Deliverance (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)
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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.
were invulnerable in their colors, amongst the split, splintering boards and the brown-gold tin cans in the mud flats under the town, their lids prised-up and cruel, but going back to the earth. The sky was beginning to smoke up with night, with complete, unlighted night. For a little while I thought that was the reason the water didn't have the clean sparkle, the deep milk-but-clear that it had had when we got on it. The current lacked the arrowy drive, the sense of purpose that bad been part
on, taking long slow swings at the water. I had fitted my stroke to Bobby's the best I could; I moved when he moved, and had got to the point where I could put my paddle in the water and lift it out at the same time he did. I thought he must surely be taking some satisfaction in the improvement, but I didn't say anything for fear of upsetting the rhythm. After two hours from the time the heron left us we had drunk all the beer we had. The sun was eating my bald spot, and my nylon outfit was
left?" "I don't know. Some." "All right. You and Drew take my boat. Bobby and I will take everything we can in the other one. We'll try to keep up with you, but it'll be better if you lead off, so that we can see you if you get into trouble. I hate to tell you, but from what little I know, we haven't hit the rough part of this river yet." "The part that was going to be fun," Bobby said. "The part that's going to knock your stupid brains out if you don't do exactly what I tell you to
I looked at Bobby. He was still hanging back from his seat, but struggling to sit on it again. He turned half around back to me, and opened the eye on that side. He started to say something but didn't, and I started to and didn't. Now, in calm water, I began to collect everything we needed to make the future with. "Right back there is where it all happened," I said. He looked at me without any understanding at all. "Somebody is going to ask us things. When that happens tell him that
and in all that time the searchers made only about two hundred yards. Sheriff Bullard came over. "Looks like that's goin' to haf to wind it up tonight," he said. "Getti' too dark." I nodded and got up. "You boys be staying in Aintry this evenin'?" "I guess so," I said. "We're still pretty tired and beat-up. And I want to see how Lewis is doing, in the hospital. He has a bad break in his leg." "Is bad," the sheriff said. "Doctor said he's never seen a worst un." "We're at