Last week I got to see the world premier of the film The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festival. The movie is based on the book The River Why by David James Duncan. Duncan is a famed environmental and philosophical fiction writer that weaves fantastic narratives about fishing, religion, and baseball. Duncan should be a staple of American literature. Not only is the River Why an amazing read, but so is the heart-wrenching The Brothers K, an excellent work set in the Vietnam War era.
For the most part, it is common knowledge that the book is always better than the movie. This is the case for The River Why, but that does not mean the filmmakers failed. Quite the contrary, the movie version of The River Why is really good. The film captured many of the philosophical underpinnings of the book. The book leaves the natural world to one’s imagination. Whereas the movie brings the wonderful nature of an Oregon river basin alive. My advice would be to read the book and see the movie.