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Bush Runner

The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson
Written by: Mark Bourrie
Narrated by: Jeff Burling
Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Murderer. Salesman. Pirate. Adventurer. Cannibal. Cofounder of the Hudson's Bay Company. Known to some as the first European to explore the upper Mississippi, and widely as the namesake of ships and hotel chains, Pierre-Esprit Radisson is perhaps best described, writes Mark Bourrie, as “an eager hustler with no known scruples”. Kidnapped by Mohawk warriors at the age of 15, Radisson assimilated and was adopted by a powerful family, only to escape to New York City after less than a year. After being recaptured, he defected from a raiding party to the Dutch and crossed the Atlantic to Holland - thus beginning a lifetime of seized opportunities and frustrated ambitions.

A guest among First Nations communities, French fur traders, and royal courts; witness to London’s Great Plague and Great Fire; and unwitting agent of the Jesuits’ corporate espionage, Radisson double-crossed the English, French, Dutch, and his adoptive Mohawk family alike, found himself marooned by pirates in Spain, and lived through shipwreck on the reefs of Venezuela. His most lasting venture as an Arctic fur trader led to the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which operates today, 350 years later, as North America’s oldest corporation. 

Sourced from Radisson’s journals, which are the best firsthand accounts of 17th-century Canada, Bush Runner tells the extraordinary true story of this protean 17th-century figure, a man more trading partner than colonizer, a peddler of goods and not worldview - and with it offers a fresh perspective on the world in which he lived.

©Mark Bourrie, 2019 (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

So disappointed.

I really wanted to love this book. I grew up admiring R&G. They discovered the land I lived in. The story about Radisson is very interesting, the narrator is dreadful.
It could have been suspenseful, it was just a person reading the book. So sad.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book, disappointing narration

The book is very well written, engaging and informative. The author paints a clear picture of an amazing life. I wish he had been the reader. The narration is not good - the narrator’s voice is fine but the number of mispronunciations and misplaced emphasis on too many sentences is irritating. Examples: “potluck” for “potlach”, “see you” for “Sioux”, “peppies” for Pepys”, “plag” for “plague” etc. The end credits cite many editors/technicians etc - surely someone among them would know better.

Still, a terrific book. Maybe better to read it in hard copy, if you can.