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The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing

door Thomas McGuane

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2093130,274 (4.1)2
In a compilation of thirty-three essays, the author reflects on the world of angling as he shares his observations on his quarry, great fishing spots around the world, and fishing equipment.
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In this volume of essays on fishing, and nature, Thomas McGuane writes about fishing in Rhode Island, Michigan, Ireland, Canada, Russia, Montana, Florida and a few other places. As he says: “I fish all the time when I’m at home, so when I get a chance to go on a vacation, I make sure to get in plenty of fishing.”

McGuane is an environmentalist and conservationist, without calling himself either of those things. What he describes when fishing is being totally in nature, analyzing and taking in what it offers in service of catching (and usually releasing) fish, but not only that. “Sallying forth with fly rod in hand to tune and sample the universe in the name of trout.”

He describes many fishing trips, from streams near his home to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. When the fishing is good, it’s good: “To say that it was like taking candy from a baby would be to defame the baby.” On bad days it can be “a tackle-fueled pyramid scheme.” Being a book written by Thomas McGuane, there are any number of examples of purely great writing.

This book is as good a primer on fishing as any how-to volume. And like fishing, is best savored and thoroughly enjoyed. ( )
  Hagelstein | Apr 2, 2021 |
Thomas McGuane is a very good writer, but I think he spends so much of his text making the story sound properly flowery and wonderful that it is really hard to keep up with what he is talking about. Eloquent and descriptive words and phrases are nice, and may appeal to fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, but I think he needs to go back and look at Rev. Maclean in The River Runs Through It, when he sends young Norman back to his writing and says "Half as long." McGuane needs to weed out some of the poetic attempts to make something sound wonderful, and emphasize the actual story he is trying to tell. You can tell that he really loves fly fishing, and has elevated it to the level of an art. It is important enough to put the extra effort into the writing. Unfortunately the fly fishing tends to get lost in the art that describes it. ( )
  Ron79580 | Oct 18, 2020 |
McGuane's grasp of the language is powerful, and his essays on a lifetime of fishing are both perceptive and powerful.

Truly this may be the best essay book on fly fishing ever written; everything from his time at Key West to his more contemporary existence on his Montana ranch falls under the scrutiny of his pen.

A brilliant piece of work -- and a great read for anyone interested in what the fly fishing life looks like. ( )
  TCWriter | Mar 31, 2013 |
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In a compilation of thirty-three essays, the author reflects on the world of angling as he shares his observations on his quarry, great fishing spots around the world, and fishing equipment.

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