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Publisher's Summary

In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman's Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other's company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story.

Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It's a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.

©2016 John Langan (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Shifting between past and present, Langan builds terrifying scenes...the mythology is genuinely creepy." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    120
  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    135
  • 4 Stars
    66
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    106
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    8
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jim N
  • Chicago, IL
  • 04-20-17

The Horror of Loss

I wanted to love The Fisherman. It's been described as a literate "cosmic" (ie: Lovecraftian) horror novel and that sounded right up my alley. It gets off to a very strong start as we meet Abe and Dan, two men dealing with terrible loss who find solace together in fishing. Langan takes the time to develop these characters (particularly Abe) into people we care about. Unfortunately, just as that relationship is becoming interesting, the novel takes a left turn into a very long story within a story. It's important to the plot but the characters in this section of the book aren't as interesting or well-developed as Dan and Abe. Structurally, the story sets up what follows later but it consumes half of the novel, leaving it's main characters far behind and by the time the tale finally returns to them, it's too easy to see what's coming, making the remainder of the book somewhat anticlimactic.

There are some wonderful descriptive passages and there's no shortage of imagination. The story deals effectively with both powerful mythological concepts and human bereavement. It's a good book, certainly a cut above many of the less ambitious horror novels I've read but in the end, I think it's sabotaged a bit by it's own structure.

I'd give it 3.5 stars if that was an option.

Danny Campbell's narration is excellent.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Harrowing Novel by One of Horror's Modern Masters

Would you listen to The Fisherman again? Why?

The Fisherman unfolds like a story told by a grandfather during a storm or at a bar when the sea's too bad to catch anything. It only gets better with a second listen!

What did you like best about this story?

Langan's language is incredible.

Have you listened to any of Danny Campbell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

n/a

If you could take any character from The Fisherman out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Abe--if only to hear the yarn from the man himself.

Any additional comments?

This Stoker Award-winning novel ushers in what will hopefully be the rise of the Weird Fiction Horror Novel. Let's hope it inspires Audible to produce his short fiction as audiobooks as well. I can't wait to hear The Wide, Carnivorous Sky!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Winded and boring

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

My three star rating of the performance probably is in due to the material. The material is written with two characters that have lost their wives so it's mainly from their two male perspectives. Not a lot of verbal variance in the tone here.

What could John Langan have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This is my first book from this author, and probably my last. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for the story to take off, but it never did. When the two main characters meet and start fishing together they then learn of a body of water that has a mystery tied to it. At this point I was intrigued and I thought we were going to get going story wise. The problem is that you keep waiting and waiting and waiting and the story never takes off. The mystery is slowly resolved and exposed, but with little action or heightened heartbeat.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Danny Campbell?

I never judge narrators harshly and by that I mean less than three stars, because I blame the material. I totally understand that some audiobook listeners judge the Narrator more important. To each his own I understand. My wife for instance will stop listening to a book because of the narrator alone.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Maybe this novel should not be listed in the horror category? I'm a true horror fan and have a leaning toward apocalyptic type novels. The story to me was not so much about the main characters as the backstory. The backstory is 80% of the novel. Reading the synopsis is really kind of misleading in my opinion. If the backstory is 80%, is it really the backstory?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story

Well written atmospheric horror story. Only flaw is a long interlude in the middle that is actually a stand alone story itself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If Poe or Lovecraft were still around...

They'd have this book on their shelf. Great balance of wierd and ordinary. The dream-like imagery and language showed a hint of "Dagon" or "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" with the language to match. As a fan of Lovecraftian prose, this hit the mark.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great slow burn horror book

Slow burn horror with a lovecraftian twist. Fantastic narration tops of an existential take of terror. Recommended for horror fans

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An instant classic...

Hands down, the best audio book I've ever heard. 1st one I've ever shared, absolutely fantastic.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!! This is an amazing story

If the Devils in the details, then half of hell in this story. Great book, can't say that enough.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beware The Fisherman!

John Langan’s The Fisherman was a frightfully good read! Who would have thought something as simple as fishing could spin such a delightfully wicked story? Langan sets the scene by introducing the narrator and his fishing buddy, Dan. He spends a considerable amount of time laying the foundations for these two characters, but the payoff is definitely worth it. By the time you become familiar with these two men and their fishing excursions, Langan drops The Fisherman folklore on you and it’s a wild ride throughout the rest of the book. I loved this story because it took a new, fresh approach to the typical horror story and sucked me in with every passage. Danny Campbell was top-notch as the choice for this audio version and his voice was perfect for the narration. Excellent read/listen for any horror fan!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Possibly worst listen, ever

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

It is not possible to turn this poorly written, ridiculous story into a positive listening experience.

What was most disappointing about John Langan’s story?

The story was insipid and the writing awful. Every description was over the top. Someone was so surprised, either, “she was afraid her head would spin off”, “she spilled her water all over her shirt”... Just awful writing. And the choice to use first person narrative eliminates all suspense.

How could the performance have been better?

The reader sounded like he was 90 and the folksy tone didn’t help.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger that I wasted a credit on it. Wish it was “one that got away”.

Any additional comments?

Don’t bother. Terrible book