The River: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

The River: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image

The River: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

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March 2019 Indie Next List


“Peter Heller can take you on a journey through nature like no other writer. The River is the story of two close friends wanting nothing more than to enjoy their time together on a trip through the Canadian wilderness, and fly fishing has never been so beautifully portrayed nor has the serenity of water and nature. But the peacefulness slowly wanes and the tension begins to build as the trip becomes a race against encroaching forest fires and an attempt to save the life of the mysterious woman they have picked up along the way. Heller has created a story of friendship and survival that should not be missed.”
— Mary McBride, Rainy Day Books, Fairway, KS

NATIONAL BESTSELLER From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars comes the story of two college students on a wilderness canoe trip—a gripping tale of a friendship tested by fire, white water, and violence.

"A fiery tour de force … I could not put this book down. It truly was terrifying and unutterably beautiful."—The Denver Post

Wynn and Jack have been best friends since college 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.

One night, with the fire advancing, they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank; the next day, a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the same man they heard? And if he is, where is the woman? From this charged beginning, master storyteller Peter Heller unspools a headlong, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival.
PETER HELLER is the national bestselling author of Celine, The Painter, and The Dog Stars. The Painter was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and won the prestigious Reading the West Book Award, shared in the past by Western writers such as Cormac McCarthy and Terry Tempest Williams, and The Dog Stars, which was published to critical acclaim and lauded as a breakout bestseller, has been published in twenty-two languages to date. Heller is also the author of four nonfiction books, including Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave, which was awarded the National Outdoor Book Award for Literature. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in poetry and fiction and lives in Denver, Colorado.
Product Details ISBN: 9780525563532
ISBN-10: 0525563539
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020
Pages: 272
Language: English
Series: Vintage Contemporaries
Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee

“Vivid and engaging. . . . A suspenseful tale told with glorious drama and lyrical flair.”
The New York Times Book Review

“A fiery tour de force. . . . Terrifying and unutterably beautiful.”
The Denver Post

“[A] poetic and unnerving wilderness thriller. . . . Full of rushing life and profound consequences.”
USA Today

“Packed with action. . . . Engaging. . .satisfying.”
Outside Magazine

“[A] modern-day survival tale. . . . Takes on the urgency of a thriller.”
The New York Times

 “[Heller] has created indelible characters. . . . The River is a beauty-of-nature/cruelty-of-humanity hybrid, but this time he leans into the thriller aspect of the tale, with gripping results.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

"The prose is glorious, Heller’s evocation of the natural surroundings stunning, the tension razor-sharp."
The Observer (London)

“Stunning, beautiful, life-affirming, and heartbreaking. . . . Heller writes with deep respect and empathy for not only nature and its inhabitants but also of human frailty, friendship, loyalty, and love. [An] exquisite book.”
Criminal Element

“[A] superbly crafted adventure-action-mystery story. . . . Reminiscent of James Dickey’s classic Deliverance.”
New York Journal of Books

“As much an allegory about man’s impact on the Earth as it is an adventure story. . . . Heller’s melodious renderings are drawn from a lifetime of not just witnessing nature, but of actively paying attention to how it is woven together.”
5280 Magazine

“Using an artist’s eye to describe Jack and Wynn’s wilderness world, Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist Heller has transformed his own outdoor experiences into a heart-pounding adventure that's hard to put down.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“Peter Heller has struck gold again with The River. . . . Masterly paced and artfully told, The River is a page-turner.”
BookPage (starred review)

“Fresh and affecting. . . . [Heller’s] pacing is masterful. . . . An exhilarating tale delivered with the pace of a thriller and the wisdom of a grizzled nature guide.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

THE SANTA FE LITERARY FESTIVAL

Celebrating the power of story, the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival will be an unforgettable weekend dedicated to a shared love and language of ideas. Collected Works Bookstore is thrilled to be the official bookstore of the Festival. 

Bestselling, prizewinning authors and literary legends like Margaret Atwood, Joy Harjo, Colson Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros, John Grisham, amongst others, will headline the festival, discussing their work with readings and book signings that set the stage for further inspired conversations.

NOTE: If you purchase a festival event ticket that is INCLUSIVE of the author's book, you will receive that book upon check-in for your event at the festival.

To order books by festival authors directly from CW, see below. Collected Works will be carrying a wide selection of books by all participating authors available for online pre-order and at the on-site festival bookstore May 20-23.

Purchase your tickets from the SF Literary Festival website here.

Purchase your books by festival authors directly from CW below:

Margaret Atwood     Freddie Bitsoie     Sandra Cisneros

Lynn Cline     William deBuys     Ashley Ford

John Grisham     Roshi Joan Halifax     Joy Harjo

Anne Hillerman     Cheryl Alters Jamison     Craig Johnson

Asma Khan     Phil Klay      Jon Krakauer

Valeria Luiselli     Deborah Madison      Emily St. John Mandel

George R. R. Martin      James McGrath Morris     Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co. 

Carmella Padilla     Douglas Preston     Kirstin Valdez Quade

Bob Shacochis     Henry Shukman     Hampton Sides

Bryant Terry     Darryl Lorenzo Wellington     Colson Whitehead

Don Winslow     Lawrence Wright