THE HABIT OF RIVERS

REFLECTIONS ON TROUT STREAMS AND FLY FISHING

Casting his line in the wilds of the Blue Mountains of Oregon, fly fisherman Leeson (contributing editor, Fly Rod & Reel; English/Oregon State Univ.) is in his element; but as the Spinoza of the Umpqua he crashes and burns. Leeson spends much of his time fly-fishing the waters of the Northwest for trout, steelhead, and salmon, and he has clearly given his avocation long, deep thought. He often, however—too often—seems to be thinking out loud on the page, his ideas not yet distilled. He can be aggravatingly coy (going fishing is ``nonterminal, participial indefiniteness''), reach too hard (``the salmon run is a confluence of origins and eventualities''), let the fishing get bogged down in overanalysis, and display a dismaying lack of humor. When he finally gets midstream and starts fishing, though, things throttle back and lighten up. This looser, more spontaneous style shows Leeson at his best—observant, inventive, human. Particularly good are his quick sketches of streamside natural history (birds and trout do seem strangely entwined) and the more extended meditations on flies and those who tie them. And readers will crack smiles reading of his unpleasant chance encounters (he wading, they floating) with other fishermen. But then he'll go and kill the pleasure of the moment again with a ham- fisted, pompous discourse on catch-and-release fishing, or muse interminably about the ``geometry'' of this, the ``fixity'' of that—and any rhythm that has been developed slows down and dies. Leeson's prose needs to be brought down to fighting weight, like the type of fly he most admires. Minimally dressed, it could be quite catching.

Pub Date: March 1, 1994

ISBN: 1-55821-300-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Lyons Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1994

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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