Paddle To The Amazon

(7 customer reviews)


Autographed Limited Edition

US Hard Cover – Printed in California.

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The original US Hard Cover edition – Printed in California.
320 Pages

“It was an ordinary 21-foot canoe. They were an ordinary family–a divorced father and his two teenaged sons. This is the amazing, true story of their incredible 12,181-mile canoe trip from Winnipeg to the mouth of the Amazon River. Exquisite images . . . courageous, sometimes sensitive, often exciting, and always immediate . . . A model expeditionary journal.”
Tim Cahill,
New York Times Book Review

7 reviews for Paddle To The Amazon

  1. Gary D. Gosson September 28, 2005

    Well, maybe you can but it would take someone with a great deal of imagination to do it.

    Having canoed the Florida Everglades, some of the Gulf of Mexico and some on the Great Lakes I like to consider myself a bit of an adventurer and (at least) a moderately good canoeist. However, Don Starkell’s tale of adventure makes my experiences seem very trivial and insignificant. His canoe journey of over 12,000 miles, through some of the most intimidating environments on the planet, seems impossible.

    What a terrific story of triumph over virtually every type of adversity one can imagination. If you’re an adventurer, nature lover or interested in how far the human spirit can take you this book is a “must read”. The book is so good there is now interest in making a movie based on this adventure.

  2. Timothy Finnegan

    This is a remarkable story that is yet unmatched in my experience and one of my favorite narratives. A father and a son from Manitoba take an open canoe from Canada down the Mississippi and then out into the Gulf of Mexico down around Central America until finding the source of the Amazon, taking it to the end, 12000 miles. Don Starkell, the father and the author, kept a journal and somehow managed to save most of it so he could tell the story. Unlike many of the long walk stories of WWII veterans in Russia, this story is true. They were not amateurs but his son had severe asthma and so for many miles the journey was hell. It took a few years to go the distance and they met up with dangers everywhere in the form of hurricanes, bandits, and extraordinary deprivation. Don Starkell later attempted to do the same by finding the Northwest Passage in Canada but failed for a number of reasons. I did a Google search several years ago and discovered that the father and son, with wives, had reenacted the first leg of the original trip down the Mississippi in kayaks; a day at the beach in comparison. If you are a weekend kayaker or canoeist this will cure you of any pretensions to something heroic.

  3. Boots

    Our family is considering doing some kayaking in the Amazon so we wanted to read all we could before booking our trip. This is an excellent account of that kind of experience. A good gift for anyone who simply enjoys kayaking.

  4. Mark

    This is one of those books I read to the very last page and wanted to continue reading. It is undeniably one of the most audacious adventures ever undertaken. It’s a good lesson in what’s possible given the courage, drive and ambition (and wrecklessness). I think it’s a good father and son story and I envy the adventure this father was able to give to his son. I appreciated that the author didn’t spend a great deal of time on his life or his relationships. When “adventure” books stray into those areas I lose interest.

    Much of the book reads like a diary (and probably is as he wrote it on the trip). There aren’t any great insights but there was enough depth to hold my interest. Like the actual trek there was always something new around each bend. There is ample description of the people, animals, foods and history along the way. I found the author to be very likeable and i’ve just ordered another book by him: Paddle to the Arctic: The Incredible Story of a Kayak Quest Across the Roof of the World.

  5. R. D. Hundley

    I found this to be both a great adventure story and a heart wrenching father and son story. It kept my interest, a true test of how well a book is written and composed. If you enjoy Jack London, you’ll enjoy this story.

  6. Gail P

    I first read this book over 30 years ago. I have looked for it from time to time but couldn’t remember the author’s name or the exact name of the book. My daughter helped me track it down. This book gave the impetus to read non fiction adventure stories. I am a great fan of this type of non fiction because I can live it, vicariously, through the author. I don’t have to put this adventure on my “bucket list”. It is a riveting read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has the “spirit” of adventure in their blood.

  7. Michael Voth

    Amazing book. Buy it, read it, and pass it on!

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