THE EVERLASTING STREAM: A True Story of Rabbits, Guns, Friendship and Family

Walt Harrington, Author . Atlantic Monthly $24 (192p) ISBN 978-0-87113-862-0

With humor and insight, Harrington (Crossings: A White Man's Journey into Black America) weaves several themes in his tribute to friendship and storytelling: a study of masculinity, a corrective to the belief that hunting is savage, a father-son chronicle, an ode to common folks, an examination of race, and a city mouse/country mouse fable. That he uses his African-American father-in-law's annual Thanksgiving rabbit hunts as a thread to stitch these patches together only enhances his achievement. Harrington, a white, former Washington Post Magazine writer, nicely balances analytical distance with the stories of the wisecracking, whiskey-sipping black pals of his father-in-law, who are interested in shooting the breeze as much as the cottontails. With its description of crying bears and why it's better to be "off the egg" than on (i.e., able to bag a bunny), this does for hunting what A River Runs Through It did for fly-fishing. Comparing sunrises to cleaning prey might be a stretch, but not when the prose is this beautifully tactile: for Harrington, it's feral yet transporting to "cut a rabbit's belly open on a cold day and suddenly feel its innards warm your freezing hands." (Sept.)

Forecast:Salted with anecdotes about former president and interviewee George Bush, among others, this book will likely cross political boundaries.

Reviewed on: 06/10/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-8021-4050-0
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