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Old 10-12-2022, 06:53 AM   #1
JPTolson
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Default Book Review Riverman

Just finished reading Riverman, An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath. It’s about an aging and engaging homeless man, Richard Conant, who paddled a canoe on lengthy trips by himself on major rivers all over the U.S., befriending scores of people in towns along the way.

Conant disappeared in North Carolina’s Ablemarle Sound in November 2014 after paddling from Plattsburgh, New York while heading to Florida. While stopped on the banks of the Hudson River, he met writer Ben McGrath. McGrath was captivated by Conant’s exploits and persona, and wrote a story about them for The New Yorker magazine soon after their encounter.

Following Conant’s disappearance, McGrath embarked on a quest to find many of the people whom Conant had befriended on his epic canoe journeys to better understand his life and psyche. The book recounts many of these encounters and delves into Conant’s life before homelessness. The book is not so much about paddling as it is about a complex and charismatic individual who found joy and solace while on the water and pleasure in the people he met along the way. Regardless, it is a worthy addition to a paddler’s library.

Last edited by JPTolson; 10-12-2022 at 08:53 AM.
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