The Emerald Mile

  • by Kevin Fedarko
  • Narrated by Paul Michael Garcia
  • 17 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From one of Outside magazine's "Literary All-Stars" comes the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983.
In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named the Emerald Mile at the head of the Grand Canyon, just 15 miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd but downright suicidal.
The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled - by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself - down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, this remarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in The Emerald Mile.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Would you consider the audio edition of The Emerald Mile to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the book so I cannot judge. The writing itself is superb.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I believe they should have chosen a narrator with a different style to read it. It would have played better in the hands actually voice of someone like Wade Goodwyn of NPR, someone with a western accent who speaks in a plain voice. I felt like the narrator got so caught up with gorgeous prose that he added a bombast and a pretentiousness that detracted from the actual story. The earliest part of his reading was the most tedious. The narrator's style was overplayed which was jarring as a counterpoint to the underplayed style of the river guides and especially Kenton Grua.

Any additional comments?

The book is outstanding. I just finished a boating trip down the Grand Canyon, and the author captured the majesty of the canyon and wild of the river beautifully. I loved learning about the history of the discovery of the canyon, the geology, the history of the guides and their culture, and of course the running of the Emerald Mile. After listening to this book, I believe they should set up an exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum of American History about the Canyon, the Colorado, and keep the Emerald Mile there on display so that all Americans will have greater access to this American story and treasure. The book was deeply moving.

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- Amazon customer

Best Book In Years!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Emerald Mile to be better than the print version?

Kevin Fedarko wrote wonderful details and descriptions of the people and the history of the Grand Canyon. He also got into the mind and thinking of the main characters.
He kept me on edge about what was going to happen once the ride got started.
I've been to the Grand Canyon and even did a float trip from Glenn Canyon dam to Lee's Ferry. His descriptions were marvelous. This is one book that I will listen to again. I may even buy a hard copy.

What other book might you compare The Emerald Mile to and why?

The only other book I can think of is Atlas Shrugged. Because of great descriptions and the thought provoking ideas.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The very end of the run when they laid down their oars.

Any additional comments?

Great listen!

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- Jim On The Endless Road

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-04-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.