Thursday, April 25, 2019

A Rare DNF - I Tried, I Really Tried

TITLE: The River
AUTHOR: Peter Heller
PUBLISHER:  Knopf Publishing Group
PUBLISHING DATE: March 5, 2019


FROM GOODREADS: From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, this is a masterful tale of wilderness survival in the vein of Into the Wild and The Call of the Wild. It is the story of two college friends on a wilderness canoe trip--a gripping tale of a friendship tested by fire, whitewater, starvation, and brutality. 

Wynn 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 smaller, more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado where sleeping under the stars and cooking on a fire came as naturally to him as breathing. When they decide to canoe the Maskwa River in Northern Canada, they anticipate long days of leisurely paddles and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and paperback western novels. But a wildfire making its way across the forest adds unexpected urgency to the journey. When they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank and decide to warn them about the fire, their search for the pair turns up nothing and no one. But: the next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the man they heard? And if he is, where is the woman? From this charged beginning, master storyteller Peter Heller, unspools a head-long, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival. 



MY THOUGHTS:  So this was the first book I chose to pick up in April and while technically not the cause of a reading slump, it didn't really help my reading progress.  Wynn and Jack are best friends and they decide to take a break from working and spend several weeks "roughing it" to canoe down a river in Canada.  Both are experienced outdoorsmen, Wynn is more emotional and sensitive while Jack thinks more with his head than his heart.  While canoeing, they run into a group of jerks.  They also hear a woman and a man fighting one evening and when they meet up the next morning, there is no woman and the man claims something happened to her and he needs help.  Add in a horrific wildfire that may overtake everyone if they don't get down the darn river faster than planned and you should have the makings of a good mystery.  And perhaps for some there is, but not for me.

This book is highly descriptive, which is okay if you care about what they are describing.  I'm not a camper and I'm definitely not a rafter.  And I'm sure as heck not roughing it for several weeks.  Therefore all the poetic prose about the landscape and the water and the sounds bored me to no end.  However, I had hope when the "mystery" started taking place.  But even then, I wasn't sold.  I had to put the book down to read a buddy read/library book and really intended to pick it up and finish it.  Yet on the night that was to happen, I declared nope, I was done.  I didn't care about solving the mystery or the cast getting to safety.  I pretty much made it page 200 of 272 pages so I feel confident in expressing my opinions of this book.  In my mind, everyone perished in the fire.  I'm okay with that.

So I gave it a fair shot.  If you have been curious about this book, because it has been receiving some high praises, I can't recommend it.  I will say go to Goodreads and read some reviews of people who enjoyed the book and form your own opinion on if you want to pick it up.  So long Wynn, Jack and everyone else trying to stay alive.

RATING: DNF

25 comments:

  1. For something that sounds exciting and fast paced, I guess it just didn't deliver. Hope your next book is better!

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    1. The next few books have been so much better!

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  2. Great review for a book you didn't finish. Too bad it didn't work for you as the synopsis sounds intriguing.

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    1. I figured I had something to say since I got through at least 200 pages of it. I've heard lots of people love it so I think it just wasn't for me.

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  3. It sounds like you did the right thing! Too many books & never enough time to struggle with the difficult ones.

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  4. I say it's totally okay to stop reading a book you're not loving. Life is too short, and the To Read list is too long. :D

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    1. That's a great way of looking at it and I'm trying to DNF more rather than forcing myself to continue on when I'm miserable.

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  5. Hey listen don't be to hard on yourself. I have one in limbo cause I am not sure if I want to continue. At least you tried - right. I can understand why you DNF it.

    Mary

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    1. Thanks Mary. I say go for it and DNF yours as well!

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  6. What a bummer you didn't like it. I have seen it around a lot. I felt guilty about not finishing Priory but there is no sense wasting time on something that is not making you happy.

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    1. And that is a tome! You probably made the right call on that one.

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  7. I'm with you -- roughing it and rafting do not sound exciting to read about at all.

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  8. I'm one of those mad people that actually enjoys finding something to DNF as it means getting on to something else quicker and getting one book off the TBR! It's a pity this one didn't work out for you.

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    1. That's a great way of looking at things.

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  9. Oh no! I hope your next read was much better!

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  10. There was a movie with this exact same storyline quite a few years back. Ha ha. I'll have to Google and figure out which one it is. 😝

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    1. Did it star Kevin Bacon? The River Wild? You are right, the movie was almost exactly like this premise.

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  11. Sometimes I guess its better to just kill off a dull cast (mentally at least!) and move on. Glad your next read was more your style :-)

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    1. Yep, it helped me manage to DNF this one.

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  12. I really don't like to DNF but sometimes it really can't be helped. Shame this didn't work out better for you
    Lynn :D

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    1. I do it less than 3 times a year usually.

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