Reviews

Literature Goes a-Fishin’

Literature, it seems, loves to go fishing, and has since at least Izaak Walton’s The Complete Angler in 1653; along the way, many authors have weighted a line and flung their baited hooks into the depths, to find what they could pull up.

Add Rob Reid’s to the list. But Casting Into Mystery is as much about literature, music, art, film and others among the author’s many passions, foremost of which, for the purposes of this book is the arcane practice of fly fishing.

Along the way, readers will enjoy musings on Tom Thomson (a great fisher as well as a great artist) and writers as diverse as Hemingway, Yeats, Ted Hughes, Thoreau, Wendell Berry and even some of Hamilton’s own poets. We also meet some fascinating anglers, like octogenarian Joan Kirkham. It is a kind of fisher’s literary companion.

And this gorgeously written and put together book features the incomparable wood engravings of Wesley Bates, whom many remember from Hamilton. Published by The Porcupine’s Quill, $26.95 online, abebooks.com and alllitup.ca or through booksellers. Digital $4.99 store.porcupinesquill.ca/

— Review written by Jeff Mahoney, a longtime culture & lifestyle reporter & columnist for The Spectator. Check out the review published in the Hamilton-based newspaper on 9 May 2020 at The Spec

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