Ray Troll's Shocking Fish Tales: Fish, Romance, and Death in Pictures

Ray Troll, Author, Bradford Matsen, Author, Bradford Matsen, With
Ray Troll, Author, Bradford Matsen, Author, Bradford Matsen, With Ten Speed Press $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89815-548-8
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This whimsical yet informative look at the denizens of the deep incorporates humor, trivia and natural history. Matsen ( Deep Sea Fishing ) contributes brief essays on such subjects as the mutation that began the evolution of fish into humans; a chronicle of ``fish lit'' over the years; the mating rituals of salmon; the significance of fish in various religions; and the ``deadly blend of despair and cheap thrills'' derived from working in a salmon-packing factory. The margins are dotted with notes on esoterica, such as the tale of a fisherman who was towed 80 feet underwater by a blue marlin, and that massaging a halibut's ``lateral line''--a sense organ on its stomach--has a soothing effect on the halibut. Troll's illustrations in several different media are equally diverse, ranging from depictions of Native American-inspired totem poles and rituals to a Rousseau takeoff of humpies swimming through a moonlit jungle. Many of these incorporate text, like the blue and black silkscreen of upside-down fish over the legend ``Bass Ackwards'' and the pen-ink-and-watercolor drawing of anthropomorphized, briefcase-carrying fish clustered around a sign reading ``Walleye Street.'' (July)
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