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Flyfishing through the Mid-Life Crisis [Paperback]

Howell Raines
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 1998
Just as Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance used motorcycle repair as a metaphor for the examination of self, Howell Raines uses his lifelong experiences as a fly fisherman to explore his life, politics, gender, roles as a son, husband, father, and journalist, and his attitudes toward aging and mortality. A man who has fished with presidents and Southern friends as well as with his own two sons, Raines chronicles his progress from "the Redneck way of fishing" for quantity and food to the catch-and-release way of his friend and mentor Dick Blalock. Blalock taught Raines that fly fishing is about attitude and friendship, not about catching fish. Raines imparts tips on casting and stream beds gracefully, along with his love for what he calls "waters that move" as he explores the deep funk he fell into at midlife, complete with a divorce, a seven-year feud with his father and brother, and the all-consuming animosity he allowed himself to develop toward his boss at work. By casting into the waters of his own life -- and ultimately reconciling with middle age -- Howell Raines has written a literate, contemplative celebration of life and friendship.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; 1st Anchor Books Ed edition (1 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385475195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385475198
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,968,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book on fishing and life 2 Sep 1998
By A Customer
I've read Raines book and enjoyed it thoroughly. Taken on it's own merit, it is an insightful book about the journey from one kind of fishing to another, a journey that is also an analogy for life. Along the way, Raines offers his political views, but to argue as the other reviewers on this page have done that the book is of poor quality because Raines is a liberal is silliness. Sure, his views may be disagreeable to some, but they are his way of inserting his voice and experience into his writing. The writing itelf is rich and the insights are perceptive. I highly recommend this book.
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By A Customer
Howell Raines writes with an engaging enough style and actually has a few amusing anecdotes. His assessment of the Southern Male "Redneck Way" is somewhat insightful if not an accurate discription of all Southern outdoorsmen. And, the advice that "if you want to keep score, take up golf" is perhaps the most useful he gives to any fly fisher, regardless of ability. A few decent fish recipies are also included. So, if you want to read about the typical bias of a liberal journalist who's purpose seems as much to bash Regan, Bush, and Hoover as to pass on anything useful about the sport of fly fishing, read this book. Personally, I prefer not to mix fishing and politics (especially this brand of partisan liberal Democratic politics) with the unbiased and apolotical joy of fly fishing. I get too much of the former almost daily and precious little of the latter. But perhaps I, too would have more time if I adhered to Mr. Raines' marital and work ethic, the seeming solution to his personal midlife crisis. Not mine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great way for a flyman to spend a winter evening 26 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Anyone who has learned what the soul of this sport is will truly enjoy this book. Raines describes over and over what it is like to experiance the tranquility and personal gratification flyfishing can offer. I dont give a damn about his political views. When it comes to the true meaning of flyfishing, Howell Raines gets it!
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