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My River Home: A Journey from the Gulf War to the Gulf of Mexico Hardcover – April 4, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (April 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807072753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807072752
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,621,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The dream, shared with a fellow grunt on long night watches during the Gulf War, was to raft more than 2,000 miles, from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. Fantasizing about the journey got Eriksen through days of scorching sun, toxic oil fires, dysentery and the stench of Iraqi soldiers' rotting bodies. Thirteen years later, the once gung-ho marine reservist had become a committed antiwar activist and set out from central Minnesota on a ramshackle vessel constructed of 232 empty two-liter soda bottles, a Ford Mustang driver's seat and a paddle wheel powered by a 10-speed bicycle. Eriksen's vivid vignettes from his experience in Kuwait conjure the gritty realities of war with a mix of affection for his fellow soldiers and bitterness about a conflict that "no one fought for democracy. No one fought for human rights. And no one fought for the safety of America." That candid anger is tempered by the first-time author's often-humorous accounts of his misadventures on the river, including his discovery that it was impossible to float his precarious raft through the swampy first miles of the Mississippi; he used a canoe for the first leg instead. (Apr.)
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Review

Like Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Eriksen takes us on an extraordinary journey; home from war, chaos, and sorrow, down the mighty Mississippi. . . . A beautiful story of healing, hope, faith, and renewal. Eriksen searches to find meaning in all that has been lost and all that has been wasted.—Ron Kovic, author of Born on the Fourth of July

"His is a complex, subtle portrait of what makes the warrior spirit-whether fighting for his country abroad or fighting for peace at home . . . Marcus Eriksen, a hero indeed, speaks for soldiers everywhere when he writes of the need for peace."—Susan Larson, New Orleans Times-Picayune

"A Homeric epic that starts at the top of the United States, plummets to the depths of the Gulf War, and probes the soul of a man."—John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

"Marcus Eriksen is a natural writer. His memoir cuts to the core of the great dilemma of what it means to be an American man."—Gerald Nicosia, author of Home to War

"All politicians considering war as a policy tool—especially those with no personal military experience—should read this book, and take special note of Marcus Eriksen's epiphany as he wandered with his brother amongst Iraqi corpses during the Gulf War. ‘I'm glad it wasn't us,’ says his brother. Eriksen, with the added perspective of the current Iraq War, finds devastating precision for his response: ‘But it was.’ The futility and tragedy of war is made agonizingly clear by the inspirational journeys recounted with searing elegance in My River Home."—Peter Laufer, author of Mission Rejected: U. S. Soldiers Say No to Iraq

"Eriksen is honest and reflective about the way his character has been formed . . . a complex, subtle portrait of what makes the warrior spirit—whether fighting for his country abroad or fighting for peace at home. So when he talks about what we owe our servicemen—our time and attention, first of all—it has the ring of conviction and wisdom . . . Marcus Eriksen, a hero indeed, speaks for soldiers everywhere when he writes of the need for peace."—Times-Picayune (New Orleans) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lindapanzo on October 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I learned a valuable lesson with this book: don't just look at the title, look, too, at the subtitle. This book was not what I expected.

I expected a detailed narrative about the author's journey on the Mississippi River. It was that, that's true, but the river journey from Lake Itasca, MN to New Orleans parts alternated with the author's remembrances of serving as a Marine in the 1990s Gulf War and his veterans for peace activities in recent years.

Not a bad book by any means. Reading about his struggles on the Mississippi on a bottle raft (consisting of 232 empty 2-liter plastic soda bottles) and the terrific people he met along the way were entertaining. The war parts were less so, however.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lois W. Evans on July 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book and hope that he continues to chronical all of his adventures!
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By Marc Gensel on September 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed the book. The pace of the events and the flashbacks to different times in Mr. Eriksen's life. Especially loved the childhood storys and flashbacks. Another reviewer mentioned a disapointment in the use of language and did not read the rest of the book - that's a shame because it was just that little bit in one chapter and used to discribe a paticular situation within his unit during the Gulf war. For me, made it more realistic given the circumstances. If you put yourself in the situation as a young man in the Marines - I'm sorry but that's just the way it is. Anyway, I found the book to be entertaining and I can't wait for the book on the recent trip to Hawaii. Please, Please Marcus!! - mgensel
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By Scout on June 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Marcus Eriksen writes a wonderful book. I don't usually read from this genre, but I am so glad that I did. The book is littered with humor, agony, truth and healing.
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Format: Hardcover
Eriksen's cultivated writing style transported me from the Gulf War to an adventurous raft ride down the Mississippi. Eriksen's ability to interweave the two life-changing experiences in a struggle to find himself will make you laugh and cry.
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By I. Lair on November 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review is short because I found the vulgar language in this book to detract from the story and I stopped reading it. Don't get this book unless you don't mind reading this type of language.
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