“By the time Gary Hoffman dropped a canoe in the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park, bound for New Orleans, he was as comfortable with a canoe paddle in his hands as a baker kneading a loaf of bread.  The difference is the baker has some control over the loaf he is preparing.  Even an expert paddler cannot control the river, the weather or the circumstances he will encounter…How Gary manages the unexpected makes his book, Mighty Miss, a fascinating read.”

Bob Zyskowski Book Review, The Catholic Spirit, 2/25/10, Arts & Culture


“When Mighty Miss is not exposing the river’s danger through six near death experiences, the book moves smoothly between the excitement of survival, moments of tranquil beauty, and father/son tensions.  Hoffman brings all his storytelling talent to this moving, exquisitely written, and of course, danger-filled memoir.”

Editor, Lake Minnetonka Navigator Magazine, Spring 2010


“Sometimes he’s surprised that he, who has been leading canoe trips for 40 some-years, and his son a U.S. Army Ranger, lived long enough for Hoffman to write about it…This was no breeze of a trip for even experienced canoeists.  It is a massive undertaking that could more easily end in peril than success…’What we did (on Lake Winni) two 19-year-old kids did a year earlier, and they died,’ Hoffman said.”

Mathias Baden, Feature Writer, Prior Lake American, Oct. 3, 2009


MIPA Award Evaluation: “A well told Mississippi adventure.  The writing is top quality.  The pace is good.  Good balance of adventure and historical detail.  Those details add a lot to the vignettes of the places visited, and it brings the river alive.”

MIPA Award Evaluation: “I think of the Odyssey or Twains writings, the tight writing; the James Joyce “Journey” has pluck.”


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