The River Why (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

 A new edition of the 1983 classic, still going strong! This magical mystery tour of riparian habitats and hearts beating fast and slow stands up to the test of time. We follow fishing prodigy Gus Orviston as he seeks to move beyond his crazy combustible family by fleeing to a river on the Oregon Coast and living a perfect life of fishing, eating, surviving. Gus doesn’t reckon on the warp to his woof caused by a dead fisherman, and a fisherwoman named Eddy. A breathtaking glimpse of thinkers and mystics from an incredible slice of human geology, this book is just plain fun, funny, and worth your time.

— From Victoria


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.

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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316261227
ISBN-10: 031626122X
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: March 29th, 2016
Pages: 432
Language: English