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The Complete Angler: A Connecticut Yankee Follows in the Footsteps of… (edition 1999)
by James Prosek
The Complete Angler: A Connecticut Yankee Follows in the Footsteps of Walton by James Prosek
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060191899, Hardcover)Prosek has commandeered a unique branch for himself in the long stream of fishing literature. With Trout: An Illustrated History and Joe and Me, he's reeled in the reputation of a modern-day Audubon with a keen eye that translates experience into both words and watercolors. In The Complete Angler, he sets out to tackle the legacy of Isaak Walton, the granddaddy of littoral lit and his 17th-century classic, The Compleat Angler. While still an undergraduate, Prosek convinces the solons at Yale to fund a traveling fellowship for him to fish the waters Walton fished, to ponder their joint obsession with angling, and the fellowship and philosophies inherent in sitting on banks with a rod in your hand. "Fishing is my religion and the trout stream is my temple," Prosek declares proudly, which makes Walton at least a High Priest, if not the Messiah.
You certainly can't accuse Prosek of shrinking from a challenge. Walton's Compleat Angler is one of the towers of English literature. Not only the third most reprinted volume in the language (after the Bible and Shakespeare), it is the rare book that has spanned several centuries of readership without ever going out of print. Stepping into Walton's waders--literary and sporting--and fishing his way through public and private waters throughout Britain, Prosek attempts to navigate deeper, trickier currents than he's previously attempted. What he catches is part homage, part pilgrimage, part meditation, and entirely alluring--a work that balances youthful exuberance with insight and depth. Walton's considerable shadow challenges and encourages Prosek's growth as writer and artist; both his writing and the painting that illustrates this handsome effort are maturing. "I didn't exactly know what I would find," Prosek admits at the start. It's precisely this attitude that makes his journey, and the surprises he snares, all the more enchanting. --Jeff Silverman
(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 26 Jan 2013 08:30:59 -0500)
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