Canoeing with the Cree

  • by Eric Sevareid
  • Narrated by John Farrell
  • 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1930, two novice paddlers - Eric Sevareid and Walter C. Port - launched a secondhand 18-foot canvas canoe from the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling for an ambitious summer-long journey from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. Without benefit of radio, motor, or good maps, the teenagers made their way over 2,250 miles of rivers, lakes, and difficult portages. Nearly four months later, after shooting hundreds of sets of rapids and surviving exceedingly bad advice, the ragged, hungry adventurers arrived in York Factory on Hudson Bay - with winter freeze-up on their heels.

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What the Critics Say

"An amazing journey iof bold youth, the work blends memoir, documentary and adventure. Farrell makes us feel the author's nostalgia as he looks back at his youth with a glimmer in his eye and wonder that he made it through alive." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Seems like an abridged version

I really enjoy this type of true life adventure story. It's amazing that these two people accomplished this journey - even more amazing is that they were so young and their equipment was not modern and high-tech.

There are a couple of warnings: the story was written decades ago and some of writing is of the "golly gee" type style of the 50's. Also, there are some terms that are offensive today, i.e., "savages," "half-breeds," etc.

However, the story and the journey is amazing. I would love to read someone else's take of their journey. It's like Ernest Shackleton writing of his own Endurance story. He probably wasn't dramatic, over-impressed with himself and emotional. Neither were these two characters so that the book tended to be a little dry at times, just mentioning the animals and people that they met. I wish that there was more detail of their personal hardships and emotions.

Eric Severeid barely touched on the hardships of the journey. For example, they had to walk 5 miles carrying their equipment and sank into the mud every 2-3 steps but only two sentences were devoted to the difficulty. Mr. Severeid did write that it was a walk he would never forget.

All in all, while their journey and exploits are very impressive, they did not do their story justice. Was listening to the book worthwhile? Yes, but it just seemed to skim the surface of a very exciting adventure. Also, not being able to follow their story with maps is a disadvantage. Maybe the hardcopy of the book has maps.

The narrator is average. A more youthful sounding narrator would have improved the story. However, I am always happy when narrators don't have lisps or over dramatic voices and Mr. Farrell did not.

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- Angela

Easy listening

The story is good as it talks about specific locations and people on their trip. One can be transported into the trip.
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- Jeffrey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-29-2009
  • Publisher: Holton House Audio, Inc.