Norman Maclean grew up in the western Rocky Mountains in the first decades of the 20th century. As a young man he worked many summers in logging camps and for the United States Forest Service. The two novellas and short story in this collection are based on his own experiences - the experiences of a young man who found that life was only a step from art in its structures and beauty. The beauty he found was in reality, and so he leaves a careful record of what it was like to work in the woods when it was still a world of horse and hand and foot, without power saws, "cats" or four-wheel drives. Populated with drunks, loggers, cardsharps and whores, and set in the small towns and surrounding trout streams and mountains of western Montana, the stories concern themselves with the complexities of fly fishing, logging, fighting forest fires, playing cribbage and being a husband, a son and a father. By turns raunchy, poignant, caustic and elegaic, these are tales which express, in Maclean's own words, "a little of the love I have for the earth as it goes by".
A first offering from a 70-year-old writer, the basis for a top-grossing movie, and the first original fiction published by the University of Chicago Press, "A River Runs Through It and Other Stories" has sold more than a million copies.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 218 x 166 x 22 mm
Edition: Anniversary edition
"[Maclean] would go to his grave secure in the knowledge that anyone who'd fished with a fly in the Rockies and read his novella on the how and why of it believed it to be the best such manual on the art ever written--a remarkable feat for a piece of prose that also stands as a masterwork in the art of tragic writing."--Philip Connors "Nation "
"Altogether beautiful in the power of its feeling. . . . As beautiful as anything in Thoreau or Hemingway."--Alfred Kazin "Chicago Tribune Book World "
"It is an enchanted tale. . . . I have read the story three times now, and each time it seems fuller."--Roger Sale "New York Review of Books "
"Maclean's book--acerbic, laconic, deadpan--rings out of a rich American tradition that includes Mark Twain, Kin Hubbard, Richard Bissell, Jean Shepherd, and Nelson Algren. I love its sound."--James R. Frakes "New York Times Book Review "
"Ostensibly a 'fishing story, ' 'A River Runs through It' is really an autobiographical elegy that captivates readers who have never held a fly rod in their hand. In it the art of casting a fly becomes a ritual of grace, a metaphor for man's attempt to move into nature."--Andrew Rosenheim "The Independent "
"Maclean's book acerbic, laconic, deadpan rings out of a rich American tradition that includes Mark Twain, Kin Hubbard, Richard Bissell, Jean Shepherd, and Nelson Algren. I love its sound."--James R. Frakes "New York Times Book Review ""