From the highly acclaimed author of Ninety-two in the Shade and Cloudbursts comes a collection of alternately playful and exquisite essays borne of a lifetime spent fishing. The forty pieces in The Longest Silence—including seven collected here for the first time—take the reader from the tarpon of Florida to the salmon of Iceland, from the bonefish of Mexico to the trout of Montana. They introduce characters as varied as a highly literate Canadian frontiersman and a devoutly Mormon river guide and address issues ranging from the esoteric art of tying flies to the enduring philosophy of a seventeenth-century angler to the trials of the aging fisherman. Both reverent and hilarious by turns, and infused with a deep experience of wildlife and the outdoors, The Longest Silence sets the heart pounding for a glimpse of moving water and demonstrates what dedication to sport reveals about life.
About The Longest Silence
With ten books over a thirty-year span, Thomas McGuane has proven himself over and over again "a virtuoso . . . a writer of the first magnitude," as Jonathan Yardley wrote in the New York Times Book Review. "His sheer writing skill is nothing short of amazing." But he has devoted a couple decades more to another sustaining passion: the pursuit of most every sporting fish known to the angler’s hopes and dreams.
The quarry–from trout and salmon to striped bass, massive tarpon, and chimerical permit–inhabit these thirty-three essays as surely as the characters of a novel, luring the author back to childhood haunts in Michigan and Rhode Island, and on through the stages of his life in San Francisco, Key West, and Montana; from the river in his backyard to the holiest waters of the American fishery, and to such far-flung locales as Ireland, Argentina, New Zealand, and Russia. As he travels with friends, with his son, alone, or in the literary company of Roderick Haig-Brown or Isaak Walton, the fish take him to such subjects as "unfounded opinions" on rods and reels, the classification of anglers according to the flies they prefer, family, and memory–right down to why fisherman lie. "His essay subjects are the stuff of epics," Geoffrey Wolff has written, "and his narratives can make you laugh out loud."
Infused with a deep experience of wildlife and the outdoors, dedicated to conservation, reverent and hilarious by turns or at once, The Longest Silence sets the heart pounding for a glimpse of moving water, and demonstrates what a life dedicated to sport reveals about life.
“McGuane writes with wit, grit, and grace; the result is a book as entertaining as any you will find on any subject.” —The Seattle Times
“A wonderful writer at the top of his form.” —David Halberstam
“Entertaining as well as technical. . .the gentle, elegiac descriptions laced with crisp opinion. . .draw the reader in.” —The New York Times
“His words are as fresh as the morning dew on an angler’s line.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Brilliantly written. . . . McGuane’s most personal book.” —Minneapolis StarTribune
“Thomas McGuane writes about fishing better than anyone else in the history of mankind.” —Jim Harrison
“It’s vintage McGuane, the prose elegant and erudite.” —The Denver Post
“A meaty book, and an uplifiting one, dazzlingly well-written. . . . As compelling a testimony to the power and mystery of obsession as I have ever read.” —Tom Fort, Financial Times
“Certain to entertain fellow enthusiasts and fans of his writing. . . . McGuane casts not only his fishing line, but also his magic at turning a precise phrase and evoking a delightful image.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An outlaw spirit moves through these fish stories. . . . Iconoclastic, unpredictable. . . . Audacious.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Readers will feel the strong, cold currents of fish-infested rivers at their legs.” —Booklist