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Riverman by Ben McGrath
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Riverman

Best Seller
Riverman by Ben McGrath
Hardcover
Apr 05, 2022 | ISBN 9780451494009

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Praise

“McGrath’s reconstruction of Dick Conant’s tangled career and yearning soul is so meticulous, so obsessive, that Conant comes to life on the page as vividly as any character in American literature. Conant wanted his story told. Here it is, in all its pathos and sheer unlikeliness. You will never see rivers and the towns on their banks the same way after reading Riverman. Ditto, I predict, for expansive, raggedy strangers.”
—William Finnegan, author of Barbarian Days
 
Riverman is as miraculous and hopeful as its protagonist, the Zelig of America’s waterways, Dick Conant. It’s a great book for people like me, who read Into the Wild but have shed our self-destructive wanderlust and settled into middle-age. This book will make you want to buy a canoe and spend less time on Instagram.”
—Emma Straub
 
“McGrath retraces the remarkable life of this gentle man whose life on the water touched so many. Riverman honors a free-spirited American naturalist and modern-day explorer (a blend of Forrest Gump, Huck Finn, and even Don Quixote) who shucked a conventional lifestyle for complete freedom, at significant personal cost. A masterpiece of narrative nonfiction.”
Booklist, starred

“This is a beautifully told and near-mythical tale of one man’s quest to find peace through communion with nature, and through perpetual motion. My heart was deeply stirred by Riverman, and by Ben McGrath’s brilliant, clear, and humane storytelling. This one will stay with me for a long time.”
—Elizabeth Gilbert

“Exquisitely written and deeply reported, Riverman is a gem of a book. It contains everything: adventure, mystery, travelogue, and unforgettable characters. Most of all, it illuminates the wonderful curiosities of life.”
—David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon

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