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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Fool’s Paradise…

The crusty ol’ troutbum has returned with another book…

Of course, I’m talking about ‘legendary’ author John Gierach…If you’ve been involved in the ‘angling’ world for more than 15 minutes you might know who he is…A couple of his ‘famous’ books are ‘Troutbum’ and “Sex, Death and Fly-Fishing.”

…He writes about fly-fishing, the outdoors, good flies, bamboo, sex, death, leaky waders, small streams and bad coffee…He manages to do it all with…uh, kind of a good-hearted, smart-ass sense of philosophy and an all-American spirit…He’s been a favorite of mine ever since my ‘old man’ (MY fishing sensei) introduced one of his books to me about 10 years ago:

-“Son, read this book, I think you’ll like this guy.” -The book was ‘Standing in a River Waving a Stick.’ I had heard about Gierach but I didn’t care to read any books ‘about’ fishing. I would rather ‘be fishing.’ But…

…I read it and loved it. I laughed at it and understood it. Gierach hit a ‘note’ with me. It was as if my old man had “written” that book. The upbringing, the way of life and the ‘philosophy’ all made sense. I was an instant Gierach fan.

SO, I just finished his new book:

 

 I don’t mean ANY disrespect but Gierach is like ‘McDonald’s.’ Meaning, everytime you order something from there you always know exactly what you’re going to get. For most people, that is very comforting…I’m one of those people. Usually…

‘Fool’s Paradise’ is another venture into the stories of an angler that we all wish we could be and THEN write about…It’s nice to hear that the ‘Troutbum’ has done some fishing in Washington and Idaho…Again…

You don’t have to be an angler to enjoy Gierach, there’s plenty more that he writes about. The great thing about him is that everybody will find a piece for themselves somewhere. I have to admit though, his stories were a ‘teeny-tiny’ more fun before he quit drinking.

I had the pleasure of meeting him about 3 or 4 years ago while he was doing a book signing for ‘Still Life with Brook Trout.’ He was at a downtown Seattle ‘FLY SHOP’ that doesn’t get my business (sorry guys).

I left work early to go get my books signed. I walked in and there he was, all alone reading and drinking coffee. I walked up and introduced myself:

-“Pleasure to meet you, would you mind signing my books?”

“Sure, sure, no problem.”

-“Are you doing any fishing while you’re here?”

“No, I can’t, there’s no time on this trip.”

-“Alright, well, pleasure to meet you.”

And that was that… I was on the ferry heading home I thought to myself: “Dude, you just acted like a 13 year old girl at a Backstreet Boys concert.”

I had to laugh, it was out of character for me. I didn’t even ask to get a picture with him, I chickened out. Asking for a picture would have been too pussy.

-Good writers have that effect…

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Into The Wild

I recently finished Jon Krakauer’s book “Into The Wild.” A friend of mine recommended it and insisted that I would “absolutely love it.” Well, I had my reservations as I remembered hearing about the story years ago and I simply came to the conclusion that the kid in this story was a dumbass…

     Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. After I finished reading it at about 2:oo am I had trouble getting to sleep as I continuously thought about the appeal between men and the “great outdoors.” God knows I’ve heard that call so I easily found this story intriguing.

     The story is about Christopher McCandless (AKA Alexander Supertramp), a young man fresh out of college who in 1990 decided to get rid of everything (money included) and “live free,” “live off the land” so to speak…He went on a 2 year journey that eventually led him to Alaska where he met his end.

     McCandless came from a conservative upper middle-class family, graduated from Emory college (phi theta kappa member too), was editor of the college newspaper and seemed to have everything in his favor. Why did he decide to abandon his family, friends and possessions? Well, because he wanted to live free and end up in Alaska like Jack London and “call of the wild;” his favorite book. The story gets deeper though, he had moral dilemmas when he found out about his father’s past.

     Most would say that McCandless had a screw loose and maybe he did…However, I have to admit that I admire his passion, despite his lack of common sense in the outdoors and lack of respect for mother nature… Some might say that he had a death wish but I don’t think that’s true either. He survived alone in the Alaskan wilderness for about 3 months with the clothes on his back, a .22 and minimal supplies. I like to think that he would still be alive if he used a little more common sense and wasn’t so stubborn, but so be it with dreamers…

I recommend reading this book, it is a twisting true story…And for god’s sake, don’t watch the movie first.

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