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Four Thousand Hooks: A True Story of Fishing and Coming of Age on the High Seas of Alaska Paperback – 25 Nov 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press (25 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0295993332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0295993331
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14.2 x 2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,059,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"I relived my own past reading Four Thousand Hooks. What it's like to really feel work and exhaustion, being on your own as a young man in Alaska--it brought back memories I didn't know I had." --Sig Hansen, Captain of the Northwestern as seen on Deadliest Catch "A marvelous loss-of-innocence book." --Irene Wanner, Seattle Times "Pure adventure ... sinewy and spare, understated and often gorgeously written." --Ethan Gilsdorf, Boston Globe

About the Author

Dean Adams went on to become the captain of his own fishing boat and to earn bachelor's and master's degrees from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Science at the University of Washington. He and his family live in Seattle and Kerikeri, New Zealand.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An Amazing Hook 12 April 2013
By John Pappenheimer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In this coming-of-age story, Dean Adams plants a hook in the first chapter-- and it is well-baited! There is no way to stop reading before you find out what happens to the Grant, a halibut schooner skippered by two generations of the author's family.

Anyone who has watched the Seattle fleet of halibut schooners migrate every year up to the Alaska fishing grounds and marveled at their elegance and durability, will appreciate the shame the author feels in that opening chapter.

In the first few pages of Four Thousand Hooks, we learn the author, barely 16-years-old, has hit a log on his wheel watch. The boat is sinking and the author may have to live the rest of his life with the memory of letting down the crew, losing his uncle's source of livelihood and sinking one of the most magnificent fishing boats ever built.

Before we find out what happens, we get a good idea of what's it like to break in on a halibut schooner. Once she leaves the dock, the Grant becomes its own isolated world with its own tough, moral traditions and standards--a dramatic transition for a 16-year-old boy.

The ending of this good read is even more amazing than the beginning. In a nice touch at the very end, we are brought back full circle to the model boat the author's grandfather gave him just before the old man went into a nursing home
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I was there! 6 Jan. 2013
By Dr. W. Lloyd Jerome - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I knew absolutely nothing about the life of a deep-sea fisherman before I read this book. I've never even seen "the deadliest catch". I did tend to lump the job into the same category as coal-mining in terms of its attractiveness and sheer hard work. So when I read "Four Thousand Hooks" I was coming to it from the perspective of an absolute newcomer, and wanted to learn something of the life, as well as looking for a good story.

Well, I got both. This is a captivating, fluidly-written and humorous book with a great tale to tell. I was, despite reading the book on a hot an humid day in the sub-tropics, transported to the cold, exhausting and relentless challenge that the writer went through. He starts as a child, out of his depth, with everything to learn. By the end, only weeks later, he is an adult, and a fisherman too. In the process, I learnt more than I ever could from documentaries or films, seeing fishing through the eyes of a seasoned mariner with a clear memory and wonderful descriptive voice.

Thank you Mr Adams, for a wonderful story, well and simply told. You are a great writer, and I'm looking forward to your next book!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
coming of age sea adventure 8 Feb. 2013
By Max M. Stalnaker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fifteen years old and crewing on an alaskan halibut schooner for the first time away from home. This is in the 70's. Things change and much of this is just not there anymore. This may be the only author who will ever write truly of this life. And it is his true story. And he captures the voice of his fifteen year old self and tells that story grandly.

Oh. They have to abandon ship.

I believe people call this sort of a book a page-turner. I claim this book will appeal to many different people. And I suspect it will never become unread and forgotten.

Give it to your kids and read it yourself.

I wrote the above about 70% into the book. I was reading about the young Adams reflecting on the adult insights he had found. His remarks made me wish to hang up my clothes! I was reminded of Gretchen Rubin's "Secrets of Adulthood". Anything that might get me to consider growing up is impressive. :-) I have now finished the book. There is a spirital component towards the end and I though of Melville and Homer and others. Note the author got a "D" in eighth grade English and was given to understand he could not write.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent. Well written. 11 April 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I live in Alaska and have been on long line boats, trolling boats and other assorted vessels and this book still manages to captivate me though the writer's insight of people and things that I have the opportunity to see daily. This is a book that is difficult to put down.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Well worth the read! 12 Oct. 2012
By Cheryl M Gordon - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Eye opening and enchanting, this book will guide you through the peaks and valleys of fishing in Alaska, and the journey of a 15 year old into this world. Dean Adams carefully takes us through the process of becoming a man at a very early age, and makes the reader wonder how a teenager could rise to the challenge of this trip. I tried to imagine, while reading this story, how I might have met the hardships of being a commercial fisherman, and the short answer is that I couldn't have. Not only did Dean embrace it, but continued to fish commercially. The story grabs you from the first page, and its a wonderful read until the very end. Read this! Trust me that you can almost smell the fish, the sea, and feel the bone chilling cold. The reader comes away with knowledge and a hearty respect for the industry, and the bonus is that it is a story well told.
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