Friday, October 15, 2021

Book Review: The Survival of the Bark Canoe by John McPhee

The Survival of the Bark CanoeThe Survival of the Bark Canoe by John McPhee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend recommended I read this book. At first I was apprehensive. I'm into boats, but really big ones - not canoes! I previously read McPhee's Looking for a Ship and really liked it. So, of course, I would give this book a chance.

I'm glad I did. McPhee tells us about Henri Vaillancourt, builder of birch bark canoes, who lives near where I lived for a short time in New Hampshire (wish I had known he was so close when I lived there!). McPhee describes a vision of craftsmanship that is so appealing in today's time. Vaillancourt uses no power tools, uses traditional materials (no nails, no rivets) and takes the time to do it right. In today's high speed world, that is quite refreshing.

As in the previous McPhee book I read, McPhee excels at describing a journey. He takes a canoe trip in northern Maine with Vaillancourt and others and it's a great story all by itself!

Thanks to R.G. Ziemer (author of The Ghost of Jamie Mcvay) for a great recommendation!

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