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The Fish's Eye: Essays About Angling and the Outdoors (Field & Stream)

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Item description for The Fish's Eye: Essays About Angling and the Outdoors (Field & Stream) by Ian Frazier...

This bestselling and distinguished author presents many of his angling essays in one volume. Across America, Frazier explores his lifelong passion for fishing, fish, and the aquatic world. His paeans to the angling experience set the standard in this subgenre, yet will amuse many who've never set foot in a tackle shop.

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Item Specifications...

Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.5" Width: 5.4" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Jun 25, 2007
Publisher   AMI / Field and Stream Audio
ISBN  1933309121  
ISBN13  9781933309125  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ian Frazier

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ian Frazier is the author of Great Plains, The Fish's Eye, On the Rez, Family, and Travels in Siberia, as well as Dating Your Mom, Lamentations of the Father, and The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

Ian Frazier currently resides in Missoula, in the state of Missouri.

Ian Frazier has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Library of America

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Product Categories

1Books > Audio CDs > Nonfiction
2Books > Audio CDs > Sports & Outdoors
3Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Hunting & Fishing > Fishing > General
4Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Outdoor Recreation > Fishing
5Books > Subjects > Sports > General
6Books > Subjects > Sports > Miscellaneous > Essays

Reviews - What do customers think about The Fish's Eye: Essays About Angling and the Outdoors (Field & Stream)? Review of The Fish's Eye  Oct 14, 2004
Author Ian Frazier's new book, "The Fish's Eye" is a wonderfully crafted collection of 17 short essays about fishing and the great outdoors. The essays bring to life all of the mysteries both human and natural that most anglers take for granted. Ian's writing techniques paint vivid pictures of the angler's surrounding whether its a bait shop, a bass lake or the Hudson River. "The Fish's Eye" captures the spirit of the angling life experience from every angle. This book is a "must read" for every angler and outdoorsman.

David Selman
Tracker Outdoors
Spotty as a trout but just as tasty  Jun 26, 2002
I am a big fan of Ian Frazier's writing, so I snapped this up even though I am not an angler. The material is uneven, "spotty": some good, some indifferent. It contains essays previously published in magazines like the New Yorker and Outside magazine. In fact, if you've read either of those often you will be disappointed to find relatively few new material.

If not however, the anglers will like some pieces, the Ian Frazier fans will like others but tire of the fish stories. The one that is most successful on both counts, in my opinion, is the one about the fellow who ran an angler's shop near Grand Central Station. It is more a personality piece than a fishing piece but combines both of Frazier's great abilities (writing that is funny and generous in spirit, and...of

good stuff  Jun 16, 2002
I'm not sure that anyone's ever adequately explained the fact that fishing, baseball, boxing, golf, and horse racing have produced nearly every page of worthwhile sports writing. Baseball has more truly great writing
than the others--from songs and poems, like Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Casey at the Bat; to daily journalism, like Red Smith's Miracle at Coogan's Bluff; to essays, like John Updike's Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu;
to classic novels like Bang the Drum Slowly; to even great B-movies, like It Happens Every Spring--but fishing literature offers perhaps the most consistently high quality of writing (I don't think it has many songs,
poems, or movies and only a handful of worthwhile novels).

The great Red Smith of course excelled in writing about all of these sports and his fishing essays are marvelous. Robert Traver--perhaps best remembered now for Anatomy of a Murder, with its fishing-mad
attorney--wrote a number of great essays, collected in Trout Magic and Trout Madness. Nowadays, John Gierach seems incapable of putting pen to paper without producing an amusing fishing tale. All in all,
there's an embarrassment of riches to choose from. It seems not too much to say that you can grab nearly any collection of fishing essays and find writing of a high standard. In fact, it may be looking a gift horse in the
mouth, but there's so much good writing about fishing that it takes on a certain sameness--all those magnificent trout rising to the mayfly hatches in Montana and Idaho start to blend together at some point. So,
though it seem perverse, it takes more than "just" great writing to get at least this casual fan to grab a new fishing book. An author'd better have a well-barbed hook, to haul us in.

Ian Frazier's writing reputation precedes him--author of such well regarded books as On the Rez and Great Plains--but what's most appealing about this collection of his essays, mostly from The New Yorker and
Outside, is that many of them, especially the early ones, concern the fishing in and around Manhattan. Mr. Frazier takes this unlikely environs and lets us see that its just as fish-happy as any stretch of the Big
Blackfoot River. There are also some really lovely reminiscences of boyhood, including a charming essay about his Dad, who would become so disturbed by the notion of his son catching and hurting a fish that today it
is those occasions when he gets skunked that remind Mr. Frazier most clearly of his father. For my tastes the book loses a little steam when Mr. Frazier moves his family out West. Suddenly we're back in the
familiar--to me overfamiliar--waters of Montana. But such quibbles are more than forgiven because of a few quite humorous essays that are mixed in. One on eating bugs is quite good and one, called Bad Advice,
has an opening scene that's as funny as anything I've ever read anywhere. I hope I'll be forgiven for quoting at length :

Some years ago, on a camping trip in the pine woods of northern Michigan, my friend Don brought along a copy of an outdoor cookbook
that appeared on the best-seller lists at the time. This book contained many ingenious and easy-sounding recipes; one that Don especially
wanted to try was called "Breakfast in a Paper Bag." According to this recipe, you could take a small paper lunch sack, put strips of bacon
in the bottom, break an egg into the sack on top of the bacon, fold down the top of the sack, push a stick through the fold, hold the sack
over hot coals, and cook the bacon and egg in the sack in about ten minutes.

