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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

It’s not really a thrilling narrative story with rising tension and interesting plot so much as an account of the author’s canoe trip in the 1850s.

Nonetheless I found it mildly enjoyable and interesting, even entertaining.

Considering this is happened in 1850's, it's a pretty interesting read. I can't say there are many descriptions of the wilderness. It is more like a diary and perhaps an ode to the resourcefulness of Polis. Polis is interestingly described, it's a pity that there are no books from his perspective. E

Eh, i did it better

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

Much of Thoreau's writing has aged well. As one of the world's greatest nature writers, he shares in detail what he sees. As the Introduction to this short book stresses, it is "minute" detail. Imagine yourself on a canoe trip. Now imagine writing down the setting up of camp, packing and unpacking t

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

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

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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