CATCH & RELEASE: TROUT FISHING AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
Author: Mark Kingwell
Publisher: PENGUIN/PUTNAM (PENGUIN ACCT), May 2004
A celebration of fathers & sons and the one that got away--a funny & touching slice of life from an unlikely angler. In the tradition of "Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"--a philospher-angler's funny & provocative meditation on his twin passions. Framed around an annual fishing trip that Kingwell & his father & two brothers take each year to British Columbia. 5x7.5 inches, 240 pgs.
Part memoir, part travelogue, and part reflection on the deep truths of fly fishing, this original & free-wheeling book brings a philosopher's (actually a philosophy professor's) mind to bear on an avocation that turns ordinary men into philosophers.
In Catch and Release, philosopher Mark Kingwell has written a book about fishing, or more accurately, about thinking about fishing that is unlike an book ever penned about this most unique and challenging of sports. This vibrant blend of memoir, travelogue, reflection, and discussion of the finer points of the art is framed around an annual fishing trip that he and his father and two brothers take each year to British Columbia. It's a perfect book for anyone who loves fishing--or anyone who's perplexed by it.
Between the drinking, cigars, and the piloting of a small dingy, Kingwell, previously of the belief that "fishing is stupid," finds that the sport does allow for one important thing--quite a bit of time to just think, allowing thoughts to wander and new vistas to open up. This realization--a kind of felicitous meandering and suspension in the delights of a moment--leads Kingwell through everything from falconry, male bonding, work and procrastination to golf, cooking, and the relationship between reflection and action--not to mention the relative benefits of wet versus dry flies, the cast, and the ethics of fishing. Ultimately, and as this book engagingly shows, fishing is worth thinking about because of the thinking that fishing allows. Especially when the trout aren't biting.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
"Illustrates deep thoughts on truth, beauty and thinking itself with laugh-out-loud yarns of male bonding." --The Boston Globe
"Filled with a sense of joy and awe." --Publishers Weekly
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mark Kingwell, a philosopher and critic, is the author of six previous books, including The World We Want and Practical Judgments. Currently professor of philosophy at the university of Toronto, he is a contributing editor of Harper's Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Reader's Digest, and Utne Reader, among others.