I watched as Don followed the directions exactly. Both he and I remarked that we would naturally have thought the sack would burn;
the recipe, however, declared, "grease will coat the bottom of the bag as it cooks." Somehow we both took this to mean that the grease,
counterintuitively, actually made the bag less likely to burn. Marveling at the "who would have guessed" magic of it, we picked a good spot
in the hot coals of our campfire, and Don held the sack above them. We watched. In a second and a half, the bag burst into leaping flames.
Don was yelling for help, waving the bag around trying to extinguish it, scattering egg yolk and smoldering strips of bacon and flaming paper
into the combustible pines while people at adjoining campfires stared in horror and wondered what they should do.

That's just good stuff and, by itself, makes the book worth reading.


Fish tales....and other cornucopia  May 8, 2002
My father has been passionate about fishing for as long as I can remember. I never have been. I didn't have the patience and lets face it, if you're not catching fish, then you're standing there holding a stick dangling string into a monumental body of water. As I've gotten older (and wiser?), I try to fish with my father whenever possible and, preconceived notions aside, I'm really enjoying myself. Consequently, when I ran across Ian Frazier's new offering, THE FISH'S EYE, I immediately purchased a copy for both my father and myself (reading is a passion we share). I thought I might glean some insight into an experienced fisherman's psyche as I read this set of 17 essays and thus, a snapshot of my father's fishing experiences. The essays, written by Mr. Frazier over the last 20+ years and presented in chronological order, present the reader with Frazier's experiences in the fishing life....and his experiences have been wide and varied.

As an incredible admission, this reader had no clue that there were people who actually fished in New York City proper (it just didn't seem to fit) but Frazier sets this misnomer to rest in his first essay, "Anglers." Here, he describes his experiences of observing and listening to a few of those throwing their lines into one of six ponds in the City's park system near Harlem Meer.

One of the better and more detailed essays is "An Angler at Heart." This essay details the story of Jim Deren, the owner of Anglers Roost, in none other than New York City! Frazier tells of his many conversations with Deren as he frequents The Roost. This 47-page essay is actually several essays rolled into one, all featuring Deren and his experiences in the fishing life. At one point in the essay, Frazier spends nearly two full pages informing us of the different types of lures one would be confronted with when visiting Angler's Roost. In this reader's opinion, if there is one essay epitomizing the spirit of this book, it would be this particular one.

"Guiding Guys" is a hilarious spoof on fishing guide services. Frazier describes the "guarantees" one receives in the propaganda distributed by many of these services. In this essay, Frazier writes from the point of view of a guide making just such guarantees of outings ranging from great fishing to extremely great fishing. And, he provides the reader with several different guides to choose from. There's Craig, 6'7" and 275 lbs. who grunts and answers in one-word sentences; Potter, who will never stop nagging you the entire outing as to how badly you're doing; and, last but not least, former President Jimmy Carter. Now, you have to pay a little extra for Mr. Carter but its well worth it as the former President will regale you with tales of his Presidency as you sit around the campfire.

Perhaps the most poignant essay for me was "Fishing Without Dad." This essay is specifically dedicated to Frazier's memory of his father, who never liked to fish and moreover, thought it was cruel. This particular piece details Frazier's penchant for fishing while growing up but without the fatherly advice and companionship he seemed to yearn for. This is probably the most touching piece in the book.

The only downside to this collection of essays were those pieces that had absolutely nothing to do with fishing. This fit more into the life stories portion of the book. "In The Brain" has almost nothing to do with fishing but regales how Frazier tormented his brother (as brothers will do) on family vacations. "It's Hard To Eat Just One" describes Frazier's experiences with eating his bait, specifically bugs. In my opinion, these pieces (and a couple others) should have been modified or removed as they had very little if anything to do with fishing.

Frazier's penchant for spinning a story is outstanding. That said, anyone who loves fishing will enjoy THE FISH'S EYE; anyone who isn't a fisherman at heart will most likely find these tales slow and possibly boring.

For sports lovers  Apr 14, 2002
This reviewer became a fan of the essay upon reading the classic "How to Cook Roast Pig". However, perusing seventeen pieces on fish, fishing, or related topics seem outside my lane as the only fish I catch is in a can. Still, Ian Frazier is a popular New Yorker essayist and many of his tales occur in and around the Big Apple. Thinking it's the sediment of the Hudson that makes the bagel taste good, I figured I could always shut down by the second contribution by explaining that the big one got away. However, instead I read all seventeen pieces in one sitting, as each contribution is intelligent, witty, and insightful. These tales are not just putting a worm on the hook in Central Park, but are human-interest segments that are often amusing but always insightful. Anglers will love this collection of Mr. Frazier's best New Yorker contributions, but so will anyone who relishes a different perspective through a fish's eye. PS, I still will catch my fish in a tin.

Harriet Klausner


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