Individual taste in books varies as much as the favorite rod
or fly. With that in mind, we hope to review books and
videos from the ever-growing fly fishing world, and share
them with you. Books will be the best of all worlds, new
and old. Many of the old books are now available in reprint,
and the wisdom contained is timely today. Others can be
found in second-hand book stores, or by mail order dealers.
As we find videos we feel are outstanding they will be included.
Be assured, reviews are based on what we have actually read,
and due to that fact, may not appear weekly.
June 19th, 2000
Early Love and Brook Trout
By James Prosek
Published by Lyons Press,
123 West 18th Street, New York, New York 10011
Normally if I really don't like a book, I just don't do a review on it. It's not that this is a bad
book. It has it's moments, but with the promotion and publicity it has received, I really
expected something spectacular. It isn't.
I should have had an inkling when the dust cover states this is James Prosek's "memoir."
I'm not sure that any twenty-something can even have an memoir. Somewhere there is
an awful lot of living required for that title.
Jim Babb wrote a blurb for the dust cover too, "Prosek writes like a painter and paints
like a writer, in that his stories are encapsulated paintings that rise tangible from the page
and his paintings encapsulated stories that draw you in and whisper what there is to know."
Sorry Jim, not.
I'm told the cover painting sold for $7000. Frankly that astounds me. Was this an auction
on Ebay? Homer Winslow is probably whirling in his grave.
If the title of the book had been Early Love for Brook Trout it would have been an
improvement. If the author (or his editors) had left out a dozen sentences of gratuitous
references to the authors sexual conquests, I might have even liked it. But they didn't.
And I don't like the reference that Prosek's experiences are something to be emulated by
others who may read it.
Perhaps the too-long exposure to over zealous gratuitous sex on television is the culprit.
Perhaps if you go to Yale and are on the rowing team the locker-room accepts this as the
norm. Among fly fishing literature it is not the norm, and as such falls very short. It's just tacky!
I expected a lovely book of a young man's love affair with brook trout. Not a recollection
of who got what where. (If it's by a trout stream does that make it about trout?) The writing
itself is pretty good. Prosek can tell a nice story. It is cleanly written. Unfortunately most
of what is in it tells us little. It is mostly 'grab shots' - random thoughts which have no
framework or body.
As for "painting like a writer," the painting are mostly dark and moody. Then again, that may
be a clue to the whole story. Painting with a wet brush, Prosek leaves only impressions.
The job of the artist (and writer) is to make the visible, visible.
I sincerely hope when the author is also a little less wet behind the ears, he will not look
back on this and regret writing it. It could have been a good book. ~ DB
Early Love and Brook Trout
114 pages, 8" x 8"; full color
Hard Cover: $24.95 US
Published by The Lyons Press
123 West 18 Street
New York, New York 10011
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