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Blood Knot
     

Blood Knot

by Pete Fromm
 

With Blood Knot, award-winning author Pete Fromm confirms his place as one of the outstanding literary talents mining the natural world. In this powerful collection, he lures startling drama from seemingly still surfaces with ten of his finest fishing stories: a wedding in the ice-cold rush of a Montana river symbolizes the promise and fear of marriage, a young

Overview

With Blood Knot, award-winning author Pete Fromm confirms his place as one of the outstanding literary talents mining the natural world. In this powerful collection, he lures startling drama from seemingly still surfaces with ten of his finest fishing stories: a wedding in the ice-cold rush of a Montana river symbolizes the promise and fear of marriage, a young 'hood' shows his true colors when he takes his girlfriend's little brother out fishing for muskie, and an eight-year-old boy is moved cross-country, away from his father, only to practice knots on the bedpost in anticipation of their reunion and return to the river. Peter Fromm's tales bond his characters not only to each other but also to nature and the bittersweet truth of their very existence. Although the fish range from the smallest beaver-pond brook trout to the hulking, invisible paddlefish, in the end it's the people - as varied and vulnerable as the fish they pursue - who will draw you into their lives and hold on to a piece of you long after the stories end.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two-time Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association award-winner Fromm (Dry Rain) tries hard to rise above his single narrative obsession--fishing trips as a bonding device--in the efficient 10 stories of his latest collection. Too often, though, the attempt to attach symbolic significance to the sport overwhelms otherwise finely drawn character studies. The title story focuses on a narrator at the end of his marriage, driving from Montana to Georgia in an attempt to maintain a severed relationship with his eight-year-old son by spending three days finding new fishing territory in the boy's new home. In "The Net," newlyweds Mandy and Dalton, united on the banks of a very cold Montana river, start their life's journey through shaky marital waters, battling whitefish, drifting when neither knows who should steer, and seeking their "strongest desire" as they learn to compromise. In "My Sister's Hood," third grader Franky spends the day fishing with his sister's boyfriend and other high school seniors; although his line is too light to catch the big fish, his relationship with his sister changes forever when she leaves the family a few days later. Vivid regional details, an interesting compendium of characters and a fluid narrative style generously support this slim volume--even if non-fishermen may find themselves tiring of Fromm's piscatory conceit by the collection's end. (Oct.)
Library Journal
It's a shame that this book may be regarded as a work of "fishing fiction" because it deserves a larger audience. Fromm creates a number of memorable characters who are both believable and sympathetic. Unexpected heroes and a pleasant narrative voice are certainly two of Fromm's hallmarks. This is a better collection than his earlier Dry Rain (LJ 4/15/97) because Fromm seems more willing to let his stories develop without forcing the climax. The title story features a divorced man driving from Montana to Florida for a visit with his son. Through this boy, the father learns to understand and forgive his ex-wife in a most unexpected fashion. Out of the ten stories, this reviewer thoroughly enjoyed nine. A first-rate collection; highly recommended for all libraries.--Jeff Grossman, Milwaukee Area Technical Coll. Lib., Oak Creek, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Fishing (fly-fishing in particular) and the bonding experiences it engenders occupy each of these ten tales (six previously published) in a fourth collection from western storyteller Fromm (Dry Rain, 1997, etc.). The vision made manifest here suggests that the rhythm of casting and catching, and sometimes releasing, brings people to better understandings of one another and themselves. The title story invokes the archetype of father and son fishing together, but theirs is a family split by divorce, so Dad has to drive all the way from Montana to Georgia to be with his boy for a two-week expedition. Some of his bitterness drops away with the realization that the boy remembers every rock and ripple of earlier Montana outings; as the father mellows, regret takes the place of resentment. Another father-son rapport, in "Trying to Be Normal," is affected by the act of landing a trophy fish in teamwork tinged in the boy's mind by the recent death of his mother. In "Stone," a son demands that Dad try his hand at stone-skipping, something the boyþs perfected through years of practice while his father fished nearby. Two brothers, one deaf, make their annual trek to a remote mountain lake before winter has released its grip, sharing their own trophy fish ("Grayfishþ). Not all of the bonding here, though, is single-gender: "The Net" describes the first moments of a marriage that gets off to a bad start when the new couple push off alone in their canoe after a chilly dawn wedding at a wild Montana river's edge. The voices are varied and the emotions genuine, even if one strike comes to seem much like another: in all, probably as tender and sensitive a clutch of fishing-as-lifeyarns as one is likely to find.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558217447
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/1998
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
6.47(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.66(d)

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