The River Why

The River Why[Ebook] ➧ The River Why By David James Duncan – Bluevapours.co.uk This captivating and exuberant tale is told by Gus Orviston, an irreverent young fly fisherman and one of the most appealing heroes in contemporary American fiction Leaving behind a madcap, fishing ob This captivating and exuberant tale is told by Gus Orviston, an irreverent young fly fisherman and one of the most appealing heroes in contemporary American fiction Leaving behind a madcap, fishing obsessed family, Gus decides to strike out on his own, taking refuge in a secluded cabin on a remote riverbank to pursue his own fly fishing passion with unrelenting zeal But instead of finding fishing bliss, Gus becomes increasingly troubled by the degradation of the natural world around him and The River ePUB ✓ by the spiritual barrenness of his own life His desolation drives him on a reluctant quest for self discovery and meaning, ultimately fruitful beyond his wildest dreams Here, then, is a funny, sensitive, unforgettable story about the relationships among men, women, the environment, and the human soul.

David James Duncan born is an American novelist and essayist, best known for his two bestselling novels, The River Why and The Brothers K Both involve fly fishing, baseball, and familyBoth received the Pacific Northwest Booksellers award The Brothers K was a New York Times Notable Book in and won a Best Books Award from the American Library AssociationFilm adaptationIn , The River Why was adapted into a low budget film of the same name starring William The River ePUB ✓ Hurt and Amber Heard Since April , , the film rights to The River Why have become the subject of a lawsuit by Duncan alleging copyright infringement, among other issuesOther worksDuncan has written a collection of short stories, River Teeth , and a memoir of sorts, My Story As Told By Water His latest work is God Laughs and Plays Churchless Sermons in Response to the Preachments of the Fundamentalist Right, published in An essay, Bird Watching as a Blood Sport , appeared in Harper s Magazine in Duncan wrote the foreword to Thoreau on Water Reflecting Heaven An essay, A Mickey Mantle koan The obstinate grip of an autographed baseball appeared in Harper s Magazine in Personal lifeDuncan was born in Portland, Oregon and lives in Missoula County, Montana.

The River Why Kindle ↠ The River  ePUB ✓
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • The River Why
  • David James Duncan
  • English
  • 01 September 2018
  • 0553344862

10 thoughts on “The River Why

  1. Dolors says:

    There comes a time when the growing frustration with the generally unfair paradoxes of existence becomes so unbearable that one needs to gain distance from himself to see clearly, to listen with the eyes and hear with the heart.Or simply one reaches a moment when action and emotional implication start to feel so forced, so disjointed, that a clean break is needed to reconnect again with the invisible chord of communion that binds us to others.Like the convoluted, meandering river that exists onl There comes a time when the growing frustration with the generally unfair paradoxes of existence becomes so unbearable that one needs to gain distance from himself to see clearly, to listen with the eyes and hear with the heart.Or simply one reaches a moment when action and emotional implication start to feel so forced, so disjointed, that a clean break is needed to reconnect again with the invisible chord of communion that binds us to others.Like the convoluted, meandering river that exists only in the flowing, as the Tao prophezied, life is bestowed upon us with all its unfathomable mysteries to be pondered about until the gnawing void of indifference dampens the impatient eagerness of childhood days.That is what happens to Gus Orviston, who at the age of twenty is tired of struggling against the numbness that has utterly obliterated his zest for life Born into an eccentric family that is obsessed with fly fishing, Gus embarks on a lone trip to regain his inner balance Seeking solitude at the riverbanks of a remote rural area in Oregon, he settles down in a small wooden cabin that is surrounded by a dense grove of cedars that shrouds the location with their drooping branches.Secluded and isolated in and out, the disenchanted young man believes he will fill the hollowness that threatens to engulf him by devoting all his mental strength to perfecting his already off the charts fishing techniques.Weeks turn into months and by the time Gus realizes he is adrift in the vastness of his nothingness, he recoils from the sting of that so much desired individual freedom that now seems useless in the face of such desolate loneliness He craves for human touch and that is the tipping point in his pilgrimage towards self discovery.Duncan s novel is muchcomplex and vibrant than the archetypal existential bildungsroman because he explores the limits of spirituality beyond the frames of institutionalized religion while drawing a symmetric allegory between Gus restless meditations on his relation with the world, his place in it and the art of fly fishing The result is an incredibly well rounded metaphor, an uncommonly hybrid book composed of metaphysical pondering, self effacing humor and breathtaking descriptions of the American wildlife that proves to be the key to Gus spiritual awakening.Highly reminiscent of Mary Oliver s naturalistic poetry and R.W Emerson s philosophical pantheism, Duncan s prose pulsates with boundless love for the natural world Man s soul is irretrievably connected to it and the divine is to be found everywhere in the here and the now not in liturgical or organized prayer Man s soul should be the result of intimate, personal introspection rather the dogmatic notion of sacred purity.Duncan is as intense as he is unpretentious and his words flow naturally and unfeigned like the waters of a silvery river that seeks its final release into the vast ocean Attitude changes everything If he is respectful, the fisherman might become one with the hooked salmon, and the light line that unites them is the answer to the silent questioning of The River Why What I discovered at the end of Gus line has become my favorite place to be the self melted with the Eternal Now, the senses becoming what they perceive, the invisible line of light and love, so fine, so fragile and yet so indestructible that binds us, everything, all of it, together, secured in tight knit gratefulness.Gus finally understood that the river wasn t asking why, it was sculpting the answer with its unstoppable course, from its source to the sea

