Why this book?
I heard about this book on the car radio. The speaker said John Graves was Texas’ best living writer. He was certainly Texas’ best living travel writer. Graves takes us on a canoe trip down the Brazos River in late fall through an area soon to be dammed and obliterated by the Army Corp of Engineers. Graves grew up on that river and loves it. He knows its history and details elements of that history with scenes from pioneer days, the Comanche wars, feuds, hermits, and encounters with modern citizens as Graves and his little dog, a dachshund, wind their way downriver for three weeks, camping out on gravel bars, fishing, hunting, and exploring.
His book inspired me to take my son on a 1000-mile canoe trip that I wrote about in my own book.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
In the 1950s, a series of dams was proposed along the Brazos River in north-central Texas. For John Graves, this project meant that if the stream’s regimen was thus changed, the beautiful and sometimes brutal surrounding countryside would also change, as would the lives of the people whose rugged ancestors had eked out an existence there. Graves therefore decided to visit that stretch of the river, which he had known intimately as a youth.
Goodbye to a Riveris his account of that farewell canoe voyage. As he braves rapids and fatigue and the fickle autumn weather, he muses upon old…