"Boat on river or lake" in Literature ( no salt water ! )

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Bendyha, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Bendyha

    Bendyha Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Seeing a thread about Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" made me realize how many books I have enjoyed with "a boat on a river" flowing central through the plot. I have read many nautical themed books, but just sticking to fresh water.....

    I lived the first three years of my life on an old oak barge on the river Thames, so maybe this left an impression on me, if only through my parents later influence.

    From the early books being read to me;
    The Wind in The Willows - Kenneth Grahame

    Through to my first bout of serious reading;
    Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome -12 books in the series (always boats, sometimes lakes, sometimes rivers)
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

    Through to ;
    Three Men In A Boat - J K Jerome
    River World - Philip Josè Farmer -
    a universe and series of books
    Water Music - T. C. Boyle
    Flying Colours - C.S Forster
    (a hornblower novel where a river escape plays a major roll in the plot)
    La Belle Sauvage - Philip Pullman
    which puts me in mind of;
    The Flood - Emil Zola (Not much raft, but plenty of river)

    These are the first that come to mind, though I am sure there are others, so please remind me, or list those I probably don't know, but should.

     
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  2. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Wow - that takes me back.
    I remember reading all the Swallows and Amazons books (I think all of them) when I was about 10. They were in the school library.
    Also my first bout of serious reading.
     
  3. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    Huckleberry Finn and the Swallows And Amazons books are also the first that sprung to mind for me: though I will be persnickety and point out that one of them (We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea) is saltwater-based (crossing the North Sea perhaps? Haven’t read it for 45 years I guess...).
    Riverworld is another entertaining memory... very imaginative but honestly not a great prose stylist imho!

    Just thought of this one: rivers play a significant part in Gene Wolfe’s tremendous Book Of The New Sun series — from Severian’s near-drowning and encounter with the undine at the opening of The Shadow Of The Torturer through the lake at the gardens where he meets Dorcas, the river that flows through Thrax in The Sword Of The Lictor, and then in The Citadel Of The Autarch the journey (from the sea) back up the river to the city where he sees Dorcas for the last time and her complicated history is revealed. Then there is another river journey when he returns to Urth in The Urth Of The New Sun.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  4. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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  5. Bendyha

    Bendyha Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Going down the Murray on a paddle steamer when I was a kid certainly helped me connect with Tom and Huck.
    Mildura, Swan Hill, or Echuca, can't remember where it was...I seem to recall having done two trips, one with the school, and one with the family.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  6. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    Depends I suppose. A River is a adventure that expands into a vast, unkown & sometimes dangerous future where success defies the odds. A lake has a sort of mundane connotation like a goldfish stuck in a bowl. Salt/fresh doesn't matter when only using two of your five senses.
     
  7. smartsoul72

    smartsoul72 Tele-Meister

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    Another Twain story for you, "Life on the Mississippi"
     
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  8. Bendyha

    Bendyha Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Death on the Nile - A.Christie
    Although I own a copy, I have not read it. The film versions have sort of pushed it down the list of waiting reads.
     
  9. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    One of my favorite subjects:

    The Boiling River - Andres Ruzo
    Tree of Rivers: The story of the Amazon - John Hemming
     
  10. raito

    raito Poster Extraordinaire

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    Picture yourself in a boat on a river...
     
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  11. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    :)


    My formative years were quite literally living the Swallows and Amazons story.

    I grew up on the Coniston Water lakeshore (not literally, in a house) - the inspiration for the book and would spend endless time as a kid on Peel Island (it is renamed Wildcat Island in the book). It has a great natural harbour.

    4DCB86B0-9D78-433A-AEB9-8287D391A753.jpeg

    I still canoe there regularly now. I always thought it had some secret german submarine base under if when I was 11 and would ‘bomb’ it with skipping stones, ‘dambusters’ style, from a Wayfarer dinghy.

    Mark Twain def. brings back memories. Read Huckleberry Finn when I was a kid.

    Thanks for the memories.
     
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  12. catdaddy

    catdaddy Tele-Afflicted

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    I just read Life On The Mississippi for the first time a couple of months ago. A fascinating non-fiction read.

    Some other river/lake related tomes that come to mind:

    Peter Matthiessen's Shadow Country Trilogy (Killing Mr Watson, Lost Man's River, Bone By Bone)

    From William Kent Kruger's Cork O'Connor Series (Iron Lake, Boundary Waters, Copper River)

    C.S. Forester's The African Queen
     
  13. Wallo Tweed

    Wallo Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    I'm currently reading "River Horse, a Voyage across America" by William Least Heatmoon.

    It's about 20 years old, and is a non fiction story of taking a 20 ft. or so boat with 2, 40 hp engines from Manhattan to the Pacific. They have to do some portaging, and some places they use a canoe.

    One quote that comes to mind is something that the steam boat pilots used to say. That when navigating up the Mississippi river, at St. Louis the boys took the Mississipi, and the men took the Missouri.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  14. g-Paul

    g-Paul Tele-Holic

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    That's interesting and very different from how I view lakes compared to rivers. We have some pretty big lakes - with no shortage of danger.
     
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  15. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Holic

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    Quite a reading list. I have to make some time for catching up.....
    I usually trend toward non-fiction 80% or so of the time.

    I found "A River Runs Through It" to be thought provoking, (to keep my references on topic for the thread anyway)....
     
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  16. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    The River Swimmer by Jim Harrison.

    Anything by Jim Harrison is a worth-while a read.

    Plenty of rivers, lakes, ponds and a few boats.

    (for your ears try Gord Lightfoot's Chrtistian Island and lots of other great song's about boats/water.)
     
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  17. ricknbaker

    ricknbaker Tele-Afflicted

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    L T C Rolt's 'Narrow Boat' is the classic book about England's inland waterways. He was a grumpy old sod, would have fitted in well here on TDPRI.
    15794500005221181063291129571008.jpg
     
  18. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    1. The thread title made me think about Lancelot and the Lady of the Lake, though I forget whether there was a boat in that story.

    2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a lot more than a story about a boy and a runaway slave going down a river on a raft. For me it's allegory about the coming-of-age of the United States.

    3. I might try the Least Heat Moon river story. I liked his Blue Highways very much.

    4. +1 on The African Queen. Great book.

    5. Good thread. I'm adding some stuff to my reading list already.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  19. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Friend of Leo's

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    Better than living in a van down by the river...
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  20. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    WitW.jpg
     
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