6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2001
If you thought the canoe trip in DELIVERANCE was a fun-house ride, wait til you take this one. On their way down the wild Firesteel River in northern Wisconsin, this novel's protagonists encounter huge trout, ferocious rapids, a ravenous black bear, a trio of Dillinger-era bank robbers on the lam, a pair of delectable college girls, a giant, fish-eating salamander, two snooty business tycoons, and as much slam-bang action as a Special Ops firefight in Afghanistan. There's never a dull moment on THE RUN TO GITCHE GUMEE, an evocatively-written, cleverly-plotted book that (to paraphrase Dickens) contains more excitement than nine monkeys with their tails tied together. This is a must-read book for any outdoor action aficionado.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2003
One of my favourite pieces of fiction of all time is Jones' "Blood Sport" so I came to "The Run..." with great expectations. I loved the wild outdoors and the coming of age themes that were so cleverly blended by Jones' wonderful command of language, invention and humour.
In Blood Sport, Jones creates a fantastic world, entirely believable and consistent within itself. The characters have an existence of their own and demand your respect and attention. Sadly, I did not find this to be the case with The Run..
As to be expected, the descriptions of huntin' shootin' and fishin' are up to Jones' usual high standard. It's what he does best. For me however, where the book failed was in the realisation of some his characters and my inability to suspend disbelief. The book centers on two boyhood mates who repeat an early trip down a Wisconsin river to Superior later on in life after all the failures and disappointments of their lives have been manifest.
The nitty gritty descriptions of the river trips really took me back to my own river experiences in Mn, Wi and Quetico when I lived and worked in Rochester Mn some years back. Though I'm an Aussie tried and true, I fell in love with the North Land and still hanker for retirement in a cabin by a lake up in the North Woods.
All that apart, for me where the book fails is that Jones seems unable to reconcile the adventure he weaves for his subjects with a believeable world. Perhaps it's because these characters are all too familiar and we know in our hearts that they just wouldn't do the things they do. Perhaps the characters themselves are more caricatures than fully painted pictures. Certanly that's true for the women depicted in the story. In addition the plotline is too convenient, the parallels between the events in both journeys too close. At any rate, for me, the sum of the parts failed to add up to a whole and deliver the satisfaction I had expected.
I'm not sorry I bought the book because Jones is always worth a read but it's not the best he's capable of.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2003
I read "Blood Sport: A Journey up the Hassayampa" when I was about 12 or 13, and it knocked my socks off. I hadn't thought about it much for the past couple of decades, then recently decided to reread it. It held up, and then some.
Thus inspired, I picked up a copy of "The Run to Gitche Gumee." Large sections made for enjoyable reading, but whole chapters were utterly unbeliveable -- but played straight by Jones. In the end, it was Thelma & Louise for aging outdoorsmen.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2006
Two young men are incredibly stupid and self-centered. Fifty years later they haven't changed a bit. Their thoughts and actions are absurd and they are unlikeable people through and through. The plot is ridiculous. Though Jones manages to make it a story that holds one's interest (he is a good storyteller), I felt that I had totally wasted the time it took to read the book. I kept hoping there would be some "redeeeming moment," some final epiphany, but it never came. The book was a major disappointment.