Regular price: $27.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

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
    169
  • 4 Stars
    95
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    182
  • 4 Stars
    91
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    150
  • 4 Stars
    89
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 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.

13 of 14 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
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I've read it twice already and I'll read it again.

The humanity expressed in the first part of this book is profound and relatable. Male emotionality is especially fraught with bullshit in our culture, and Langan beautifully expresses certain facets of how men (try to) navigate this realm with one another.

The otherworldly horror aspects of this tale are phenomenally envisioned, hitting several of my favorite notes: haunted places, mysterious local history, warlocks, things from beyond, and straaange summoning rituals.

And of course these two aspects of the book become inextricably interwoven. Another reader might be able to predict the route of their intersection, but I was so engrossed in the page-by-page unfolding of the story, it took me entirely by surprise.

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
    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?

2 of 3 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
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

2.5 stars

Like a fair number of other reviewers, I did not like the structure of this novel. At first I thought, okay two stories for the price of one. But the middle 3/4 of the novel is an overly-long backstory, with far less interesting characters than the shorter parts of the novel which book end it.

In addition, far too much of this middle chunk is expositional and narrated, rather than taking advantage of dialogue and character development. In some respects, while I value and enjoy Lovecraft, the middle 3/4 of The Fisherman is too much akin to Lovecraft's expositional style, which has been criticized for its lack of dialogue and character development. It's a particular style of writing that generally works for Lovecraft in his short stories, but which is not sustainable over such a long piece as in Fisherman.

I have one more criticism of this middle chunk of the novel. It uses an annoying continuous present verb tense. For example, "He picks up the axe and swings it. Its Edge bites deep. Blood gushes from the wound. He swings the axe again and again. The thing before him writhes." 200 Pages of that is just too much. (That is not a direct quote from the novel, but a brief paraphrase for the sake of example.)

I also don't think the narrator works for this novel. He would be excellent for a different kind of literary fiction, but there isn't enough urgency in his narration of The Fisherman.

at the end of the day, this would have made a great short story or novella, but the structure doesn't work and the story itself is not sustainable for a full-length novel.

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

Don't wait. Get this book.

A fine work by John Langan. Great storytelling, suspenseful, rich in depth. Well done, John.