Book List

May 27, 2019 by

Thomas McGuane’s The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing, which was reissued in February, is not a new book; most of it, aside from seven new essays, was first published in 1999. But twenty years is twenty years, which means thousands of otherwise literate anglers might conceivably be unaware of this masterpiece of fishing literature, might now be struggling to express streamside notions and sensations that McGuane articulated better than anyone since Roderick Haig-Brown. It deserves a refreshment of praise. The forty essays in The Longest Silence constitute a kind of trout-bum scripture in which the prescription for transcendence isn’t ritual or prowess but rather diligent immersion: “from air to water,” as McGuane writes, “from warm blood to cold, to a view of the racing universe and all its stars through a river’s flowing lens.” Step back from the water, and you realize that this degree of immersion—tenacious, alert, ardent—isn’t only worth applying to fishing. The Longest Silence is, at its heart, less a book about how to fish than how to live.

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1 Comment on Book List

  • A classic!!

    Jack July 9, 2019 12:07 PM

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