A young American engineer sent to China to inspect the unruly Yangtze River travels up through the river's gorges searching for dam sites. Pulled on a junk hauled by forty-odd trackers, he is carried, too, into the settled, ancient way of life of the people of the Yangtze -- until the interplay of his life with theirs comes to a dramatic climax.
"In a deceptively simple story, Hersey has captured all the magic, the terror and the drama of that extraordinary stretch of water....Even in Mr. Hersey's hands, the American's discoveries of his own mind and of the Chinese people are dwarfed by the laws, the demands and the ageless vitality of the Yangtze."
-- The New York Times Book Review
"A rewarding novel; it is clearly thought and beautifully projected on the screen of the imagination." -- Atlantic