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Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage In , Alexander Mackenzie traveledmiles on the immense river in Canada that now bears his name, in search of the fabled Northwest Passage that had eluded mariners for hundreds of years In , the acclaimed memoirist Brian Castner retraced Mackenzie s route by canoe in a grueling journey and discovered the Passage he could not findDisappointment River is a dual historical narrative and travel memoir that at once transports readers back to the heroic age of North American exploration and places them in a still rugged but increasingly fragile Arctic wilderness in the process of profound alteration by the dual forces of globalization and climate change Fourteen years before Lewis and Clark, Mackenzie set off to cross the continent of North America with a team of voyageurs and Chipewyan guides, to find a trade route to the riches of the East What he found was a river that he named Disappointment Mackenzie died thinking he had failed He was wrongIn this book, Brian Castner not only retells the story of Mackenzie s epic voyages in vivid prose, he personally retraces his travels, battling exhaustion, exposure, mosquitoes, white water rapids and the threat of bears He transports readers to a world rarely glimpsed in the media, of tar sands, thawing permafrost, remote indigenous villages and, at the end, a wide open Arctic Ocean that could become a far northern Mississippi of barges and pipelines and oil money


10 thoughts on “Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage

  1. Jean Jean says:

    I remember sitting in a high school class years ago in Canada learning about Alexander Mackenzie s discovery of the Mackenzie River At 1,100 miles, it is North Americas second largest river Then as per usual in those days I would start to day dream about traversing the river with Mackenzie in his hunt for the northwest passage Alexander Mackenzie made the trip in Jun 1789 with


  2. TBV TBV says:

    Paddling the Deh Cho felt like walking a tightrope Don t look down, don t look around, don t think too much about what you are doing, don t think about being small and exposed, just put one foot in front of the other, paddle to the next point That s it If you pick your head up, look around, you ll realize how far from help you are, and the enormity of the task In 2016 author Br


  3. Jim Jim says:

    Marco Polo Columbus Magellan Henry Hudson Captain Cook Alexander Mackenzie Lewis Clark.Mackenzie We know the names of the great explorers for both good and bad with one big exception Alexander Mackenzie I had read something about him as a kid and was fascinated by his story Finally,with Castner s book published in 2018, we have the complete story of his life and his epic journey


  4. Lizz Lizz says:

    Interesting research, but clearly written for a macho male audience.See my other ten word book reviews at my blog tenwordbookreviews.wordpress.com


  5. Casey Wheeler Casey Wheeler says:

    I received a free Kindle copy of Disappointment River by Brian Castner courtesy of Net Galley and Doubleday Books, the publisher It was with the understanding that I would post a review to Net Galley, Goodreads, , Barnes and Noble and my nonfiction book review blog I also posted it to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus pages.I requested this book as the description sou


  6. Shirley (stampartiste) Shirley (stampartiste) says:

    Castner wove together a fascinating story of two 1,200 mile journeys by canoe down the Mackenzie River also known as the Deh Cho and Disappointment River in Canada s Northwest Territories.The first journey was undertaken in 1789 by a group of voyageurs fur trappers and indigenous guides, headed by Alexander Mackenzie The purpose of this expedition was to find a Northwest Passage wa


  7. Mark Mark says:

    Mackenzie traversed those waters via canoe, and so I planned the same My choice involvedthan historic homage it is the perfect slow vehicle to see the country In 1789, Alexander Mackenzie, a Scottish explorer, attempted to find the Northwest passage, traveling a grueling 1,100 hundred miles, on a ruthless river, through the Arctic wilderness His mission failed, as he was thwarted by


  8. Rana Rana says:

    I appreciated the history lesson but something never quite gelled for me.


  9. Rob Rob says:

    In the late 18th Century, Alexander Mackenzie convinced his employer, the newly formed North West Company, that it should help fund his mission to find a northwest river passage to the northern ocean and China Alternating between this original story of exploration, and his own 21st Century effort to retrace Mackenzie s trek, Castner takes the reader on an exciting trip down North Amer


  10. Brenda A Brenda A says:

    The Northwest Passage is a giant pain in the ass It s harsh and cold and the weather is entirely unforgiving it seems to drive people half mad.After learning that, it makes it all theimpressive that Alexander Mackenzie did it back in the late 1700s and that our author followed in his footstepsthan 200 years later It s an arduous journey that is characterized by a ton of hazards It was


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