  2. Carol Anne says:

    David James Duncan is a hero in our home, an integral part of my oldest son s coming of age In 1991 Aaron was going to turn 16, and I had just finished reading The River Why for the first time For dozens of reasons I fell in love with the book, and wanted to share the book with Aaron, and avid reader himself The paperback copy I had was a later edition, and I sent my copy to the Sierra Club in San Francisco, explaining that I knew they would not share the author s address, could they please s David James Duncan is a hero in our home, an integral part of my oldest son s coming of age In 1991 Aaron was going to turn 16, and I had just finished reading The River Why for the first time For dozens of reasons I fell in love with the book, and wanted to share the book with Aaron, and avid reader himself The paperback copy I had was a later edition, and I sent my copy to the Sierra Club in San Francisco, explaining that I knew they would not share the author s address, could they please send on my edition, with my note requesting the author sign my copy, to be given to my son A month or so passed, and one day I received a package in the mail, from David James Duncan, who had replaced my paperback with a first edition in a note to me he wrote he hoped I did not mind replacing the paperback The inscription reads To Aaron, on the occasion of your 16th birthday, hoping your own path on the river why is full of twist s and turns that are wonderful When he wrote the word why it was as a meandering river.Of course this book, and the letters that came with it, are one of my son s treasures, and now, as he prepares to have his first child, a boy, he plans on sharing this gift with him one day

  3. Sky says:

    Well, this is now my favorite book, bar none In fact, I liked this book so much I feel half inclined to go back and deduct a star from all of my other read books just so this 5 star one can stand out It had aspects of all of my favorite books combined Comedy and fantastic writing that is at times beautifully simple, and intellectually dense Every character stood out as an incredibly interesting individual, so much so that if the author hadn t of said this was a work of fiction himself I wo Well, this is now my favorite book, bar none In fact, I liked this book so much I feel half inclined to go back and deduct a star from all of my other read books just so this 5 star one can stand out It had aspects of all of my favorite books combined Comedy and fantastic writing that is at times beautifully simple, and intellectually dense Every character stood out as an incredibly interesting individual, so much so that if the author hadn t of said this was a work of fiction himself I wouldn t have believed it Deep philosophy blends beautifully next to all the other humdrums of life And then, three quarters of the way through the book I m surprised by a love story One that didn t even need the whole book for me to get attached to it My god this book was genius.If you think you need to like fishing to appreciate this book, you re wrong The only thing you really need is an appreciation for nature

