Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Review - The Man Fisher by Richard Landerman

When my friend asked me to review the book, The Man Fisher, for some reason I thought it would be about Christ. I don’t know why I thought that, but boy was I surprised when I started reading the book. It wasn’t what I expected at all. As I read I realized the book was really about a man who loves to fish.

The beginning of the book starts out in places I’m very familiar with. I’m from southeast Idaho and grew up near the Snake River. In fact, at one time my husband and I owned a home right on the riverbank. Fishing has been part of my life. My mother and father both loved to fish as did most of my siblings. Though, I do not consider myself a “fisherman”. I never could quite get the casting down, always catching my hook in the willows or rocks. Though, I do admire those who can fly fish, so I wanted to follow the main character, Teddy Buckley. Chapter one opens with Teddy being a fisherman and river guide on the Snake near Jackson Hole Wyoming.

Here’s the back-liner of the book:

“Go out and find someone who needs you” is the prescription a friend gives Teddy Buckley as the cure for his narrow, empty, self-centered life as a trout bum and scion of a wealthy, banking family. Until his friend, Clark, had thrown down that challenge, life had been the perfect daily schedule of searching for rising trout, taking care of his own needs and wants. But frankly, his life up until now had seemed…well, honestly, it was pointless.

Thus begins Teddy’s quest for a fuller life of peace and happiness through service. His odyssey will take him to the slopes of Mt. Fuji, the rain forests of Alaska, and finally the vast open desert of New Mexico. Along the way he is tutored about the meaning of life by new friends, and at times by total strangers. But his new faith in the power of service will be sorely tested to extremes as he faces war, death, evil, poverty, deprivations of his freedom and severe loneliness. Can he bend but not break? Can he come through his crucible a more pure and refined son? Can he stay true to his new beliefs? Will he ever experience happiness and peace?

The book takes place during the late sixties and early seventies right during the Vietnam era. I thought when the blurb said he faced war that he’d be right in the thick of battle, but he wasn’t. Though Teddy is drafted during this time, he actually goes to Guam. The war he fights is within himself, the war to understand his purpose. I liked Teddy. I rooted for him and wanted him to find happiness. I won’t ruin the ending and tell you if he does or not.

There were a few things I didn’t quite understand. The prologue seemed unnecessary, sometimes the author missed an opportunity to show and not tell, and I really wanted to know more about Teddy’s family for instance—how did this son of a banker develop a passion for fly-fishing? The story is episodic going from one situation into another. Such stories sometimes struggle to maintain tension.

What makes this a good book is learning how Teddy grows into the man he was meant to be, not only mentally but spiritually as well for Teddy develops a relationship with the Savior. As I finished this book I realized my first assumption was right—this book was about Christ.

(The Man Fisher was published by Sortis Publishing. I was given a copy and reviewed it because I liked it.)

6 comments:

  1. Sounds intriguing - thanks for the review!

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  2. Jemi, it was a very interesting read. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Sounds interesting and this is the first I've heard of The Man Fisher. Thanks.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  4. Helen, you're welcome. I don't think very many people have heard of the book. Which is too bad because it's a good read.

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  5. This sounds interesting! Thanks for the review!

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  6. You're welcome, Faith. Thanks for stopping by.

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