Goodbye to a River: A Narrative

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Nov 10, 2010 - Travel - 320 pages
8 Reviews
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 River is his account of that farewell canoe voyage. As he braves rapids and fatigue and the fickle autumn weather, he muses upon old blood feuds of the region and violent skirmishes with native tribes, and retells wild stories of courage and cowardice and deceit that shaped both the river’s people and the land during frontier times and later. Nearly half a century after its initial publication, Goodbye to a River is a true American classic, a vivid narrative about an exciting journey and a powerful tribute to a vanishing way of life and its ever-changing natural environment.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

A reference to this book in Larry McMurtry's memoir prompted me to read it, and I'm glad I did. Graves canoed part of the Brazos River before a series of dams were built and writes about his trip ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - anniemktx - LibraryThing

My friend Tami brought this to me when I was in the hospital, and she couldn't have given me anything better. (Actually, it was loaned to me, and I still don't own a copy. Have checked it out at the ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

John Graves was born in Texas and educated at Rice and Columbia universities. He has published a number of books, chiefly nonfiction concerned with his home region. He currently lives with his wife on some four hundred acres of rough Texas hill country, which he described in Hard Scrabble.

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