In David James Duncan's first book, he explores the depths and heights of the human condition through the eyes of one Gus "the Fish" Orviston. Raised by an urbane father and a hayseed mother, Gus is extremely eloquent and just as off-beat, which comes out brilliantly in the text. He is a man whom many can relate to, he seeks the truth all throughout the book. It's about wandering, it's about wanting, it's about living. One of the most enjoyable books I have read. I was skeptical at first, wondering how a book with a dyed-in-the-wool fisherman as the central character could be of any use. But I see in retrospect that the fishing is what he is, he has been so taught it that the River begins to ask him "Why?". It is Gus's pilgrimage alongside the River that makes up the bulk of the story, the culmination of his obsession with fishing and his quiet rebellion. Along this journey he meets some quite interesting characters, the most interesting of which is himself. I highly recommend this book.

Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Trd Pap); ISBN: 0553344862

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