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Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers by John Gierach

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About the Book

In this collection of essays, Gierach "reflects on what casting a line, waiting for bites beside a stream, or searching for good fishing spots can reveal about human nature. Pondering the power of place, he reflects on the pleasures of fishing close to home, where 'some of the things you know operate beneath the level of full consciousness.' While sharing an amusingly self-deprecating story of almost landing a muskie, Gierach observes that the one that got away is the 'stuff of sleeplessly staring at a dark bedroom ceiling' while wondering why one didn't stay home'"--Publishers Weekly, 12/09/2019.

Book Synopsis

Witty, shrewd, and, as always, a joy to read, John Gierach, "America's best fishing writer" (Houston Chronicle) and favorite streamside philosopher, extols the frequent joys and occasional tribulations of the fly-fishing life.
"After five decades, twenty books, and countless columns, [John Gierach] is still a master" (Forbes). Now, in his latest fresh and original collection, Gierach shows us why fly-fishing is the perfect antidote to everything that is wrong with the world.

"Gierach's deceptively laconic prose masks an accomplished storyteller...His alert and slightly off-kilter observations place him in the general neighborhood of Mark Twain and James Thurber" (Publishers Weekly). In Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers, Gierach looks back to the long-ago day when he bought his first resident fishing license in Colorado, where the fishing season never ends, and just knew he was in the right place. And he succinctly sums up part of the appeal of his sport when he writes that it is "an acquired taste that reintroduces the chaos of uncertainty back into our well-regulated lives."

Lifelong fisherman though he is, Gierach can write with self-deprecating humor about his own fishing misadventures, confessing that despite all his experience, he is still capable of blowing a strike by a fish "in the usual amateur way." The "voice of the common angler" (The Wall Street Journal), he offers witty, trenchant observations not just about fly-fishing itself but also about how one's love of fly-fishing shapes the world that we choose to make for ourselves.

Review Quotes

"From the zen of aging to the tao of tying flies, from palm-size brook trout to leg-length muskies, Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers is the best yet from fly-fishing's favorite cosmic uncle."--James R. Babb, author of Fish Won't Let Me Sleep

"Gierach's inviting, down-to-earth, and humorous work shares a deep love of fly-fishing and the ways it can be a metaphor for life."-- "Publishers Weekly"

"John Gierach gives us fishing as the alert life; people, places and rivers seen by a first-rate noticer whose amiable disposition never alarms the prey."--Tom McGuane

"John Gierach is an original, which is why each new book is welcomed by so many anglers as joyously required reading. Pardon the interdisciplinary reach, but Gierach's stories are rather like McCartney's music--on the one hand vitally fresh, yet on the other hand instantly familiar. Don't worry about how he does that--just keep reading."--Paul Schullery, author of The Fishing Life and A Fish Come True

"Those looking for how-to tips will find plenty here on rods, flies, guides, streams, and pretty much everything else that informs the fishing life. It is the everything else that has earned Gierach the following of fellow writers and legions of readers who may not even fish but are drawn to his musings on community, culture, the natural world, and the seasons of life."-- "Kirkus Reviews"

"Shrewd, perceptive and wryly funny. . . . Mr. Gierach, the man who coined the term 'trout bum, ' is arguably the best fishing writer working."--Bill Heavey "The Wall Street Journal"

About the Author

John Gierach is the author of more than twenty books about fly-fishing. His writing has appeared in Field & Stream, Gray's Sporting Journal, and Fly Rod & Reel. He writes a column for Trout magazine and the monthly Redstone Review. He lives in Lyons, Colorado.

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