the all of it (paperback)
One of my favorite author-novelists is Ann Patchett, and this non-Ann Patchett book is the book that inspired her to open a bookstore. I read it and immediately bought four more copies to give to friends who read, with the instructions that you don’t have to read this, and I won’t ask questions.
They all read it, loved it, raved, and thanked me. If you don’t read fiction but are at all fiction-curious, get it. It’s only 145 pages long and you’ll read it during a week’s worth of television commercials.
If you’re a regular fictionist, you’ll blast through it in two days and wish it were twice as long.
It takes place in Scotland---no, Ireland. It involves salmon fishing, an old man fisherman, and adolescents, and --- well, here are some better book reviewer’s better book reviews:
An elegantly written, compact, and often subtle take of morality and passion that gives voice to an age-old concern in a fresh way. —New York Times Book Review
One of the year’s finest novels, a moral story of the most complex sort. —Newsweek
A beautiful miniature, written by an author with a love of language and a flair for storytelling. —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
What a beautiful little novel—perfection itself….A distinct and glorious triumph. —Guy Davenport
Beautiful in its simplicity and directness, a gem of a novel. —The Boston Globe
The story it tells makes one’s breath quicken. What an extraordinary novel! I wouldn’t say there are many novels of moral passion around….but when one reads one, one remembers what a novel can be. –Paula Fox
Jeannette Haien’s first novel possesses the clear tone and unpretentious manner which only the best writing achieves….It cannot be too highly recommended. – The Literary Review
I have no plans to branch out any more than we already have with non-bike books, but this one is a prize. If you read a lot, get it. If you don’t but you’d like to, it’s only 145 pages, and they go fast, and you’ll be glad you read it.