cover image Streams of Consciousness: Hip-Deep Dispatches from the River of Life

Streams of Consciousness: Hip-Deep Dispatches from the River of Life

Jeff Hull, Author . Lyons $19.95 (198p) ISBN 978-1-59228-988-2

As in Hull's novel Pale Morning Done , fishing really is a lens through which Hull sees the world. And fortunately, the waters for this former fishing guide certainly run deeper than the Montana rivers and coastal flats where he fishes. Almost all the chapters, which read as individual essays, begin like an average outdoor magazine article, with Hull "obsessed with Permit" or chasing a record blue shark or a "legendary giant trout." But what makes these tales special and gives them the intensity of fine literature is that real life always intervenes in Hull's idyllic fishing trips. Sometimes the interruption is as simple as a missed connection with a dream girl at a bar or as newsy as environmental conservation, but oftentimes they are more dramatic, like the death of Hull's brother or his own stay in a psychiatric hospital. These pauses lend Hull's work a melancholy air, but they also allow Hull to outline his hope that life can also change for the better. Unlike many fly-fishing writers, Hull isn't afraid to let his guard down. Add in Hull's ability to bring his scenery and characters to life, and you have a book that will burrow into the hearts of anglers and nonanglers alike. (Jan.)