Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Norman Maclean Reader” as Want to Read:
The Norman Maclean Reader
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Norman Maclean Reader

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In his eighty-seven years, Norman Maclean played many parts: fisherman, logger, firefighter, scholar, teacher. But it was a role he took up late in life, that of writer, that won him enduring fame and critical acclaim—as well as the devotion of readers worldwide. Though the 1976 collection A River Runs Through It and Other Stories was the only book Maclean published in his ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by University Of Chicago Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Norman Maclean Reader, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Norman Maclean Reader

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 06, 2016 Keith rated it really liked it
“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 have always loved these sentences from Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It. This book was the only one published by Maclean. He came to writing after a long and distinguished career teaching English Literature at the Unive
Apr 10, 2015 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am pleasantly disposed toward Maclean’s writing. It’s not that it’s a simple style, it’s wily, there is an obvious effort behind the lines. It’s like you sense that a master has finely polished them. If an odd tone is played, there is a reason. His “Young Men and Fire”, although unfinished, showed his workmanship over the lines, there covering a group of doomed firefighters as well as the author himself on a self discovery mission. In this book, you find that he worked on “Young Men and Fire” ...more
Webster Bull
Jul 13, 2015 Webster Bull rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Norman Maclean is a personal obsession of mine, and this collection is an indispensable supplement to his two great works, "A River Runs Through It" and "Young Men and Fire," his only two books, the second of them published posthumously. The beloved U/Chicago professor of English was raised and rooted in Montana, where he lived each summer in a cabin he and his father had built with their hands. Upon his retirement at age 70, prompted by his children, he committed himself to writing a few "remin ...more
Feb 03, 2012 Justin rated it liked it
Shelves: fishing-etc
At its best, this collection is remarkable. Some of Maclean's essays are great, and his letters to Marie Borroff are amazingly charming and witty. I can imagine some fans of Maclean's flipping for this book, but I bogged down in the Custer stuff that, between the selected chapters and the letters to Robert Utley just make up too many pages for someone not interested in the battle. If you've read his other books, you'll find plenty here to like, but it might be worth picking and choosing your spo ...more
Rob Blaine
May 30, 2013 Rob Blaine rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a nice collection and sample of Norman Maclean, including pieces from his more acclaimed works as well as published and unpublished writings, lectures and letters. The Norman Maclean Reader gave me a greater appreciation of the depth of this writers craft, yet leaves me wondering what the world of literature would have looked like had he starting writing and publishing his stores early in life, instead of after a full and accomplished life of scholarship and teaching. I'm sure his studen ...more
This is a collection of sometimes unfinished writings by Norman MacLean. They are not all fully polished and the letters had not been written for publication, but wow, this is devastatingly good!

MacLean's style is individual and despite the decades since I read A River Runs Through It, I recognized his voice immediately.

Partway through a piece subtitled A Few Remarks on the Art of Teaching, I felt a melancholy that I never had the opportunity to have him as a teacher. I started and realized I w
Jul 15, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing
His prose style is spare and clean, but he still is able to explore complex ideas. He's especially concerned with the notion of defeat. His explorations approach the tragic, but more often they seem to be from the point of view of the bystander who knows what the end will be but is powerless to change or prevent the event. I suppose it's the same dynamic that he uses in A River Runs Through It. One brother watching another and powerless to alter fate.
Mar 23, 2009 Donna added it
I'm not sure that more background about a river runs through it is necessary or helpful, but there are some good essays. especially good is him talking about watching michelson (of interferometer fame) playing billiards at uchicago.
Andrew rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2014
Burke Smith
Burke Smith rated it it was amazing
Jan 06, 2013
Chelfea rated it it was amazing
Jul 28, 2015
Groovykool rated it liked it
May 05, 2016
Brent Hildebrand
Brent Hildebrand rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2014
Nicki rated it it was amazing
Oct 04, 2015
Tracy Wendt
Tracy Wendt rated it it was amazing
Aug 26, 2014
Jeremy rated it really liked it
Dec 12, 2014
Sarah rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2012
Kyle Kudray
Kyle Kudray rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2014
Furr Ball
Furr Ball rated it it was amazing
Nov 29, 2015
Mr. Mullins
Mr. Mullins rated it liked it
May 31, 2011
Steve Bennett
Steve Bennett rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2014
Drew Gagnon
Drew Gagnon rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2014
David rated it really liked it
Feb 06, 2013
Craig McConnell
Craig McConnell rated it really liked it
Jan 07, 2012
Ann rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2014
Michael rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2014
Jon rated it it was amazing
Aug 26, 2010
Tim Dougherty
Tim Dougherty rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2014
Barret Sale
Barret Sale rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2012
John rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Free ebook version of this book - December 2013 1 3 Dec 03, 2013 10:13PM  
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Born in Clarinda, Iowa, on December 23, 1902, Maclean was the son of Clara Davidson (1873-1952) and the Rev. John Maclean (1862-1941), a Scottish Presbyterian minister, who managed much of the education of the young Norman and his brother Paul (1906-1938) until 1913. The fam
More about Norman Maclean...

Share This Book