James Dickey's first novel--he'd published several volumes of poetry--and it's rightfully famous, although probably more people see the film nowadays than read the book. They're both good, one of those rare occasions when a first-rate film is made from a first-rate book. I particularly loved the first section of this novel, when the four men plan their trip down the river over drinks at a bar. It's a scene that's not in the movie, and one that captures perfectly the American specimen of the weekend warrior. The book, as it goes on, gets a little too heady and metaphysical, especially the hunting scene along the cliff but it all comes back together in the final section. A haunting book.