The River

by Peter Heller, 2019

What a disappointing book! Can’t believe it is by the same author who wrote The Dog Stars! Two young men, best friends, decide to canoe a river in Canada. They run into 1. A huge wildfire, 2. A lunatic who tried to murder his wife, and after the young men go back and save her, the lunatic then tries to ambush and murder them, and 3. Two drunk Texans in a motorized canoe who want to molest the ailing woman. It’s full of one word sentences like “Still.” Also full of detailed descriptions of the young men fly-fishing. Was he trying to be cool? One of the young men is a gullible gentle giant who keeps giving the lunatic the benefit of the doubt. He ends up shot to death by one of the drunk Texans. We never get a good reason for the lunatic trying to murder his wife – she can barely speak but mentions she has published more papers than him. This is what you get when an author just has to crank something out.