Customer Reviews


12 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Poured Out!
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...
Published on 23 Nov 2009 by Bob Salter

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only good for keen fishermen
After reading the rave reviews about this book and also loving the film, I got it on my Kindle but found myself skipping pages and pages of descriptions of the fly fishing, the bait, the lines, the rods, the currents etc etc......I've given up on the book now to be honest, but if I was a keen fly fisher I'd probably love it.
Published 11 months ago by Ms. R. G. Smith


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fishing reveals the meaning of life, and other stories..., 4 April 2011
By 
John P. Jones III (Albuquerque, NM, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Norman Maclean published his first work, this collection of three stories, when he was 73. He was an English Professor at the University of Chicago, and its Press broke precedent, by publishing its first work of fiction. A fortuitous decision, as this best seller provided the Press the funds to issue other drier academic works of non-fiction. The movie A River Runs Through It [DVD] [1993], directed by Robert Redford, issued in 1992, helped greatly to popularize this story. Nonetheless, not having seen the movie, I was leery of the book, with a gut feeling that this would be about the ultra-rich crowd who water at Jackson Hole, WY, or even further a field, say, chartering a private plane to some remote river in Siberia, so they can differentiate themselves from the masses by practices this arcane sport. And was I ever wrong - this is the REAL thing, fly-fishing as a natural art form, and a passion, as practiced by the natives of an equally obscure part of America: the Idaho-Montana border area.

The story is largely autobiographical, set in the late `30's, and is about Maclean's family relationships, particularly with his brother, who we learn early in the story, was murdered in the prime of life. His father, a Presbyterian minister, of Scottish origins, taught both sons how to fly fish, and it remained a passion, and cement that could be relied upon to bind their relationship. Norman's brother was admittedly the better sportsman. Although I've never fished, this one story explains why it is an intelligent man's (or woman's) avocation, shattering the image of Tom Sawyer sitting under a tree, with a pole in the water, and a worm at the end of the string. For that reason alone, the story is worth the read (I'd also highly recommend Russell Chatham's series of short stories Dark Waters for the same reason). But what really sets this story apart is the beautifully crafted tale of these relationships, coupled with those relating to their absolute loser of a brother-in-law and the women who find self-actualization tending to his pathetic nature. There are also some ribald and humorous scenes in the story. A line in the story summarizes Maclean's outlook: "...at the time I did not know that stories of life are often more like rivers than books." And perhaps the central question of the story is: Can we really help anyone else?

The other two stories don't match the title story in excellence, but still are both worthwhile reads. They are both set just after World War I, when Maclean was in his late teens, and worked in the logging camps and the Forest Service in the same Idaho-Montana border area. It is a portrait of the "rough and tumble" West, not long after the "frontier" had closed, and featured hard work, gambling, boozing, and, yes, ladies of the trade. Maclean's summer work with the Forest Service involved fire watches, and it was in this same area that the largest forest fire in American history occurred nine years earlier, and is described in Timothy Egan's excellent book The The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America.

Like Egan, and Wallace Stegner, Norman Maclean has written excellent, , poignant and authentic stories of the American West. A solid 5-star read.

(Note: Review first published at Amazon, USA, on August 23, 2010)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only good for keen fishermen, 7 Oct 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition (Kindle Edition)
After reading the rave reviews about this book and also loving the film, I got it on my Kindle but found myself skipping pages and pages of descriptions of the fly fishing, the bait, the lines, the rods, the currents etc etc......I've given up on the book now to be honest, but if I was a keen fly fisher I'd probably love it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews