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Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage (Random House Large Print)

Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage (Random House Large Print)

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Author: Castner, Brian

Brand: Random House Large Print

Color: Cream

Edition: Large type / Large print

Format: Large Print

Number Of Pages: 656

Release Date: 13-03-2018

Details: Product Description In 1789, Alexander Mackenzie traveled 1200 miles on the immense river in Canada that now bears his name, in search of the fabled Northwest Passage that had eluded mariners for hundreds of years. In 2016, the acclaimed memoirist Brian Castner retraced Mackenzie's route by canoe in a grueling journey -- and discovered the Passage he could not find. Disappointment River is a dual historical narrative and travel memoir that at once transports readers back to the heroic age of North American exploration and places them in a still rugged but increasingly fragile Arctic wilderness in the process of profound alteration by the dual forces of globalization and climate change. Fourteen years before Lewis and Clark, Mackenzie set off to cross the continent of North America with a team of voyageurs and Chipewyan guides, to find a trade route to the riches of the East. What he found was a river that he named "Disappointment." Mackenzie died thinking he had failed. He was wrong.     In this book, Brian Castner not only retells the story of Mackenzie's epic voyages in vivid prose, he personally retraces his travels, battling exhaustion, exposure, mosquitoes, white water rapids and the threat of bears. He transports readers to a world rarely glimpsed in the media, of tar sands, thawing permafrost, remote indigenous villages and, at the end, a wide open Arctic Ocean that could become a far-northern Mississippi of barges and pipelines and oil money. Review “Whether recounting the historic search for the Northwest Passage or his own epic journey on the Mackenzie River, Castner is an able guide, a steady hand, a voice of reason. You’ll want to sit in his canoe and ride this out. I couldn’t put Disappointment River down.” —Dean King, author of Skeletons on the Zahara and The Feud"[Castner] provides a lively biography of Mackenzie… A vital addition to the library of the far north and of exploration." —Kirkus, starred review About the Author Brian Castner is a former Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer who received a Bronze Star for his service in the Iraq War. He is the author of two books, The Long Walk (2012) and All the Ways We Kill and Die (2016), and the co-editor of the anthology The Road Ahead (2017). His journalism and essays have appeared in Esquire, Wired, Vice, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and other publications. The Long Walk was adapted into an opera that has been performed at prestigious venues nationwide. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Chapter 1 — 1 — The North West Company, 1788 The previous winter had fallen early and hard, deep cold that clapped rivers icy tight, and so the men greeted the summer rendezvous of 1788 with more than the usual share of anticipation and excitement. Like sailors putting into port or whalers tying up ships in a gam, voyageurs thirsted for the rendezvous with a pent-up intensity bordering on lust: part reunion, part respite, part drunken revelry, the highlight of a voyageur's year. They descended upon the annual conclave from every direction. Great Lakes traders from Fort Michilimackinac and the Mississippi basin. Mangeurs de lard, the lowliest pork eaters, from the east, carrying in their massive birch-bark canoes a season’s worth of gunpowder and casked rum. And of greatest esteem, the vaunted hommes du nord, the men who had survived the far interior and lived to tell about it. Half-starved, frostbitten, weary; to reach the rendezvous, some had paddled for two or three months, over a thousand miles, from the Slave River, Île-à-la-Crosse, the Old Establishment, through the Rapids of the Drowned and the Rivière Maligne. These men were human draft horses, known for their bravery, their drinking, their song, their whoring, their cheer, but most of all for their work ethic. For the fur-trading empire of Montreal was powered by the labor of illiterate farm boys from Quebec. At the rendezvous, the hommes du nord ex

EAN: 9780525595373

Languages: English

Binding: Paperback

Item Condition: UsedLikeNew