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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the ro(a)d, 2 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Somewhere Else (Hardcover)
Somewhere Else represents a new direction for fishing books. Self-consciously taking cues from Kerouac (there's a quote from On The Road in the introduction), this book takes you effortlessly across the world in search of trout but reveals so much more than merely what fly caught how many fish.
Charles's prose is so disarmingly clear and concise (with elements of Hemingway and cult US trout bum John Gierach) that you're right there with him, seeing the world open up through his eyes, which could just as easily be yours so untainted by prejudice are his observations.
Fishing books, as another reviewer has noted, often suffer from a stuffy tone of voice - affluent middle-aged men are the core demographic of fly fishing, after all - but this is definitely not the case here. Granted, regular jaunts to Bhutan, Maine, Canada and beyond (all covered here) are not the preserve of the poor, but the author takes every encounter at a philosophical and aesthetic level (there are some beautiful descriptions here - perhaps the by-product of a background in fine art), with warming companionship appreciated whether it's drunken bums in back-country USA or old friends on home waters.
There's a lot of swearing, which is often hilarious and realistic when coming from the mouths of frustrated fellow anglers, but when chapters are named for example 'Sh*tloads of Refusals' you've got to wonder whether it's labouring the rebellious point a little.
That said, the dialogue is recorded exactly as it happens: a meeting with anglers and tackle shop stalwarts in deepest suburban London is as gritty as you could imagine; a punter in a South African bar gets lecherous as the beer flows; a pair of crack anglers in camo shout a tally of fish over the water. It's all real enough.
The first chapter launches straight into the author's world: a necessary piscatorial escape following the death of a parent. In fact there's even a vignette of a chapter describing the day of her death and the emotional aftermath. It's incredibly moving. What other fishing book would give you that?
This, in summary, is a beatiful and realistic book, free of pastoral whimsy and rich in hi-res recollection. In a world like the author's, where it's just as much of an adventure to find unexpected pike a couple of miles from home as it is to fly out to Canada and inadvertantly witness a whale-slaughter (life as the local guides know it), this really is stuff to feed dreams.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere Else, 5 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Somewhere Else (Hardcover)
Finally an English author who understands that it is not necessary to put on a tweed suit to go fishing!
In places irreverant but charmingly so;" Somewhere Else" is a wonderfully observed and wry look at fishing,travel and humanity from an honest uncluttered perspective.
Mr Rangeley-Wilson has an un-erring ability to capture in a studied but un-contrived form, the emotions that all fishermen feel in moments of triumph and disaster.
In addition he describes in clear and economically structured prose, the wide-eyed joy all travellers experience on exposure to new cultures and countries.
The most humble of his subjects take on a mantle of the utmost character and depth and it's obvious that fishing was only a part of the fun in researching each adventure.
What makes the book uniquely refreshing is the lack of concern for the conventions of the genre so religiously adhered to by so many of the authors predecessors.
Nowhere in the book's pages are the starchy, predictable, stereotypical images associated with others of it's kind. Throughout, it remains a sparkling, fresh, glittering prize; much like many of the authors captures.
A zesty tang of reality pervades the text and like a counterfoil to the remote unfamiliarity of each exotic location, provides superbly conjured balance.
Every chapter is infused with carefully crafted evocative language that grips with a page turning imperative, urging the reader to stay with the story.
You don't have to be a fisherman to enjoy "Somewhere Else".This is a book to be enjoyed and savoured by anyone with a taste for incisive, well observed wit.
Make time for this book,read it carefully, don't rush it; you might miss something......
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best fishing/travel writing around - brilliant, 10 May 2009
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D. Bamford (Uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Somewhere Else (Paperback)
Conjours up the atmosphere of places, people and fishing pefectly. Some great laugh out loud moments in there. Just superb writing. I'd put CRW up there with Yates and Geirach, and he more than holds his own.
Accidental Angler is also fantastic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought it for my husband, 27 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Somewhere Else (Paperback)
I bought The Accidental Angler a few years and it was so much enjoyed by both of us (and I dont fish!) that I thought I would get him this one. I haven't read it yet but I gather my other half is enjoying it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere Else, 15 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Somewhere Else (Kindle Edition)
Lovely series of chapters about Charles R-W's fishing trips, from S Africa to trout-hunting in Wandsworth. A must for trout fishers
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tales from the riverbank - fly fishing worldwide!, 12 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Somewhere Else (Paperback)
Some great and quirky stories about fly fishing in the far reaches of the world. A flyfisherman's (woman's) dream and told as it happens!
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Somewhere Else
Somewhere Else by Charles Rangeley-Wilson
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