• Canoeing with the Cree

  • A 2,250-mile voyage from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay
  • By: Eric Sevareid
  • Narrated by: John Farrell
  • Length: 3 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (179 ratings)

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Canoeing with the Cree  By  cover art

Canoeing with the Cree

By: Eric Sevareid
Narrated by: John Farrell
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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.

©1968 Eric Sevareid (P)2009 Holton House Audio

Critic Reviews

"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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What listeners say about Canoeing with the Cree

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Every teenager should read/listen to this!

Wonderful adventure, great reader! Makes me want to have a wilderness adventure. I remember watching Eric Sevareid report the news. Makes me long for the days when people got their news from the same sources and news was generally back by facts.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a wonderful tale of my own Great Uncle

This Review is biased as Walter Port is my great uncle. I found the story a glimpse of his past and a small but welcomed picture into a piece of his life. he went on to open a photography shop in Bemidji Minnesota were I first met him at the age of 5. He later retired to be with his family in Minneapolis. He and Eric remind friends until the end of there lives.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So good, I wanted more.

The story is great in and of itself, but the performance of it, the inclusion of elements of music, made it a real adventure epic. It carried the same romanticism as the Lewis and Clark journals. Adventure in a pure form, two high school kids setting up on a goal because they thought it was fun and no one thought they could do it.

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    4 out of 5 stars

its from the 30s and is a product of it's time.

started out great, but almost didn't finish it because it had too many racial undertones

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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable nonfiction. Extraordinary story

Amazing canoe odyssey from Minnesota to Hudson Bay by two 20-somethings in the 1930s (I think). By legendary journalist Eric Sevareid. Straitforward compelling narrative.

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  • SA
  • 01-15-20

Great Story

Loved that the story began in St Paul Mn. It was so very interesting. Makes me want to see Hudson Bay sometime.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Any paddler’s dream come true!

A must read for any one who loves to canoe.
Thanks to Eric Sevareid for giving all of us a chance to hear his amazing true story.

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  • D
  • 05-03-19

A Timeless Adventure for All Ages. inspiring.

Loved it so much, listened in one go. Well paced, well read. Captivating. Fulfilling. Paddled along with them. inspires to find adventures for today.

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Epic Canoe Journey of Self Discovery

An excellent telling of the adventure of two teenage boys who set out by canoe in Minnesota and arrive months later as young men in Canada. A rite of passage they envisioned for themselves while finishing high school. They believed they could do it when others discouraged them. Well written by one of the boys who would one day become a journalist. Well narrated and accompanied by music and sounds of nature.