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Posted April 14, 2012
When I reviewed Randy Kadish’s other short story, The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women, I was lukewarm. Kadish had done so much right: getting me to like his characters, weaving an interesting story and drawing me in, yet when I finished I was left thinking I’d missed something. I didn’t get it.
The Second Fly Caster suffered no such problem. All the good I saw was still there, but I also intuitively understood the point of the story. One line jumped out near the end as the “heart” of the story. The note I made while reading it called it exactly that. Rather than quote that line (and maybe give too much away), I’ll say that the main lesson is one about competition, in any form, and how we should measure success. There are also some secondary lessons about parental relationships.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Posted July 11, 2011
A man must realize his tournament winning fly-fishing father is just an obsessive and compulsive human being with flaws before he can overcome self-doubts to deal with his own alcoholism and mature as a man. *** Author Randy Kadish draws parallels between main character Erik's and his tournament winning fly-fishing father's battle with alcoholism, unspoken horrors and feelings of failure as they both pursued unattainable goals. After cancer and alcohol took his father's life, Erik picks up the fly rod and obsessively practices fly casting, sacrificing his studies so he can cast over 100 feet to win the next tournament for his father. For both, fly-fishing became an out, a way to side step the bottle rather than face their own demons. Although the author's vivid descriptions of certain scenes engage the reader and generate interest in the main plot, the three main characters could have been more fully developed. This reader was left wondering whether the author deliberately left out what demons the father failed to face and what were the fly casting techniques left by his father. Overall it was a quick paced coming of age story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2011
This is a very interesting short story about a young man coming to terms with his reality. As a child, we all believe our parents are perfect, but as time goes on, we begin to realize that they too have their faults. This is a nice, short, coming of age story in which the main character takes longer than puberty to come to terms with his father's flaws and then, overcoming those of his own. The imagery in this short story is, again, breathtaking, just like that of Kadish's novelette, The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women. Whether you are a fly-fisher or not, this is a wonderful short story with great themes for all ages. Three and a half stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.