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Trout Fishing in America by Richard…
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Trout Fishing in America (1967)

by Richard Brautigan

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
More often spoken of in reverential tones than read, I suspect. So it comes as some surprise to me on finally reading Richard Brautigan’s fish tale to discover that it is entirely readable, playful in the extreme, and refreshingly undated. Of course it is entirely likely that the book has had so much influence on the two (or three) generations of writers that came after it that all of its eccentricity and absurdist turns just look like old hat these days. Not entirely. I definitely think it is still worth reading and shall endeavour to speak of it in reverential tones myself in order to promote that activity.

What exactly Trout Fishing in America is remains open to debate. It may not be a conventional novel, but there are so many books out there that aren’t conventional novels that its unconventionality hardly distinguishes it. What stands out is that it is filled to bursting with what you might call left-turn similes, i.e. similes that appear headed in one direction and suddenly take another tack. It is also, surprisingly, filled with a lot of actual trout fishing. So that must put it in the running against Moby Dick as one of those books that come to define America.

And so, gently recommended. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Feb 29, 2016 |
Though I do believe this book was extremely important in its time I am not convinced it is any longer. I did enjoy rereading it as it brought back old and pleasant memories of a time first-called The Generation of Love. Richard Brautigan, after years of writing poetry and learning how to write a good sentence, made this first stab at composing a version of what he would come to call his very first novel. This first work made the rounds of many publishers and was pretty much shelved for other titles of Brautigan such as his second novel A Confederate General from Big Sur that was loosely based on a friend of his and was more "plot driven" than Trout Fishing in America. Of course, we all know that this, his actual first novel, is what made him famous and led to his enormous fame and fortune that could not last nor endure his depressive state that was never far from present throughout his entire life of forty-nine years. A clever first book, often brilliant in spots, with sounds resembling the best lyrics of a young Bob Dylan who was also in process of finding his own voice in that same time along the by-ways of America. ( )
  MSarki | Jan 23, 2016 |
Horribly stupid and a real slog to read. ( )
  basedguy | Dec 24, 2015 |
Maybe it is too short a time between Trout Fishing in America and today. Reading it led people back in the Sixties to say " Wow, man, groovy". Today it can lead to eyebrows raising. What is this hippie idiocy? A gigantic LSD-trip? A sit-in with all participants on high?

And yet the book is charming. It has a flow, it has a nice but critical undertone. It doesn't belittle American society of that time, but observes it with humor and a bit of sarcasm. It is a trip indeed, but a fun trip through contemporary history. A trip without nasty afterthoughts.

It's difficult to describe what the book is about. It's about America when Richard Brautigan was young. It's about America when Richard Brautigan was on a fishing trip with his wife and kid in Idaho. It's about America when Richard Brautigan was living in San Francisco. All that and more. A bit of poetry, a dollop of sarcasm, and a cast of weird people with weird behavior who are real nevertheless. Even if they happen to be a statue.

It's short and sweet. It'll make you laugh and frown, sometimes even on the same page, reading the same short chapter. You understand?

It's like " Wow, man, groovy." You know what I mean. ( )
1 vote jeroenvandorp | Aug 10, 2015 |
Funky, Burroughs-esque riff on 1961 America. Read over a nightshift, found in Hilary's office. Explains much. ( )
1 vote kcshankd | May 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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Richard Brautiganprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lundgren, CajTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The cover for "Trout Fishing in America" is a photograph taken late in the afternoon, a photograph of the Benjamin Franklin statue in San Francisco's Washington Square.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099747715, Paperback)

With his revolutionary prose style and magical imagination, Richard Brautigan has become one of the major cult authors of our time. Trout Fishing in America is his take on America: a funny, original and miraculous journey through a country - and a mind.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:59 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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 America became an international bestseller. An indescribable romp, the novel is best summed up in one word: mayonnaise. This new edition includes an introduction by the poet Billy Collins, who first encountered Brautigan's work as a student in California.… (more)

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