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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  128 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
From the revered Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and writer, comes his National Bestseller on one of the world's oldest and most popular activities, fishing. Presented in narrative form as a conversation between a Fisherman and the Stranger, Hersey draws upon his own experiences and passion as the fisherman reflects on the age old sport, offering his own insights and tho ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published February 12th 1988 by Vintage (first published 1987)
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Fantastic little life lessons. I also liked the chapter ending recipe.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I dearly love this book. For the nature enthusiast, the chef, the fisherman, the poet and the curious, this book will educate, inspire, and delight you! I will be seeking out John Hersey's other books.
Benjamin Elliott
Mar 31, 2016 rated it liked it
It did take me quite a while to read this book. I would read one or two chapters at a time in between other books. There was nothing that had me so hooked that I had to read it straight through. At the same time, the episodic nature of it with the repeating pattern of its structure lent itself to this style of reading and I never put it away altogether.
Every chapter of this book contains a general noise of conversation between the two characters leading up to a long speech by the fisherman weavi
May 09, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 Terrific content is, for me, marred by the presentation. The prose at first rubbed me entirely the wrong way, though did fairly quickly settle in to be enjoyable. I'm not sure what exactly I would have preferred here which might have conveyed similar information in a non-dry manner, but the unwavering structure of Plato-esque manufactured conversation, followed by recipe, followed by poem... fine intentions, just wasn't quite my thing. Were I to rate solely on content and intent, this'd be a ...more
Mike Prochot
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." ~Henry David Thoreau

John Hersey reminds us of the circle of life within the ocean itself and within the scheme of our world as a whole.

He also gives us some pretty sound fishing strategy and several very good and easy to prepare recipes for bluefish!

An easy and worthwhile read - particularly for fishermen.
Sep 01, 2013 added it
I keep trying to read this. It's about fish. And fishing. And the art of fishing. And some other things. I'm sure it's very thoughtful and deep. I now understand that one kid in my comparative lit class who wrote an entire paper explaining why his reading assignment was like watching paint dry.

Additionally, I keep reading the fisherman's words in the Pepperidge Farm guy's voice. This is probably not helping.

I didn't rate this because I have. not. gotten. through it.
Susan Overbey
Read this because we were sailing in the same area of the Vineyard that this narrative took place. It is hard to get excited about fish but this book did manage to make a "story" of what was essentially a lecture about how to fish for bluefish. The larger issue in the book was the need for intelligent environmental control - even back then, 1987
Andrew Sliwkowski
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fisingzenaa
If like to put some 'science' behind your cast for Bluefish off the vineyard, this book helped me put some Logic into my intuition for what bait to use, which tide and when, and what why the Bluefish's Latin name fits perfectly, even after 35 years since I caught(and release -:)) my first
Patrick O'Connell
Aug 02, 2007 rated it liked it
A professional author and novice fisherman learns to fish, and at the same time the habits of the voracious schooling bluefish off of the New England coast. Each chapter begins with a recipe for bluefish.
Ron Sitton
Mar 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fishing, science, writing
Interesting form, i.e. Hersey writes a conversation between a fisherman and a stranger, who initially criticizes the sport of fishing before trying it and finding he enjoys it. Along the way, the fisherman explains different ways of cooking fish and Hersey finishes chapters with fishing poetry.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a hard book to rate. It is a treatise on fish and marine ecosystems, done in the style of a Plato type "conversation". It is loaded with facts about fish and fishing and includes recipes for cooking fish and poetry about fish.
David Ward
Blues by John Hershey (Knopf 1987)(799.11) is a series of essays on fishing for bluefish off Martha's Vineyard and the interaction of man, bluefish, and the ocean. My rating: 7.5/10, finished 2005.
Aug 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Somewhat slow and pedantic at times, but the immersion in the essence of fishing and the naturalism and conservation of the unique species called the bluefish makes for a good read.
Dooley Gilchrist
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Possibly my favorite book of all time.
Jul 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm re-reading this, read it originally probably 10-15 years ago..., poetry, biology, recipes...what else is there? A great read, so entertaining and infromative. Loved it AGAIN.
Alex Brinkman
Jun 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
hey! the description for this book is way way way way off! This is not a book about blues, it's a book about blue fish!
Feb 27, 2010 rated it liked it
I like the way it's written. I like the history and the life lessons-the actually fishing stuff I could do without......the recipes are cool!
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John Richard Hersey was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer and journalist considered one of the earliest practitioners of the so-called New Journalism, in which storytelling devices of the novel are fused with non-fiction reportage. Hersey's account of the aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, was adjudged the finest piece of journalism of the 20th century by a 36-member ...more
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