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Publisher's Summary

You can try to outrun nature...but will you survive one man's fury?  

Two friends

Wynn and Jack have been best friends since their first day of college: a gentle giant from Vermont and a rugged kid raised on a ranch in Colorado, brought together by their shared love of literature and the great outdoors.  

The adventure of a lifetime 

When they decide to take time off university and canoe down the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they anticipate the ultimate wilderness experience: two young men navigating the rapids through the quiet, imposing landscapes of North America.  

No phones.  

No fellow travellers.  

No way of going back.   

A hellish ride

But as a raging wildfire starts to make its way towards them - reducing the towering trees to charred carcasses - their idyllic expedition becomes a desperate race for survival. And when a man suddenly appears, seemingly in a state of shock and claiming his wife has vanished, the fight against nature's destructive power becomes entangled with a much deadlier game of cat and mouse.  

Because the only thing more dangerous than a burning forest is a man's thirst for revenge....

©2019 Peter Heller (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about The River

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I didn't get it

I think I must have missed something. felt like a cheap 90s American movie. predictable one dimensional characters. baddies and goodies.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Postscript
  • 21-05-2019

An immersive experience of a book

This is a beautiful book - perhaps not an adjective usually found applied to a crime novel, but this a unique combination of lyrical writing about the natural world and a perceptive story about human nature. The setting is the Canadian wilderness and the two central characters are intelligent and thoughtful young men, one one of whom has a heartbreaking trust in the basic goodness of his fellow human beings. The story gets of to a slow, almost impersonal, start, but do stick with it - if you are at all keen on the wilderness world or interested in the frailties of human nature and how we each cope in our different ways, you'll love it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • FreebieBean
  • 05-07-2021

More Than A Bit Disappointed :(

I was really looking forward to this story, as The Dog Stars (not on Audible for some reason?) is one of my favourite books.
The story started off with a lot of promise and although I'm not a huge fan of John Chancer's narrational style, I grew accustomed to the rhythm of it.
The two main protagonists were likeable and believable and the survival information, well researched and informative, it started off with an undercurrent and I was interested to see where it would all lead.
But then it all seemed to become a bit rushed and just like the fire, which was a major part of this book, it turned into a rushed, damp squib. (Maybe Peter's dinner was ready and he'd run out of ideas?)
All in all there were far too many unanswered questions, which is a shame and a bit of a disappointment.

P.S.If anyone could tell me what happened to Maia after the trip ended, I'd be very grateful. Or was she just the token, helpless woman, to make the capable men seem ever so manly?

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  • Ashleigh
  • 24-01-2020

A slow burn

I found it took me quite some time to get into the narration of this book. It does have lengthy descriptions of surroundings and events and I found myself drifting off quite a lot and having to rewind.

However, I found myself thinking of the story a lot when I wasn’t listening and at the end I found myself caught up in the emotion and hence the 4 star overall rating, rather than the 3 I was originally planning.

Somehow the book crept under my skin when I wasn’t looking...

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  • Mrs Curzon Tussaud
  • 29-08-2019

“Between the woods and the water”.

A story of men against nature and men with nature, brought to life wonderfully by John Chancer. Two college students canoeing a remote river encounter violence, and the force and fury of a forest fire. Gripping.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.