Book - 1994
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"You're hooked, you feel every cut, grope up every cliff, swallow water with every spill of the canoe, sweat with every draw of the bowstring. Wholly absorbing [and] dramatic."-- Harper's Magazine

The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the states most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.

Praise for Deliverance

"Once read, never forgotten." --Newport News Daily Press

"A tour de force . . . How a man acts when shot by an arrow, what it feels like to scale a cliff or to capsize, the ironic psychology of fear: these things are conveyed with remarkable descriptive writing." -- The New Republic

"Freshly and intensely alive . . . with questions that haunt modern urban man." -- Southern Review

"A fine and honest book that hits the reader's mind with the sting of a baseball just caught in the hand." -- The Nation

"[James Dickey's] language has descriptive power not often matched in contemporary American writing." -- Time

"A harrowing trip few readers will forget." -- Asheville Citizen-Times

"A novel that will curl your toes . . . Dickey's canoe rides to the limits of dramatic tension." -- New York Times Book Review

"A brilliant and breathtaking adventure." -- The New Yorker
Publisher: New York : Dell, [1994]
Copyright Date: ©1970
ISBN: 9780385313872
Branch Call Number: FIC Dicke
Characteristics: 278 pages


From the critics

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May 21, 2017

Just like the river where the story takes place in the Georgia backcountry, Deliverance starts slow and meandering. Dickey spends the first 100 pages setting the scene and foreshadowing. When the plot hits the proverbial rapids, thrilling action comes fast and furious in the form of classic conflicts of man vs. nature and man vs. man. (Although the four friends who embark on the canoe trip are in their thirties, a coming-of-age tale is also embedded between the lines.) I had a hard time putting the book down - partly because the action was so good and partly because the book has five sections but no chapters. You find yourself reading 75 pages before finding a natural stopping point to put your bookmark in.

I discovered the book from Time Magazine's "100 best novels of all TIME." I enjoyed Deliverance but want to note that it's not quite on par with 5-star novels on that list, like The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, or The Grapes of Wrath, in my humble opinion.

Feb 03, 2017

Descriptive novel that contrasts city versus country life and the extent and requirements needed to survive. The characterizations are done well and the pace is quite quick. It is amazing how close the movie follows the book. Worth reading if you are interested.

Jun 16, 2015

Well, that escalated quickly.

Jun 29, 2011

Haunting, creepy story that I felt was slightly laborious to read at times. I read this in a couple of days and must admit to skimming some of the more long and descriptive passages, especially the long conversations between some of the characters that felt odd and stilted - not the way that people typically talk to one another. The overall premise was chilling though, and that was enough to keep me reading.

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