Trout Fishing in America
Richard Brautigan was a literary idol of the 1960s and 1970s whose comic genius and iconoclastic vision of American life caught the imagination of young people everywhere. He came of age during the Haight-Ashbury period and has been called the last of the Beats.” His early books became required reading for the hip generation, and on its publication Trout Fishing in Americ...more
Trout Fishing in America is a novella written by Richard Brautigan and published in 1967. It is technically Brautigan's first novel; he wrote it in 1961 before A Confederate General From Big Sur, which was published first.
The story takes place in 1957. A man named Lee Mellon believes he is a descendant of a Confederate general who was originally from Big Sur, California. This general is not in any books or records and there is no proof of his existenc ...more
Maybe I did miss quite a bit, being from a different generation (and Canadian to boot), not being fami ...more
Well, mostly not, sort of, well, see here’s the thing –
Richard Brautigan’s very unique 1964 publication blurs the line between prose and poetry, and in the same way that blue sounds a lot like jazz.
Yes, the similes.
Let’s visit some of Mr. Brautigan’s more bizarre and outlandish similes, and it is here that his readers first notice leaving a well-worn path.
“like a famous brain surgeon removing a disordered portion of the imagination ...more
A little ways up from the shack was an outhouse with its door flung violently open. The inside of the outhouse was exposed like a human face and the outhouse seemed to say, 'The ol...more
A Richard Brautigan craze started in Australia when I was in secondary school. The focus was "Trout Fishing in America", even if I had already read and preferred "Confederate General from Big Sur".
I loved the zany, almost hallucinogenic brevity of his novels. They were as short and stimulating as a good high, and they were funny. They didn't necessarily have a plot, but they were full of acute, though relaxed, proto-stoner observations. Brautigan walked through life ...more
Penned at the tail-end of the Beat movement, Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America is his surreal novel on the battle for humanity's soul waged between the high-stakes, ever expanding industrialism of the expiring 20th century and the salad days of nature worshiping 19th century.
The opening chapter of the book is fantastic and worth the investment in the novel just for those few pages alone. Even when the surrealism is thick Brautigan never lets go of his reader's hand. He wants us to see the pr ...more
Yes. Trout Fishing.
Trout Fishing in America is the name we give to our quest for happiness.
Trout Fishing in America is how we keep on looking for the time, the place, the lover, the friend, the chance we identify with happiness - OUR happiness - without even knowing.
Journeying through life's elusive ghosts, edenic visions and sinister gloom, we're all in search of the perfect creek where the crystal clear water sounds like music and the rainbow trout spaw ...more
“Truth is stranger than fishin’.”
Richard Brautigan published Trout Fishing in America in 1967. In a way it reminds me of a goofier, lighter, more absurd version of Kerouac’s On the Road, with lots of traveling around in nature. I also see connections to Kerouac in that both struggled with depression; Kerouac documented his decline through alcoholism in Big Sur, and Brautigan killed himself after writing So the Wind Won’t Blo ...more
It has been compared to Kerouac and Burroughs, but I think that is mistaken; it is a different type of approach to the world. The chapters are short and informal. Trout Fishing in America appears as a person/persons throughout and has spawned at least one modern band and several sets of parents naming their unfortunate offspring Tr ...more
I am 45% done with Trout Fishing in America.
____ made progress with Trout Fishing in America.
The title phrase of Trout Fishing in America is repurposed in this surreal, freewheeling novella to mean many different things. These sentences, auto-generated by Goodreads status updates, would not seem out of place in it, and could refer to an activity, a discrete inanimate object, a person or an abstraction.
Trout Fishing in America is very now, and also ver ...more
Things got even better by the junior and senior years. It was the end of the sixties and what had hap ...more
I still can’t.
The best I can say is that the book is a series of snippets from Brautigan’s life. Some of these are taken from his childhood; some are ...more
The kind of book that I loved without entirely knowing why, but a few highlights:
--Brautigan is from Tacoma, Washington, and I am from Washington, and started this on my way back from my vacation there, ...more
I may need to start singing the “Small World” song, however, as I happened to notice that this book is dedicated to someone named Ron Loewinsohn. “Huh,” I thought. “I had a professor at Berkeley named Ron Loewinsohn. I wonder if it could be the same guy?”
Two minutes of Wikipedia research reveals: yup! Same dude! Apparently he and Brautigan were good friends back in the day. Many years later, Loewinsohn is vying for the title of my favorite college professor. ( ...more
Another favored bit:
"The old drunk told me about trout fishing. When he could talk, he had a way of describing trout as if they were a precious and intelligent metal."
That’s my cruel take.
Here’s my nice one:
Trout Fishing in America will burn into your brain. Brautigan plays tricks with the phrase, disguising it as character names, using it as punchline, giving it autonomy to respond ...more