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THE GUIDE AND THE CEO

M. David Detweiler, Author
M. David Detweiler, Author . Stackpole $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8117-0705-3
Reviewed on: 07/30/2001
Release date: 07/01/2001
Ebook - 107 pages - 978-0-8117-5127-8
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A struggling fishing guide experiences a problematic yet enlightening encounter with a difficult client in Detweiler's (Tree of Life) latest, a story about a strange battle of wills that begins when businessman Sean Boldt takes a day off from his ongoing merger negotiations to head for the Rockies, hiring Rick Tamerlin to show him the best trout spots. But their day of fun in the sun quickly turns into a mental and spiritual tug-of-war when the brusque CEO begins quizzing the guide about his life and then makes a series of judgments that set Tamerlin on edge. The judgments pertain to the guide's career path, specifically to his decision to sell a chain of successful outdoor gear stores and embark on a simple life in the wilderness. The duo's initial fishing forays prove unsuccessful, and the tension builds when they hike to a high lake to reach Tamerlin's hidden favorite spot, only to discover that the guide has forgotten the fishing gear. After getting over their disappointment, they manage to improvise and catch a single trout, and as their trip and the book come to a close, Boldt responds by making a bizarre offer to set the guide up with his rebellious daughter, thinking they might make an interesting match. Detweiler's love for and knowledge of nature make the prose flow reasonably well, and some of the arguments serve up intriguing food for thought. But the plot seems more like that of a short story that has been stretched well beyond its ideal length, and neither protagonist rises far enough above the level of stereotype to make the concept work. (Aug.)

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