• Goodbye to a River

  • By: John Graves
  • Narrated by: Henry Strozier
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (196 ratings)

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Goodbye to a River  By  cover art

Goodbye to a River

By: John Graves
Narrated by: Henry Strozier
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Publisher's Summary

In this classic from the Lone Star State, John Graves learns that the river he knew and loved as a youth, the Brazos in north-central Texas, is slated to be dammed at multiple points - and he understands that things will never be the same. Goodbye to a River is a poignant narrative of one man's journey by canoe down the river of his memories. Along the way, he describes the colorful Texas landscape and recounts its rich history.
©1960 Mary Monroe (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC

Critic Reviews

"Graves' originality and flair turn this local scene and regional lore into an honest and powerfully evocative picture of frontier life anywhere." (The Chicago Sunday Tribune)

What listeners say about Goodbye to a River

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Undoubtedly a great piece of American literature

I have read this book. I have listened to the audio book 4 or 5 times. This travel narrative of a canoe trip down the Brazos River in the 1950's is so many things it is difficult to describe. It is an entertaining story of a man and a dash hound puppy on a canoe trip. It is a story of the history of the last century in this part of Texas with all of the bad and some of the good included. It is the story of a man struggling to cope with the fast coming changes of modern life. However, what it really is, is a complex work that evokes so many thoughts and emotions that it takes me longer to get through it with each listen, and makes me sad it is over every time I finish it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Perfect narration

I'll admit I did tune out at times when the author went on for a while about minor historical points along the course of the river. However, the narrator does an outstanding job, personalizing the story so vividly that I still can't believe Graves didn't read it himself.
I really fell for the antics of his traveling companion ("The Passenger").

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

plus/minus

I'm a 53 year old native of Texas and this work strikes many chords with me. The book is 'required reading' for anyone interested in a blend of 50's 'progress' in the form of the threatened river and a whole host of tales that, in spite of Graves' conditional idolatry, does not paint a flattering picture of settlers who no doubt loved the land but on their own terms. The subjugation of native Americans is well-portrayed. But the best part of the book, fleeting at times and maddeningly interrupted by various pseudophilosophical diatribes, is just hearing about floating down the river in the capricious time of November in Texas. The vicissitudes of the trip, puctuated by the 'passenger' dachshund are great. I just took his, as the author being a Texan, god-given right to blast birds out the beautiful autumn sky when he would have done just fine with fish or goods from the various stores he finds along the way, with a grain of salt If you're not a Texan, you are more than likely to not really understand or appreciate the book.

3 people found this helpful

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An entertaining listen

I recommend this book if you like a good story and some history. Easy to listen to while doing chores or other mindless activities. Superb narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Well done.

Well done all the way around. I'm a happier person for having listened to it.

1 person found this helpful

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The best book on Texas history I've ever read

read this book if you really want to understand Texas and its people. floating along the river Graves gives an honest account of the people who settled along the Brazos good and bad.

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There is no better audio book

Like an old friend, and John was my friend, this audio presentation of this literary masterpiece is as near perfection as one could hope to find in the library of such things.

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Outstanding!

The book was just what I needed this busy time of yr. The pace of the book and Mr. Strozier's reading are well-matched. I particularly appreciate that Mr Strozier managed to correctly pronounce even some of our unusual geographic names. I'll be listening again!

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Such a compelling story!

Even years after it’s publication, Goodbye to a River stands up. Henry Strozier captures the first-person narrative beautifully, making this listening experience one of the best!

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Great listen!

I’ve tried to read this book many times , but could never soak into it , I’ve always cherished the story line but couldn’t take the time to read it . As a native of the area in the book most of the story’s I can relate to and know , to hear them again is a gift.
I truly enjoyed it !