The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride In History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon

By Kevin Fedarko

(Scribner, $30)

In June 1983, a massive, El Nino–induced snowmelt tore at the base of the Glen Canyon dam, creating chaotic rapids along the Colorado River. To three Grand Canyon National Park river guides, that meant only one thing: Conditions were right to attempt the fastest boat trip down the famed canyon. Aboard a dory named Emerald Mile, the trio completed the dangerous 277-mile trip in angry white water in just 36 hours. Told in luminous prose by an experienced river guide, the story of that fateful day reads like riveting fiction.