  4. Cheri says:

    Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are afterHenry David Thoreau Part spiritual ishy quest, part fishing tales, part family drama, add in a quirky, fanciful introduction to romance, a coming of age tale, some interestingly eccentric characters with their own strange stories to share, and a reverent approach to Nature all set in on near the mythical Tamawanis River in Oregon I added this book to my to read list three years ago, right after IMany men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are afterHenry David Thoreau Part spiritual ishy quest, part fishing tales, part family drama, add in a quirky, fanciful introduction to romance, a coming of age tale, some interestingly eccentric characters with their own strange stories to share, and a reverent approach to Nature all set in on near the mythical Tamawanis River in Oregon I added this book to my to read list three years ago, right after I finished reading David James Duncan sThe Brothers K,which, initially, I thought I might end up loving perhaps a bitthan this one as a story, but this story has its own charms, and it will be a long time before I forget this one with its memorable characters and the setting There were the letters, there was the word plain as water, in a flowing, utterly uncrabbed hand, current, erosion, gravity, and chance had written why upon the valley floor Billions of ever changing, ever the same gallons of gurgling sun and moon washed ink, spelling forever, in plain English, why It was incredible It had to be kidding Rivers can t write, let alone ask questions why it said It had a point What did I know about what rivers could or couldn t do But granting it literacy, what did it mean by why And was it asking me I didn t know I looked upstream and down for a clue, but all I saw were the random scribbled curves of runs and rapids Yet right below, in quarter mile letters it had taken centuries to form, water my favorite element asked in the only language I could read, why.While there is a spiritual religious aspect to this story, don t let that dissuade you since it isof a loosely woven philosophy involving Nature interwoven with a sense of religious reverence for the world around us, many of which are relayed through allegorical fishing tales, some through introductions of other characters Family is another strong theme in this story, from Gus parents, his father a gentleman s fly fisherman, his mother strictly araucous cowgirlwho uses bait, to his younger brother Bill Bob who seems to float through his life as a connecting, if quiet, force that binds them together through a love of nature, and an acknowledgement of the grace of living, despite their differences And so I learned what solitude really was It was raw material awesome, malleable, older than men or worlds or water And it was merciless for it let a man become precisely what he alone made of himself

