A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

( 73 )

Overview


From its first magnificent sentence, "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing", to the last, "I am haunted by waters", A River Runs Through It is an American classic.

Based on Norman Maclean's childhood experiences, A River Runs Through It has established itself as one of the most moving stories of our time; it captivates readers with vivid descriptions of life along Montana's Big Blackfoot River and its near ...

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A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition

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Overview


From its first magnificent sentence, "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing", to the last, "I am haunted by waters", A River Runs Through It is an American classic.

Based on Norman Maclean's childhood experiences, A River Runs Through It has established itself as one of the most moving stories of our time; it captivates readers with vivid descriptions of life along Montana's Big Blackfoot River and its near magical blend of fly fishing with the troubling affections of the heart.

This handsome edition is designed and illustrated by Barry Moser. There are thirteen two-color wood engravings.

"A masterpiece. . . . This is more than stunning fiction: It is a lyric record of a time and a life, shining with Maclean's special gift for calling the reader's attention to arts of all kinds—the arts that work in nature, in personality, in social intercourse, in fly-fishing."—Kenneth M. Pierce, Village Voice

"Wise, witty, wonderful, Maclean spins his tales, casts his flies, fishes the rivers and woods for what he remembers of his youth in the Rockies."—Barbara Bannon, Publishers Weekly

"Maclean's book is surely destined to be one of those rare memoirs that can be called a masterpiece. . . . Earthy, whimsical, authoritative, wise; it touches the heart without blushing and traces lasting images for the eye. . . . This book is a gem."—Nick Lyons, Fly-Fisherman

From its first sentence to the last, this novella by Norman Maclean will captivate readers with its vivid images of the Blackfoot River, its tender yet realistic renderings of Maclean's father and brother and its uncanny blending of fly fishing with the affections of the heart. "Wise, witty, wonderful . . ."--Publishers Weekly.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One of the best-selling audiotapes ever, this title became hard to find recently, as it fell victim to a series of buyouts of various publishers. HighBridge is putting a new cover on this classic reading by Ivan Doig, Montana native and author of This House of Sky. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Alfred Kazin
Altogether beautiful in the power of its feelings....As beautiful as anything in Thoreau or Hemingway. -- Chicago Tribune Book World
Roger Sale
It is an enchanted tale....I have read the story three times now and each time it seems fuller. -- The New York Review of Books
Dale Burk
One of the most sensitive and beautiful writers I've ever read.
— Dale Burk,Missoulian
James R. Frakes
Maclean's voice-acerbic, laconic, deadpan-rings out of a rich American tradition…I love its sound.
— James R. Frakes,New York Times
Barbara Bannon
The title novella is the prize…Something unique and marvelous: a story that is at once an evocation of nature's miracles and realities and a probing of human mysteries. Wise, witty, wonderful, Maclean spins his tales, casts his flies, fishes the rivers and the woods for what he remembers from his youth in the Rockies.
— Barbara Bannon,Publisher's Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226500607
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/1989
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 161
  • Sales rank: 269,630
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Norman Maclean (1902-1990), woodsman, scholar, teacher, and storyteller, grew up in the Western Rocky Mountains of Montana and worked for many years in logging camps and for the United States Forestry Service before beginning his academic career. He was the William Rainey Harper Professor of English at the University of Chicago until 1973.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(50)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 73 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    Great literature; poor execution.

    This is one of my all time favorite novels, which is why the numerous misprints are so distracting. It's as though no one bothered to edit the e-book version. For example, thier are two obvious mistakes on the first page; the third and fourth sentences. It so frustrating to pay $10 for a 98 page book that is so full of errors that I have to go to my written version just to see how it's actually supposed to read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    Great vacation read.

    Read on a recent visit to the Yellowstone River in Montana. What a joy it was to read about the landscape we had emersed ourselfs in. It was hard to put down and I found myself finishing it in quiet sobs one morning before dawn. It haunted me for days.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2001

    THE MOST WELL WRITTEN BOOK OF ITS TIME

    This book was the most heartfelt and true-to-life book I have ever read. I could not stop reading it once I started.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Great book, some errors in e-book

    This is a wonderful book, but the conversion to e-book had faulty OCR, resulting in occasional nonsense words - for example, the title of the last story comes out "The Ranger, the Cook, and a Floic in the Sky"

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2004

    An Instant Memory for Years to come.

    Everytime I read this tale I fall deeper in love with the words of this wonderful and deeply profound book. The author did a wonderful, magnificent, excellent, boistourous job at writing it. A River Runs Through It is a book I could sit down and read every day. I love it so much. Snaps and Claps if you agree! Email me if you want to discuss the author and his work. Norman MacLean is the wonderful man responsible for this heart gripping book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2004

    Great book and movie

    I loved the movie so I have decieded to buy the book and I loved that to. Beats any other book ever

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Wow life brings amazing things

    Someone who can bring any amazing thing like this to life is obviously a talented person with words norman can bring to life the experience of fly fishing to life sitting out there with a cool breeze brushing your face tension from the line running down your arm focusing completly on the still ripples in the water a flick of a fin and a spin of the reel the now lifeless fish lies dead on the damp grass
    Is this a good piece i was practicing writing tell me what u think just post a review saying what u think of my writing and nofmans

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Greatest piece of literary craftsmanship ever.

