In A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean claims that “in my family, there is no clear line between religion and fly-fishing.” Nor is there a clear line between family and fly-fishing. It is the one activity where brother can connect with brother and father with son, bridging troubled relationships at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana. In Maclean’s autobiographical novella, it is the river that makes them realize that life continues and all things are related.
Just as Norman Maclean writes at the end of A River Runs Through It that he is “haunted by waters,” so have readers been haunted by his novella. A retired English professor who began writing fiction at the age of 70, Maclean produced what is now recognized as one of the classic American stories of the 20th century.
Here, with "A River Runs Through It", are two Norman Maclean stories never before on audio:
©1976 A River Runs Through It and Other Stories © 1976 The University of Chicago Press. Recorded by arrangement with John N. Maclean and Jean Maclean Snyder. (P)2010 (p) 2010 HighBridge Company
As others have noted, there are parts of these stories that are very beautifully written. I rushed through the book, though, and missed some of the finer points. My loss. On the other hand, perhaps some of the points were too subtle for me to catch. I wonder it it’d become more clear to me if I saw the movie...
In any case, the descriptions the author provides of life in small-town Montana and working in the woods with the US Forest Service in the early twentieth century were very interesting. And the fact these details were worked into the stories was neat.
The central short story, "A River Runs Through it"- deals with the themes of love, family, obligation, and the huge challenge of what it is that we can and can't do on behalf of those that we love. Of course, fly fishing is also mentioned a time or two. :)
I loved this and I glad I found it. The themes are timeless and really resonated with me. I can't imagine anybody not thoroughly enjoying these stories.
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
“We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.”
― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
A near perfect novella, carved into a near perfect book; a beautiful thing. That is all I have to say about that. Well, perhaps a literary/geologic inequality as a postscript:
Prose + Structure > Time + Ablation
Luminous Poignant Inspiring
Mclean's cadence; it is as nearly perfect poetry as prose gets. And the reading by David Manis is just right; not rushing but letting the poetry of it move along at it's own pace, somewhat like the river.
Oh so many. They all come alive in your mind's eye . . . you can feel the cold, glacial water on your feet . . . the thirst in the final story . . . it's all there.
I was wishing Mclean had started publishing and writing before he was 70 and that there were many more stories for me to read.
I had actually read this in hardcover several years before and yet, (for one of the very few times in my life) it was better in audio book. You don't need to see the movie (though I understand why he made it). This is better, somehow more personal.
I was really lost about half way through and seriously thought the story went far astray. I didn’t realize it was two books in one (or is it three?). Then I looked at the title and realized there was more than one story. I really liked ‘the River’, but only liked a few parts of the second story (poker game one). I never saw the River movie, but this book made me want to for sure. It was beautifully written and narrated. It created an emotional connection. I wanted more of that and therefore was let down by the rest of the book and hence the less than stellar review. The River rates a high 4-star review, but overall the book gets closer to 3.5 stars. Most people will probably buy this for the headliner so I’ll round up to 4 stars and suggest if you know you will be hearing additional stories that maybe you will enjoy the rest more than I.
I enjoyed learning the nuances of fly fishing while listening to an interesting drama, good realistic balance of storytelling.
Read like the reader wrote it. I lived this book. I know most of the dry fly fishing art spoken of, so it makes perfect sense.
The texture of the language, lyrical use of personification of anything the author wishes.
Paul catches the fish, while being molecular.
There was some great writing and insights into men and the west and life
I loved the movie. There were far more interesting stories included.
I would also recommend this book for a teen boy as a good window into a young man negotiating the world of men. (In the past and today)
For anyone who has seen the movie, the longest short story (novella?) of this collection is the title story. It is different in some ways from the movie, but still hauntingly beautiful. The other stories have some interesting highlights, but are mostly forgettable.
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