Tom Fort

Troubled Waters

Kings of the Yukon: An Alaskan River Journey

By

Particular Books 268pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

What it is to be young, energetic and adventurous and to think nothing much of spending three months paddling down a 2,000-mile-long river through the Canadian and Alaskan wilderness to gather material for a book. Adam Weymouth’s account of his journey down the Yukon is truly an epic. It is to his credit, and to the benefit of this fine book, that he makes so little of the dangers and discomforts he endured.

There is the odd hairy moment: shooting rapids with the river ‘lunging, shaking, clawing at the raft’; a terrifying crossing at night in a storm to a village on the lower Yukon, with the waves crashing onto the canoe and Weymouth and his Swedish girlfriend paddling and bailing like demons. And there was obviously a great deal of monotonous and wearying grind, often in relentless rain, when the water flowed slowly and the banks were often two or three miles apart.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • ‘At every waking moment Barbara Hepworth was aware of herself as a woman paving the way in a man’s world’ From the… ,
    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,
    • We've just stumbled on a gem from the LR archive. The emoluments page from May 1995, in which one reviewer asked to… ,