    A true artist totally in control of his medium.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Ties that Bind Us

    This is a story of two boys who grow up with the authority of a Presbyterian Minister. They were given the same instruction as children growing up and turned out so different. One was a daredevil determined to challenge the world. The other became a writer and reflective. The two of them could not have been any different.

    This novel shares how each of us have a built in path that has to be followed. It is the destiny of us all to fulfill and express our own uniqueness in the world. And yet, there was a tie that bound the two of these boys beyond their family ties. Both of them loved to fish. It was the one thing they loved to do together.

    This bond created a depth to their relationship enabeling a love that was unconditional in nature and allowed their different natures to blend into a unity that could not be explained. It could only be lived and expressed through this simple act of creating a world they both could live in "a river runs through it."

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2001

    A Masterpiece!

    A truly classic book. The book is a great story of life, love and loss. This is one to have on the book shelf. There is one line i love the most '...eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs thorugh it. The river was cut by the worlds great flood and runs over rocks from the basment of time...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    Great book

    Great book about life and fly fishing. Well written.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2013

    Great Book

    A

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2013

    Very Enjoyable Read. Especially the Additional Stories!

    I read the Nook version of "A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition" after re-watching the movie. I found it a very enjoyable read, and finished it in three settings. The additional stories are a great bonus. I finished those in a single setting. Written in a, (to me), rather unique style that provides a constantly flowing narrative with great descriptions of life and of Fly fishing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    Best book ever

    This is one of my all time favorite books!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2010

    A boring story about Fly Fishing

    I read A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean. It is a book about the lives of two brothers who had grown up fly fishing together in Montana. Norman, the older brother, is a married model citizen. Paul is rough around the edges and frequently gets into bar fights and other trouble. Norman struggles to help his beloved younger brother solve his life problems, despite having no clue how to go about it. Norman decides to take Paul fishing like they did when they were young. They are both skilled fisherman who one love is fishing the Blackfoot River. The book documents the hardships, misfortunes, and days on the river of the peak of the brothers' relationship. I would not recommend this book.
    You probably will not like this book except for if you have a distinct love of fly fishing or any interest in fishing. It is full of specific descriptions of fishing technique that will make no sense unless you have background knowledge on this subject. Personally, I now know much more than I ever needed to know about fly fishing. This in depth depiction strongly deterred me from reading this book. I procrastinated as long as I could because of the drawn out explanations.
    The personalities of the characters left a little to be desired. There wasn't a character that was very interesting or had any appealing qualities. Norman was worried and stressed most of the time, and other than that the book only featured his interactions with the rest of his family. Norman was mostly dominated by his wife and her family, and this didn't seem to occupy him with any emotion. Paul was an alcoholic who got in fights and liked to fish. Literally, that is the limit of there personality.
    Therefore, there was a lack of any real depth to the book. There wasn't a very climactic climax to the point where it took me a couple of minutes to figure out what it was. There were no big events to note, and no building tension. There was no rising action or any action at all. This book was essentially a little series of personal stories, portrayed in narrative format.
    In conclusion, I would recommend this to anyone who likes stories about small town life or fly or any other kind of fishing. It features good descriptions of technique and the surrounding landscape.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    A "must read" for all fly fishermen, but more importantly, a wonderful probing of characters from another time that generates nostalgia for those forgotten experiences.

    Being a retired guy who recently took up fly fishing as a hobby, I truly enjoyed Norman Maclean's masterpiece. Only fly fisherman can truly appreciate the the skills, challenges, and excitement that he describes. More importantly for me, however is his ability to bring me back to a simpler time when family values, individuality, and faith were our fundamental cornerstones. His writing style placed me in the middle of everything that was happening and I was totally absorbed throughout. I recommend it highly to those that enjoy character studies.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My husband loves it!

    I gave this to my husband for his birthday because he loves fly fishing, and the movie of the same title. He can't put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    Informative Classic...

    Fly-fishing is one of the most confusing and precise sports that exist. The detail that is necessary to master such a craft is immense and every inch of that detail is passed along through Maclean's book. Paying such attention to details is what adds pleasure to reading his book. The details portrayed in the fly-fishing allow for one to feel as if they are learning to fly fish while enjoying a story. Details were prominent within the thoughts and actions of the brothers as well. They were men that lived for what they had and always stayed true to the flow of their life. The speech that Maclean uses was very well oriented to fit the atmosphere of the Montana wilderness. A short read is sometimes taken for granted, but the detail and speech of this book combine to successfully convey a strong story that puts oneself back into a mindset that appreciates nature and the finer details of life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    The finest literary piece on fishing and the west!

    The man was able to write a simple book with far reaching messages. He is the person that allowed us to see the culture of a place and the power of a fly rod.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2005

    wonderful

    a story that is true from beginning to end. maclean is a wonderful story teller. romantic and right.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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