Shelf Control #293: The River by Peter Heller

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: The River
Author: Peter Heller
Published: 2019
Length: 253 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

The story of two college friends on a wilderness canoe trip—of a friendship tested by fire, white water, and violence

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 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 paddling and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and reading paperback Westerns. 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?

How and when I got it:

As with so many of the books on my Kindle, I bought the e-book version a year or so ago when there was a one-day price break.

Why I want to read it:

Peter Heller’s 2012 novel The Dog Stars is one that has stayed with me — beautiful, powerful, and frightening. I’ve been wanting to read more of his works ever since.

I remember hearing about The River when it came out, and knew that I’d want to read it eventually. It has so many elements I love, especially wilderness exploration with a touch of danger. This book sounds like a great combination of a story of friendship, an outdoor adventure, and a thriller, all rolled into one.

A sequel, The Guide, was just released earlier this year, and it sounds terrific — in fact, hearing about this new book is what reminded me that I really do need to finally get to The River.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

2 thoughts on “Shelf Control #293: The River by Peter Heller

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