Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Received: The Fisherman by John Langan

The FishermanBefore I begin this blog post, I must apologize -- to publisher Word Horde and author John Langan.

You see, I have received my comp copy of John Langan's new novel The Fisherman -- and I hadn't yet written about my work on this project, which I completed more than three months ago.

Aside from a million other things going on (a collapsing 47-foot-long, 2-foot-high brick retaining wall in the back yard that needs to be replaced; and a new fitness regimen (one and a third miles each day, five days a week, for three months now)), my wonderful, supportive, lovely wife has forbade me to leave my office until I clean up nearly twenty years of accumulated material from my work on over 200 books. That's a lot of paper! -- stacks and stacks of manuscript boxes.

My point being that The Fisherman is already in hand after little more than three months, which is a testament to the quality (production, scheduling, etc.) of Word Horde, and publisher Ross E. Lockhart. So, again, my apologies for not giving The Fisherman the attention that it was due in a timely fashion.

But now that the book is readily available from Amazon or your bookseller of choice, there is no reason for any hesitation whatsoever to purchase a copy of this new John Langan novel, which I am sure will be on award shortlists next year. But don't take my word for it, here's an excerpt from a review by Shane Douglas Keene on the This Is Horror portal:
A very human tale, The Fisherman deals with issues of loss and continuance, of learning how to carry on in the face of insurmountable grief and pain, and Langan delivers this often poignant narrative with a heart as big as the moon, feeding out details with one of the strongest, most captivating authorial voices to come along in recent times....

The Fisherman is largely character driven and Langan carries the story along through the use of skillful dialogue and character interaction, interspersed with his brilliant descriptions and vivid, almost sensual imagery. The conversations between various individuals in the book are both natural and purposeful, driving action or imparting information necessary to the motion of the story, but never bogging it down and, while the book is often strikingly deep, at no point does it become anything less than captivating....
The protagonist, Abe, recently widowed (his wife died of cancer), finds comfort and contentment in the act of fishing. He later befriends a coworker, Dan, whose family died recently in a traffic accident. The two friends now go fishing together. While stuck in a diner due to a torrential downpour one day while on their way fishing, the two men learn the story of Rainer and his family and the tale of Dutchman's Creek, told to them by Howard, the diner's owner. The Fisherman is a story within a story: the tale of Dutchman's Creek occupying at least half of the book.

Here's another review excerpt, this one from Anthony Watson on Dark Musings:
[The story of Dutchman's Creek] makes up part two of the book – the bulk of it, in fact – and is entitled Der Fischer: A Tale of Terror. Which is about as apt a title as I can think of because the journey this tale takes the reader on truly is terrifying. Some of the imagery conjured up here will take your breath away – this is epic storytelling, encompassing huge themes. It's in stark contrast to the intimacy and emotion of the opening section and – possibly – all the more powerful for that. Special mention here to whoever chose the painting (Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast, 1870 by Albert Bierstadt) which has been used for the book's cover as it perfectly reflects the narrative within, men portrayed as insignificant against the immensity of nature....
And if that's still not enough to convince you to snag a copy of The Fisherman, then check out this interview with John Langan on Electric Lit -- and then buy a copy of the book!

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