If, like me, you're a life long angler and yearn for more than repeat captures of synthetic fish then Jeremy Wade should be your inspiration. He has apparently forgone conventional comforts and endured injury and disease to fulfil a deeper need to satisfy his soul. Something all true anglers understand albeit for most of us at a lesser level. He writes in clear, concise and absorbing sentences that invisibly stitch together elegant prose and scientific precision and weave compelling chapters. His objectives are pitched higher than all other anglers I have known or read yet he gently places his incomparable angling achievements into wider context and perspective. He appears neither arrogant nor condescending, just plain matter of fact. I've always thought it would be impossible for any angler to change much about the way people generally disrespect the environment but perhaps I am wrong because by the clever use of slight, forgiveable sensationalism, and uncorrupted by commercial sponsors, he has connected with a larger audience than all other famous fisherman. Wade has created much more than a fishing show and so this book is truthfully about much more than catching monsters. Read into it and you will see that it's more about trying to control only one. I hope he Wade goes on to even higher things, he is uniquely placed amongst anglers to do so.
This review is based on the recorded version of the US release; however, I am sure the US and UK versions are very similar - perhaps only slight differences. Regardless, you must read this book, or listen to the recorded version. Mr. Wade narrates it himself and does an incredible job - there is something quite amazing about hearing these tales from the man himself.
This book is not a simple retelling of the episodes - not even close. It is more of an account of how he arrived at each place in time - all the fascinating back stories that give each episode a very unique, more meaningful context.
I have grown fascinated by the subject matter and yet I have never held a fishing rod in my hands. You do not need to be an expert angler, or an angler at all, to enjoy every bit of this book. You need only possess the slightest curiosity about the world around you - a desire to understand what lies beneath the surface.
I have never really been into angling much but when I happened to see an episode of River Monsters on the television, I was (pardon the pun) hooked.
Jeremy Wade is a self-effacing chap who really knows his stuff. In the book he narrates how he came to be in whichever country he was at the time and also questions the local people about the myths and legends attached to whatever fish he is trying to hook. It seems that he has fished all over the world with great success and is always informative about his catches and his enthusiasm is infectious.
He also tries to release everything he catches which is what I like so much about him. There are some great illustrations in the book and boy are some of the fish ugly and dangerous! The one on the front cover is enough to give you the heebie jeebies.
This book complements the TV series well and even if you don't like fishing it's still worth buying as it's like a tourist guide too.
I have now read this book 3 times and each time I read it I discover bits that had passed me by first time round. Jeremy Wade's style of writing is relaxed ant very informative. I enjoyed the " Fishy bits " and also the insight into life style and attitude of the various people met along the way.
The personal information about Jeremy Wade was interesting and not "overdone". It must be a strange life Mr. Wade lives, but it obviously makes him very happy !
I am female, have never fished in my life and have no intention of ever fishing but I am seriously addicted to the TV show and am enjoying this book. I like the series for the scenery, which you don't get to see in other documentaries, JW's interactions with the local environment and people and his total knowledge and passion for what he does. The book is similarly engaging but gives more depth, background information and reflection than is possible through TV, lots of detail but not too much to detract from the book's enjoyment for a complete fishing ignoramus like me. An excellent read but I am not totally sure I would want to go wild swimming now!
This book is worth buying just for the wonderfully detailed woodcut print illustrations by Clare Venables. I wouldn't like to meet any of the fish in person but luckily the author has done that for us.