first chapter. It's like nothing really seemed to be happening yet but the way that the author wrote it just feels so ominous, dark, silent and creepy. You can just feel like something bad was going to happen. I was instantly on edge. The writing style was very descriptive but in many short sentences; it seemed to work very well at adding suspense. I've never read a writing s...
  • Jill
    The River is good. Not just good but heart-pounding, stomach-dropping, page-turning good. I would expect nothing less from Peter Heller, who enthralled me with The Dog Stars and The Painters. This time, he tackles the Canadian wilderness – a challenging canoe trip on the Maskwa River meticulously planned by best friends Jack and Wynn. Both are adventurous, easy-going, very self-sufficient, and literate. But as the trip progresses, we also learn...
  • Julie Christine
    First comes the scent of smoke. More than a campfire, it's persistent, pervasive, it travels with Jack and Wynn as they canoe along the Miskwa river toward Hudson Bay. Jack climbs a tree and is horrified by what he espies across the vast Canadian forest: a massive fire consuming the forest with tsunami-like force, bearing down on them. Paddling tandem, even as skilled and in prime physical condition as they are, they can't hope to outrun the fire...
  • Kathleen
    Outdoor adventure plus so much more! Heller is excellent at immersing the reader into wilds of nature. Here, he has two Dartmouth juniors following their dream of canoeing and fishing on the Canadian Maskwa River. They have decided to do this during the window between their summer jobs and the start of school. Unfortunately, they got a whole lot more than they bargained for. There is a forest fire—an attempted murder—and danger with a capital...
  • Addie H
    While “everybody” talks about not being able to put it down, I struggled repeatedly to keep picking it up!At first, NOTHING HAPPENS for such a long time, even though they are made aware of a GIANT forest fire heading their way and they have about a 10-day paddle to do to get to safety. If that does not create tension what does?It's exhaustingly descriptive (scenery, gear, flora, fauna, how to sit in the canoe, fly fishing techniques, and the ...
  • Diane
    This novel was RIVETING. I fell under its spell and read it in one sitting. "The River" follows Jack and Wynn, two college buddies who decide to go on a canoe trip in northern Canada. Their outdoor adventure takes a turn when they realize a forest fire is looming, and they meet some suspicious characters along the river. To say more about the plot would be to spoil all the good suspense.There are a lot of things I liked about this book, but I was...
  • Tooter
    4.5 Stars!
  • Lorna
    The River is the latest novel by one of my favorite contemporary authors, and once again, Peter Heller does not disappoint in this riveting and powerful book about two young college students embarking on a wilderness river experience canoeing in northern Canada. Jack, the more pragmatic and introspective of the boys grew up in Colorado on a ranch; and Wynn, less judgmental and always seeing the goodness in people, grew up in Vermont. Meeting duri...
  • Chris Wolak
    LOVED it. I can't recall reading an adventure novel that also has so much tension, emotional truth, AND gear talk! If you like outdoor/adventure novels or stories about friendship, definitely check out The River.This is a gripping wilderness adventure story about two college friends who take a canoe trip in the Canadian boundary waters. They are skilled outdoorsmen, but things don’t go as planned. They encounter an arguing couple, two nasty dru...