The River Why
Flyfishing genius Gus Orviston, seeking refuge from his stuffy, world-famous father and ripsnorting cowgirl mother, embarks on a reluctant quest for meaning that carries him to an astonishing task
Leaving behind a madcap, fishing-obsessed family, Gus decides to strike out on his own, taking refuge in a remote riverbank cabin 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 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.
Stylistically adept and ambitious in scope, The River Why is a touching and powerful novel by an important voice in American fiction.
In a new Afterword written for this twentieth-anniversary edition, David James Duncan reflects on the genesis of his book and on the surprising link between fishing and wisdom.
University of California Press
Since its publication by Sierra Club Books nearly two decades ago, The River Why has become a classic, standing with Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It as the most-read fiction about fly-fishing of our era. Duncan's protagonist, Gus Orviston, is an irreverent young flyfisherman--a vibrant character who makes us laugh easily and feel deeply, and who speaks with startling truth about the way we live.
Leaving behind a madcap, fishing-obsessed family, Gus embarks on an extraordinary voyage of self-discovery along his beloved Oregon rivers. What he unexpectedly finds is man's wanton destruction of nature and a burning desire to commit himself to its preservation.
The River Why is a tale that gives a contemporary voice to the concerns and hopes of all living things on this beautiful, watery planet. It is the story of one man's search for meaning, for love, and for a sane way to live.
From the critics
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