Bad Reads

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D. Micus
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Bad Reads

Post by D. Micus » Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:50 am

Continuing in the good reads tradition, what are some books that were big disappointments? I have a few:The Compleat Angler--i think ike walton wrote this to discourage others from fishing! i've tried to read it 100 times and can't get past the first 10 pages.Dream Fish and Road Trips--E. Donnal Thomas takes himself way to seriously.True Love and the Wooly Bugger--David Ames is probably a hell of a guide, but he's no writer.Fly Fishing Through Midlife Crisis--Howell Raines does what journalists do best--writes like an expert on a topic he doesn't seem to know much about.The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass--Peter Kaminsky's 250 page advertisement for Montauk guides.(There, got that out of my system!)
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Surly
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by Surly » Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:59 am

Anything by Charles Meck. All of his "stories" are the same; no one catches any fish until he gets there and decodes the multiple-species-masking-hatch with a #14 Patriot.
"If the trout are lost, smash the State." Thomas McGuane

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Smithhammer
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by Smithhammer » Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:24 am

"The Complete Book of Fly Fishing" by Tom McNallyJust dull, and filled with more stories about himself than useful info. I find Rand McNally far more interesting.
"I expect more from the man who gave us all boobies and pie..." - epon

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hotspur
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by hotspur » Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:48 am

At the risk of being smitten from this board (and perhaps the earth), could we put Gierach on this list? He has written the same story over and over again for the past ten years: formulaic dimestore wisdom with buddy bonding thrown in. Now if we go back to his beginnings and let him wax over things like Camp Coffee, then there's something to it. My hypothesis: he has made too much easy money. Some real talents have sold out, but they didn't do it with their writing. (Jim Harrison hawks luggage for Orvis; David Foster Wallace caught Frank(?) Conroy writing brochures for cruise lines. Neither of these guys got sucked into the Part II syndrome: 'People bought that last one; hell, they'll buy this one, too...')Oh, and since you all hate me now, we can add anything James Prosek has written to the list of Bad Reads.

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Brookwookie
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by Brookwookie » Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:49 am

Originally posted by D. Micus:n True Love and the Wooly Bugger--David Ames is probably a hell of a guide, but he's no writer.
You and I are now mortal enemies. Your soul is a yawning howling void from which light cannot escape. I can only assume that your own ability to write, so aptly demonstrated in the latest Drake, was acquired in some deal with a lesser devil or nightgaunt in exchange for puppy heads, dead roses and pocket change.Just kidding. I like Ames though.
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MassBass
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by MassBass » Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:58 am

I enjoy Ames but I know nothing about good writing as I enjoy reading The Drake.Everybody knows the drake is crap so I'm hopeless.
i hope she gets lost in the puerto rican day parade in NYC - BigTimber

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Brookwookie
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by Brookwookie » Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:00 am

Originally posted by hotspur:n could we put Gierach on this list? He has written the same story over and over again for the past ten years...My hypothesis: he has made too much easy money.
I can see your point, but I'll never begrudge a guy who's made money like he has. IMO, his stuff might be formulaic, but it rarely fails to entertain me and never plunges to the level of a "bad read". I think he's exactly the kind of writer that should be rewarded with lots of cash.
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Salty
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by Salty » Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:19 am

Concerning the Gierach views posted, IMHO, its not that it is a "bad read" but that its a dimishning return. I bought "Death Taxes and Leaky Waders" and really liked it because it was the first book of his that I read, but as I read more of his books, it did become repetitive and formulaic. I also agree that the earlier stories he wrote were better. I wouldn't worry about being banned from this board for an opinion- I admited using a spinning rod yesterday and was allowed back, and so far this morning's tally includes HST petting a badger, strippers, and rotting coho, not bad for hostility tuesday.
Ryan

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Surly
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by Surly » Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:33 am

Originally posted by hotspur:n Oh, and since you all hate me now, we can add anything James Prosek has written to the list of Bad Reads.
Seconded. I received his book about a trip to England in search of Walton. I suffered through the first hundred pages, then summarily burned the dammed thing on a camping trip. My impression; he thinks he can take a shit, wrap it in a dust jacket, mention his Yale degree and sell it at Barnes & Noble.
"If the trout are lost, smash the State." Thomas McGuane

Capn Crooks
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by Capn Crooks » Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:16 am

I think Gierach is what I would classify as "easy reading",the kind of book that doesn't challenge you but is entertaining enough anyway.I gotta agree about Walton though...to quote Gierach..."he was a bank napping bait fisherman"
"I plan to be happy,even if it F''ing kills me."John Gierach.

D. Micus
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by D. Micus » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:32 am

and to quote paul (in "a river runs through it") "the bastard doesn't even know how to spell complete!"
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unclejesse
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Re: Bad Reads

Post by unclejesse » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:34 am

Third for Prosek. I read "Fly-fishing the 41st" and the writing style was pretty flat. Maybe I am just envious that the guy gets to travel the world, catch exotic trout, and hook up with women all because he is good with watercolors. I do like some of his paintings though.

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