From the Publisher
"Almost no one has answered 'why fish?' better than Mr. Hersey....what he does best of all is evoke wonder." The New York Times Book Review
"Blues is, of course, about much more than the pleasures and techniques of fishing; it is, as Fisherman tells Stranger, about interconnections the ties between mankind and the natural world, among others." The New Yorker
"Wonderful...He gives us a rich and vivid sense of ocean life....The whole thing is as stately as a minuet, and as graceful." Chicago Sun-Times
"Blues informs and enlightens in the grand tradition of open-air, 'universe-in-a-grain-of-sand' writing....Part philosophy, part natural history, part cookbook, part fishing lore, this is a book as singular as its author and his distinguished career."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
They meet by chance on a dock at Martha's Vineyarda young man and an old fisherman on his way to catch bluefish for dinner. With some reluctance, the stranger accepts the fisherman's invitation to join him; over the summer, a new world opens to the stranger. Hersey (Hiroshima, A Bell for Adano discourses with eloquence on the natural history of bluefish, Vineyard Sound, wind and weather. The stranger and fisherman go out 12 times between June and October, observing fish, birds and fish migrations. On each return, the fisherman prepares the bluefish a different way. In the course of conversation the two recall poets who have written about fish and the seafrom Homer and John Donne to Elizabeth Bishop and John Ciardi. Readersespecially fishermen and naturalistswho can surmount the artificial framework will find this a rewarding book. Illustrations. BOMC alternate. (May 18)
This book about fishing for bluefish off the coast of Cape Cod features a wide array of information about that one group of fish, but not in straightforward fashion. It is written in the form of fictional conversations between the ``fisherman'' and ``the stranger,'' who discuss everything from the blues' mating habits to recipes for preparing them. They also cover sea lore, fishing, and ecology, with frequent references to literature and poetry. Unfortunately, this ``dialogue'' has serious drawbacks. Exclamations like ``Hold it! There's a fish on my line!'' seem contrived, and the extended explanations of scientific theory do not ring true. Despite the array of facts and reflections offered here by Pulitzer Prize-winner Hersey, the artificial presentation makes it difficult to recommend the title for most libraries. Susan Klimley, Columbia Univ. Libs.