  5. Algernon (Darth Anyan) says:

    O the gallant fisher s life,It is the best of any Tis full of pleasure, void of strifeAnd tis beloved by many Sometimes it s good to go outside your comfort zone and try something completely different I ve never been interested in fishing, despite some close friends repeated invitations to come along on their trips Turns out I ve been a fisherman all my life and didn t know it Gus, the young man who is crazy about fishing in this seminal novel, is the one who opened my eyes to the deeper O the gallant fisher s life,It is the best of any Tis full of pleasure, void of strifeAnd tis beloved by many Sometimes it s good to go outside your comfort zone and try something completely different I ve never been interested in fishing, despite some close friends repeated invitations to come along on their trips Turns out I ve been a fisherman all my life and didn t know it Gus, the young man who is crazy about fishing in this seminal novel, is the one who opened my eyes to the deeper significance of the art Born on the North Western coast of the US, Gus is the scion of a fishing family where the book of Izaak Walton, provider of my opening quote, is both a source of inspiration and of fiery controversy between his fly fishing father and his bait fishing mother Years before I could have put it into words, I realized that my fate would lead me beside still waters, beside rough waters, beside blue, green, muddy, clear, and salt waters From the beginning my mind and heart were so taken up with the liquid element that nearly every other thing on the earth s bulbous face struck me as irrelevant, distracting, a waste of my time The first part of the story is the bait at the end of the line with which the reader is lured to take a bite and sample the goods And I for one was captivated hook, line and sinker I ve rarely encountered such exuberance, such joy in the use of language as displayed by the account of young Gus coming into this world and of his growing up in this fantastically competitive and argumentative householdZounds, Drat and Bother the Bleeding Fatesexclaims his upper class English father, nicknamed H2O by his scion and narrator, every time he is challenged in his purist approach to the art of fly fishing In the opposite corner sits his mother, a local Portland redneck with an irreverent attitude and a knack for out fishing her famous husbandGlum AGIN Cheer up, boy Always limpin around with a burr in yer ass Smile, dammit Later in the novel, my admiration for the humour and the language was matched by my interest in the elegance and beauty of the allegory between fishing and spiritual emancipation What could have been a typical coming of age story of a gloomy teenager leaving the family nest and striking out on his own in the wide world, becomes under the pen of David James Duncan a major philosophical treaty about the condition of the modern man in his search for meaning The theme is spelled out in fishing analogies all through the text, but probably the most clear resume comes in the afterword to the anniversary edition that I ve read A migration I see humanity dying to make is not geographical it s a journey from lives governed by the head to lives governed by the heart Gus starts his journey by renouncing a college education in order to rent a solitary cabin in a wild part of Oregon, by the side of a salmon rich river, where he hopes to prove to his father and to his mother that he is the very best fisherman of all By catchingfish than everybody else, Gus hopes to prove his worth in the eyes of his peers He has a lot of native talent from his mother, a good training from his father, talent, determination, method everything he needs to become the perfect scientific angler, the epitome of the Western ethos of Nature being there to be conquered, subdued by the daring pioneer spirit If the fool had only known how to swim there wouldn t be any of this seething in my brain this What is Death What is Life Why am I here What am I for stuff What use were such questions Hobgoblins that s all they were noisy abstract swill good for nothing but scaring and depressing the hell out of everybody they occurred to The breaking point of this blind rush into the Guinness Book of Records for Fishing comes when the river in question, just like the young Gus mind, becomes engulfed in a deep fog Out of this unknown space comes floating by the dead body of a fellow fisherman, prompting the arrival of the Big Questions, those hobgoblins so beloved by the Russian classic novelists The river is asking Gus already WHY But what was the difference between need and greed How many fish could a man kill without his killing becoming wanton Which brings me to the third and final reason I am sure this novel will become one of my all time favorites It doesn t simply expose the problems faced by modern man, it honestly tries to find a better way forward, both for the individual redemption and for the fate of a finely balanced natural world that has experienced enough pillaging, pollution and waste.The smartest move Gus makes once those hobgoblin questions start to gnaw at his peace of mind is to go out of his shell of self interest and manic obsessive career planning and start connecting with the people who live nearby making friends, giving free of his talent and of his time, offering friendship and asking for help The change is a bit abrupt, narrative wise, but this novel is after all an allegory, not a true biography What s , Gus is a fisherman, and we all know that the second best thing these people love is to tell stories, theincredible and far fetched, the better Happy curious Gus is a lotenchanting than gloomy fishing obsessed Gus The portraits of the oddball neighbors and the funny sketches that introduce them mark a return to theeffervescent pages from the debut of the novel What s changed is this deep undercurrent of spiritual thirst and social engagement that is driving Gus to further explore the limits of his understanding of the world Some of the pages are still filled with funny anecdotes about fishing and living like a savage in the middle of nowhere, but there s a lot of pain when Gus looks up at the clear cut mountain tops, at the rivers blocked for fish by concrete dams or suffocated by suburban or industrial waste The change of heart in young Gus is clearly