THE FISH'S EYE: Essays About Angling and the Outdoors

Ian Frazier, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $22 (176p) ISBN 978-0-374-15520-9

All 17 of the angling pieces Frazier (On the Rez) has written over the last 20 years have now been preserved in one volume. Attentive readers of the New Yorker over the last two decades will have caught most of these pieces before, but anglers and essay fans (not to mention Frazier devotees) should be glad to revisit gems like "An Angler at Heart," his 1981 profile of a Manhattan tackle dealer. Frazier's sharp eye and self-implicating wit is at work in these charming but unsentimental pieces, whether he's describing his penchant for mayflies in "It's Hard to Eat Just One," a family fishing trip in which his kids prefer a drainage ditch to the trout stream in "A Lovely Sort of Lower Purpose," or a Central Park pond where the fishermen are as likely to catch empty potato chip bags as catfish in "Anglers." Many of these essays are, in fact, about fishing in the city, and Frazier often wrings more suspense and meaning from a muddy stream that runs "From Wilderness to Wal-Mart" than some outdoor adventure writers get from an expedition through Nepal. His paeans to the angling experience set the standard in this subgenre, yet will amuse many who've never set foot in a tackle shop. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/11/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
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