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Canoeing in the wilderness

Henry David Thoreau

Book Overview: 

A highly descriptive and engaging narrative from one of America's beloved nature writers, this short piece shows well Thoreau's great love of the early American wilderness. Be transported to the deep woods of Maine and share in both Thoreau's delight in nature and also his admiration of those others who have a deeper connection with the natural world around them.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Think of our little eggshell of a canoe tossing across that great lake, a mere black speck to the eagle soaring above it!

My companion trailed for trout as we paddled along, but, the Indian warning him that a big fish might upset us, for there are some very large ones there, he agreed to pass the line quickly to the stern if he had a bite.

While we were crossing this bay, where Mount Kineo rose dark before us within[25] two or three miles, the Indian repeated the tradition respecting this mountain's having anciently been a cow moose—how a mighty Indian hunter succeeded in killing this queen of the moose tribe with great difficulty, while her calf was killed somewhere among the islands in Penobscot Bay, and, to his eyes, this mountain had still the form of the moose in a reclining posture. He told this at some length and with apparent good faith, and asked us how we supposed the hunter could have killed such a mighty moose as that. An Indi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Either this is the slightest and breeziest duplication of Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle there is, or the subtlest and obscurely symbolic character study of a Native American canoe expert there is. Either way, this isn't the overtly philosophical and curmudgeonly Thoreau from Walden and Walking that

I quite enjoyed this, but it probably wasn't the best place for me to start with Thoreau. Reading this felt a lot like reading additional material from a larger body of work that I wasn't familiar with, so I don't think I got as much out of the account as I could have. I did enjoy the 1800's perspec

Still, be prepared, he has few good zingers, insights and observations. I love that Thoreau compared hunting for sport to butchery and that he admires those who have a natural connection with the outdoors. His Native American guide plays a big role in the pages and displays skills and knowledge Thor

Cool trail report. But seriously, the views expressed and the descriptions of nature in this novel may once have been noteworthy, and this still makes for a pleasant, relaxing read, but nowadays you can find thousands of reports like this online and the only noteworthy point here is that Thoreau's g

Thoreau admires and secretly one-ups his Indian guide. Thoreau purses flowers, and birds by ear; the Indian makes wild tea that's better than the black tea they brought, and literally calls a muskrat with his voice. Thoreau laments the crass commercialization of lumber, and then cuts trees for beddi

A short (just under 100 pages) but wonderfully rich account of 2 weeks in the wilds of Maine with Thoreau, one of his friends and a Native American guide. As they navigate waterways in a canoe, and the land on foot, this is a hark back to simpler times imbued with Thoreau's passion for the natural w

Not sure why I decided to give this one a try, as in general I did not like reading Walden either. Thought I would see if it was him, but wasn't thrilled with this one either. A little dry at times, and the bias (historical time, but still) shown didn't help. I usually enjoy nature books, and though

An interesting insight into one of Thoreau's adventures going paddling in the wilderness. He has a travel companion and an Indian guide. You can really notice it's an 1800-era adventure and no modern day outing. Even though I was interested, it did not really grip me as the writing was very descript

Canoe in the Wilderness, by Henry David Thoreau. (Audio book) This is a narrative of Thoreau canoeing through the Maine woods on a multi day excursion. In substance, it’s simply that —a journal of day to day activities of pleasant canoeing interspersed with a few tame whitewater stretches, portaging

Prospective reader alert: This is an edited document, excerpted from The Maine Woods, in which the editor, Johnson, assures us that "nothing essential has been sacrificed."

This is an interesting enjoyable read, a fascinating window into a largely bygone time. Thoreau is at his literary best when, en

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