reflected in his new rants aboutthe smug ingratitude, the attitude that assumed the world and its creatures owed us everything we could catch, shoot, tear out, alter, plunder, devour and we owed the world nothing in return One of the key new characters introduced in this middle part of the novel is Titus, a wannabee city fisherman with an extraordinary knack for literary references The meeting between Gus and Titus goes something like this So if you re willing to risk your life initiating me into the mysteries of fishing, the least I could do in return is introduce you to the forgotten science of philosophy What do you say I shrugged What have I got to lose Your unhappiness, he said Human interaction can take you a long way on the path to a healthy mind and spirit, but we as modern men are also blessed with easy access to the wisdom of past ages We have only ourselves to blame if we close our minds to the writings of these great thinkers, preferring instead to fill them with cheap escapist thrills, competitive sports, political propaganda or reality shows Gus, under the tutelage of his new friend, is drinking deeply from this fountain of wisdom, reminded that the word philosophy translates as a love for thinking I soon found myself eyeing the covers of unknown books with the same sense of expectancy I felt when scrutinizing the waters of a new stream Almost as strong an influence as Titus is Bill Bob, the geeky little brother of our hero Gus, the only one in the family completely immune to the fishing virus If Titus is a symbol of the life of the intellect, Bill Bob is cast as the avatar of common sense and innocence The little boy reiterates the need for listening to the heart, for a faith in a higher purpose than the immediate needs of living day to day Bill Bob, with his multiple and divergent hobbies, is also the best illustration of a passion for all thing living or inanimate, a burning curiosity that knows no bounds.Closing the middle section of the novel is the third encounter that would shape the future life of fisherman Gus the most elusive and the most alluring bait in every young man s imagination I wasn t used to looking at such things, let alone in trees, let alone fishing, let alone slender and golden skinned and young and blond and solitary and, um the pole Love comes knocking at his door, but unfortunately Gus spent most of his youth blinded by his obsession with fishing instead of honing his social skills, so this slippery eel of a girl named Eddy escapes his clutches.The third and final part of the book returns to an introspective mood Gus, now sustained by his new friends, nevertheless turns his eyes inwards and makes a solitary journey, similar in many ways to the myth of the Hero of a Thousand Faces described by Joseph Campbell or Mircea Eliade, towards the source of all wisdom, the hidden spring of his river WHYThey were not much like the usual sacred signs but fishing was hardly an orthodox faith And these things had been given as gifts like rain, like rivers unlooked for, unasked for I had to follow the signs that I was given, as rivers follow valleys, as spring follows winter, as leaves turn and salmon spawn and geese fly south in October I couldn t trade the trail these images blazed for me for a straight and narrow way not when water s ways, meandering and free flowing, had always been my love Organized religion and blind faith are some of the other things that smell fishy to me and often prompt me to give such material a wide detour, but I do believe in the need for self examination, in the need for a higher purpose in life and in finding your own individual way to salvation David James Duncan, through the voice of Gus, surprised me a little by turning the novel into a late argument for the existence of a Biblical sort of God, but the spiritual search among the mountain tops, deep glades, clear rivers and ocean shores, in the fall of a gentle rain or in the jump of a fish out of the waves, is a clear echo of my own journey from big city to forest or mountain trail whenever I need to recharge my batteries What I lack in articulating my passion for nature and life is the eloquence of a Gus or Duncan, who went through the valley of shadow and brought back not a message of despair but one of beauty and hope I awoke before dawn The morning star was twinkling through the same opening in the cedars and the world was too wide and lovely to leave unexplored in another placeWhat I realized was that a mecca isn t worth much if it s not a place inside youthan a place in the worldview spoiler the source is everywhere hide spoiler I am a little envious of Gus going though his moment of revelation at such a young age and coming back down from the mountain to enjoy the fruits of his spiritual quest But I think he deserves a good break from the author, a final message that there might be a lot of pain in the world today, but there are still beautiful people around, and beautiful rivers where the salmon are still making their yearly pilgrimage against the tides of fate in order to lay the foundation for a new generation It s a very fragile ecosystem that needs our care and our love yet while the rain fell I didn t fish only watched and rested, and I was lulled and cradled, caressed, and enveloped in a cool, mothering touch that washed away the wounds of summer and my old, unmitigated longings even the longings for fish, for Eddy, for the Friend were changed from gnawing, aching dissatisfactions into a kind of sad, silent music, and the hollow place those longings had carved in me became a kind of sanctuary, an emptiness I grew used to, grew satisfied to leave unfilled Bohumil Hrabal wrote somewhere thatIf a book has anything to say, it burns with a quiet laugh, because any book worth its salt points up and out of itself David James Duncan has wisely provided for us the clues for continuing the search by including in each chapter heading an epigram or two from his favorites writers, poets and sources of inspiration Beside the often quoted Izaak Walton, I ve bookmarked several references that tempt me strongly A poem by W B Yeats The Song of Wandering Aengus or a quote by W H AudenA culture is no better than its woodsor new authors to look up like Alice Likowski or Jim Harrison.Of course, the other novel written by David James Duncan has also become a priority for me

