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A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition Paperback – Special Edition, 8 Oct 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 25th Anniversary edition edition (8 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226500667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226500669
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Maclean's book acerbic, laconic, deadpan rings out of a rich American tradition that includes Mark Twain, Kin Hubbard, Richard Bissell, Jean Shepherd, and Nelson Algren. I love its sound."--James R. Frakes "New York Times Book Review ""

About the Author

Norman Maclean (1902-1990), woodsman, scholar, teacher, and storyteller, grew up in the Western Rocky Mountains of Montana and worked for many years in logging camps and for the United States Forestry Service before beginning his academic career. He was the William Rainey Harper Professor of English at the University of Chicago until1973."

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Sometimes when an author's words are possessed of such crystalline truth, purity and beauty, it is easier to simply let the words do the talking. These words are from Norman MacLean's wonderful little novella "A River Runs Through it". They sparkle with the same shimmering clarity as a star on the bright clear waters of the Big Blackfoot River in Montana where the author fished.

"It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us."

"Now nearly all those I loved and did not understand when I was young are dead, but I still reach out to them.

Of course, now I am too old to be much of a fisherman, and some friends think I shouldn't. Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that fish will rise.

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by waters."

Beautiful words that blur the distinction between prose and poetry like the canyon half light. How tragically true it is that we often fail to understand those closest to us. On my computer at work I have these words above a photo of my family. Yes, I have unashamedly girlified my work place. I have in fact out girlied the girlies! These words remind me of just how precious a thing time is and that I am slowly being poured out.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By MrShev on 25 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is three stories, but A River Runs Through It is the pick of the bunch that is as emotionally charged in print as it is in celluloid. The story is about more than fly fishing, but fishing is the glue that binds in this tale. The author captures the majesty of the region perfectly and the joy of being with people that you love doing things that you love on a beautiful summers day.
I would say that this is more evocative than anything else, but one feels that it would have been an honour indeed to have met the author. Enjoy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Bently VINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To say that someone is living in the past is usually an insult, but Norman Maclean's early life was so momentous that you could hardly blame him. As the helpful introduction to this work explains, he was living at the end of an era, when the great days of the Wild West and the frontier spirit were coming to an end.
Perhaps above all A River Runs Through It is a hymn to the restorative power of nature. You get the idea that Maclean was not overly impressed with modern life and throughout these stories his voice rings out beautifully, bravely and more than a little sardonically. This a wonderful glimpse of life in the early years of twentieth century rural America.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Longaz on 3 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
One passage amoungst many sticks out from this book that is full of wisdom if you take the time to read closely and relate it to the many aspects of your life and the lives of others:

He thought back on what had happened like a reporter. He started to answer, shook his head when he found he was wrong, and then started to answer. "All there is to thinking," he said, "is seeing something noticeable which makes you see something you weren't noticing which makes you see something that isn't even visible."

This book should be read by anyone seeking an understanding of life. If you've seen the movie, give the book a try. The combination of both will give a feel for a moment in one man's life and a lifetime of reflection. Both are superb!
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By C J Else on 11 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is is a literary gem, very approachable and extremely poingnant. It is the true story in the form of a Novella, told through the eyes of a much older man, about growing up as a young boy in Montana and his relationship with his strict Presbyterian minister father and wayward brother. As the brothers evolve into young adults all three men's lives diverge; but they remain united by a common passion for flyfishing and the beauty of the virgin Montana countryside of that era - the film of the same name, directed and narrated by Robert Redford is well worth seeing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If I had to only read one book about Zen and fly fishing this would be it.
The reflections of Old Norman on his youth and what was lost by words not being said are so poetic
The last lines of the book as it all "I am haunted by waters"
it's one of the books I go back to again and again unforgettable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A beautiful insight into another world, long gone. If you've read cider with Rosie and some Hemingway it feels somewhere in between. Two of the short stories are very good, but a river runs through it is beautiful and insightful.
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By Liz on 11 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
A really beautiful book full of the most amazing descriptions of fly fishing and of the wilderness around.
The human story was also compelling. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
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