Disappointment River by Brian Castner audiobook

Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage

By Brian Castner
Read by Brian Castner

Random House Audio
12.12 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $22.50
    or 2 Credits

    ISBN: 9780525531845

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.

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Summary

Summary

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

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
“Brian Castner’s canoe trip along the 1,100-mile Mackenzie River in the Canadian Northwest Territories sounds daunting to the point of completely terrifying. His deep voice and matter-of-fact tone combine with a keen sense of timing, a glint of amusement, and a dash of fear to evoke hardship, awe, isolation, and clouds of buggy misery. Castner, along with a relay of four friends, re-creates Alexander Mackenzie’s attempt to discover the Northwest Passage in 1789. Both expeditions are described in alternating chapters. Some things are just the same—wind, whitecaps, mosquitoes. Others are completely different—it took years for the original fur trappers to receive payment, and now there is intermittent cell phone reception. Of course, the most significant difference is that Castner succeeds in finding melting polar seas where Mackenzie was stymied by impenetrable ice.” AudioFile
"[Castner] provides a lively biography of Mackenzie… A vital addition to the library of the far north and of exploration. Kirkus, starred review
“Discovering history, and not just new landscapes around the next bend in the river, is one of the delights of Disappointment River. And, during a time when so many American descendants of foreign extraction rail against immigration, it’s useful to recall that all of us originated in a diaspora.” Wall Street Journal

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Brian Castner

Author Bio: Brian Castner

Brian Castner is an electrical engineering graduate of Marquette University who received a Bronze Star for his bomb-disposal service in the Iraq War as an officer in the Air Force. He is the author of several books, including The Long Walk (2012) and All the Ways We Kill and Die and The Long Walk, which was adapted into an opera that has been performed at prestigious venues nationwide. His journalism and commentary has appeared in Vice, the Daily Beast, New York Times, GQ, the Washington Post, Outside, LitHub, Atlantic, and other publications.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 12.12
Audience: Adult
Language: English