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Download The River Why Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The River Why Audiobook, by David James Duncan Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,734 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David James Duncan Narrator: Dick Hill Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2017 ISBN: 9781478915829
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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 roller coaster. Like Gus, the reader emerges utterly changed, stripped bare by the journey Duncan so expertly navigates.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A whirlwind, madcap, humorous, and sensitive novel.”

    New York Times

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 2/17/2014

    " May cause fly-fishing and irrational trips to the American West (of any era). HIghly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josiah | 2/16/2014

    " Well written and fun "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam | 2/12/2014

    " I have re-read this a couple times.. I have actually been dissapointed in my re-reads, but I am from oregon and love the setting as well as his younger brother... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 2/12/2014

    " This is one of my all-time favorite books. My now husband recommended it to me when we were in graduate school and I read it after we'd lost touch. When we re-connected a few years later, I immediately thanked him for introducing me to this author. On the surface, it's a book about fly fishing, but it's really a coming of age story, an environmentalist's tale, with a bit of philosophy to boot. It's also got some of the most endearing characters and a good bit of (my kind of) humor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jesse | 2/9/2014

    " A split personality: fishing novel and religious tract. The fishing stories are funny, the coming-of-age plot affirming, and the major characters entertaining and likable; I suspect these will be the focus of the upcoming movie with William Hurt. The theme of spiritual awakening is thought provoking, though probably harder to translate to the big screen. As philosophy the book is OK but occasionally irritating, when Duncan makes a few ham-handed attempts to put science down as he forces his character to find God. I would be interested to read his follow-up novel provided he keeps ups the humor and insightful narrative without dipping into proselytism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Briana | 2/6/2014

    " I loved this book, and I don't even fish! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 2/4/2014

    " I took this book as my travel book to New Orleans, and the story was most enjoyable. The quirky characters and fishing theme were endearing, although you don't have to be a fisher-person to like this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Niki | 1/27/2014

    " This is the only book I have read by David James Duncan and read it because it was a book group book. There were some parts that I loved and was laughing out loud and then other parts of the book that my mind wandered a lot. I felt like the book consisted of many short stories that involved the main character and his different interactions with many different people in his life. I loved these parts of the book. The part of the book that I felt was hard to follow was stuck around those great sections where the main character was trying to find meaning in life and would go on and on and on about life and if there was meaning, at least I think that was what he was trying to figure out. I wish you could take those sections out and just have the funny and fun story of his life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Al Olson | 1/20/2014

    " If you haven't read this book, I urge you to read it. One of my favorite reads. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 1/17/2014

    " Kinda of a slow pace, which took a few chapters to get used to, but pretty funny. Not a ton of plot, more philosophy-ish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 1/16/2014

    " Terrific terrific. I loved the metaphors in this book about finding your connection to God, and the purpose of life. It's also quite funny. A delicious read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steph | 12/23/2013

    " This coming of age story was especailly significant because it came as a gift from my son. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kurt | 12/15/2013

    " This may not appeal to all, but I love it. I am sooooo in love with Eddy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hollie | 12/10/2013

    " Quite possibly THE best written book I've ever read. The author uses angling as the medium through which he learns so much about life. It has much content to get you thinking, laughing, and crying too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 12/8/2013

    " Best book ever. The reason I married my husband. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 11/19/2013

    " I really loved this book. It takes a little while to get into but the story and the characters have stayed with me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 11/12/2013

    " All time favorite book right here. DJD is anmazing author. His non- fiction are great too "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelley | 11/19/2011

    " Definitely in my top 5 books of all time. A wonderful, funny, tragic read. BUT, saying this book is about fishing is like saying the Noah's Ark Story is about the weather. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krista | 3/23/2011

    " One of the few books in college I have picked up over and over again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reid | 8/18/2010

    " A wonderful first novel, full of wit and charm and wonderfully detailed characters. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Em | 7/29/2010

    " i first read this book on a friend's recommendation and loved the references to the pacific northwest. last year i read it again overseas and it feels like home. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elin | 1/27/2010

    " In the beginning I was pretty sure I didn't like it. His writing felt gimmicky to me. Also I don't feel like he knows how to write women. Also, the love story?? Puuhlease!! That was unbearably unrealistic. And besides, everyone knows women don't fly fish. But I did like his musings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 9/16/2009

    " He's my favorite living author. I love it all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 3/2/2009

    " I loved this book in high school and bought it for friends. But I have no idea if I'd like it now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 8/25/2008

    " This book had wonderful moments that I savored and wanted to underline and repeat over and over but it also had strange parts that went over my head and it took me a long time to finishs "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth Browne | 7/8/2008

    " An old boyfriend recommended this book to me, even though I detest fishing and he was right. It's a fabulous book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 5/11/2007

    " Amazing. Fun. clear headed effervescent depth of soul. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 1/12/2007

    " Great novel on nature, the spirit, and fly-fishing. Recommended by my friend Catherine after I'd told her I feel in love with fly-fishing after a 2-hour tutorial in Tibble Fork Reservoir by my cousin and expert fly-fisher Steven. The first novel I've been able to finish in over a year. "

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About the Author
Author David James Duncan

David James Duncan, novelist, essayist, and fly fisherman, is the award-winning author of two bestselling novels, as well as a collection of short stories and a memoir. His novel The Brothers K won the American Library Association Best Books Award and was a New York Times Notable Book. His work has appeared in Harper’s, Sierra, and Gray’s Sporting Journal. He lives with his family beside a Montana trout stream.

About the Narrator

Dick Hill, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, is one of the most awarded narrators in the business, having earned several Audie Awards and thirty-four AudioFile Earphones Awards. In addition to narrating, he has both acted in and written for the theater.