  6. Gloria says:

    Some books you just read.Some books draw you in.Some books read you and in the process lay you out, naked and utterly absorbed in every sensation and feeling as though you were just born.Welcome to The River Why.I never thought of fishing and philosophy as a duo I don t even particularly care that much about fishing despite having done so with my grandfather when I was a little girl.But Duncan has created a story so rich in thought and depth, that even the technicalities of fly making, cast Some books you just read.Some books draw you in.Some books read you and in the process lay you out, naked and utterly absorbed in every sensation and feeling as though you were just born.Welcome to The River Why.I never thought of fishing and philosophy as a duo I don t even particularly care that much about fishing despite having done so with my grandfather when I was a little girl.But Duncan has created a story so rich in thought and depth, that even the technicalities of fly making, casting, rod building, and water reading are irresistible.And with characters so real, they jumped off the page and sat in the room with me while I read.And humor that had me laughing aloud so often that those around me probably questioned my sanity.It has been a long time since I was actually hesitant to pick up a book and begin reading again because it never failed to pull me in yet I never wanted the book to end.Rich, beautiful, poetic, smart, funny.I will need a few days to process and bask before cracking open the cover on anything else now

  7. Lena says:

    This novel tells the story of young fishing prodigy Gus Orviston and his madcap, fishing obsessed family After graduating from high school, Gus leaves home so he can be free of distractions and devote himself entirely to fishing In the process and despite himself, Gus comes to discover the joys of community, romantic love, and eventually, God.It s hard for me to express just how much I love this book One of the biggest reasons why is because it s laugh out loud hysterical There are just not This novel tells the story of young fishing prodigy Gus Orviston and his madcap, fishing obsessed family After graduating from high school, Gus leaves home so he can be free of distractions and devote himself entirely to fishing In the process and despite himself, Gus comes to discover the joys of community, romantic love, and eventually, God.It s hard for me to express just how much I love this book One of the biggest reasons why is because it s laugh out loud hysterical There are just not very many books dealing with spiritual matters that are so fantastically funny But this one probably makes up for the lack of many others Go Read it now You ll thank me, I swear

  8. Sabrina says:

    I am two parts surprised to one part in love with this book There s no denying that it is a coming of age story about a quiet analyical fisherman who finds his own peace and place in the world by developing his own agnostic religion And boy does he fish a lot Boor ring So what compelled me to tear through this novel at my desk, and cramped on a kitchen table, and sneak peeks on the bus The narrator is a doll I ve never met a person like him yet major aspects of his character run through s I am two parts surprised to one part in love with this book There s no denying that it is a coming of age story about a quiet analyical fisherman who finds his own peace and place in the world by developing his own agnostic religion And boy does he fish a lot Boor ring So what compelled me to tear through this novel at my desk, and cramped on a kitchen table, and sneak peeks on the bus The narrator is a doll I ve never met a person like him yet major aspects of his character run through some of my favorite people He matures into a young man that I would like to sit next to on an 8 hour bus ride I d introduce him to my single friends He could sleep on my couch anytime

  9. Deb says:

    Brilliant book I ve read this so many times, and recommended bought copies for so many friends, I ve lost count A deeply moving, hysterically funny, perceptive, spiritual story of one man figuring out the why of it all.

  10. Mandy says:

    This book is about a young man trying to find his way and place in the world He lives and breaths fishing It s all he wants to do, until he realizes it isn t This book isabout finding meaning in things and one s connection to nature, than a fishing book It at times was a little too wordy and philosophical than I typically care for I often found my mind wandering or my eyes getting heavy at the end of the day but at times I was laughing so loud as well I enjoyed this book, but not a This book is about a young man trying to find his way and place in the world He lives and breaths fishing It s all he wants to do, until he realizes it isn t This book isabout finding meaning in things and one s connection to nature, than a fishing book It at times was a little too wordy and philosophical than I typically care for I often found my mind wandering or my eyes getting heavy at the end of the day but at times I was laughing so loud as well I enjoyed this book, but not as much as the author s other, The Brothers K which was a 5 star for me This one gets 3.5, rounded to 4

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