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Paperback Bamboo Fly Rod Suite: Reflections on Fishing and the Geography of Grace Book

ISBN: 0820328359

ISBN13: 9780820328355

Bamboo Fly Rod Suite: Reflections on Fishing and the Geography of Grace

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

After he was handed an old broken-down bamboo fly rod, Frank Soos waited several years before he cautiously undertook its restoration. That painstaking enterprise becomes the central metaphor and the unifying theme for the captivating personal essays presented here. With sly wit and disarming candor, Soos recounts fly-fishing adventures that become points of departure for wide-ranging ruminations on the larger questions that haunt him. Coming to terms...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

How a Bamboo Flyrod Reflects a Man's Life

The book begins with the author's chance acquisition of a beat-up old bamboo rod from a friend. The rod becomes a metaphor for the author's life. Soos knows that there are many better fly rods out there; both bamboo and graphite, as there are other pathways through life. However, the slow, smooth rhythm of the old rod suits Mr Soos just fine. Soos takes us through the important changes in his life but always returns to the steady rhythm of rod. This is a life affirming little book that I didn't want to put down nor did I want it to end. Frank Soos writes with a deft touch and the illustrations by Kesler Woodward complement the reflective but optimistic mood of the book.

Fly-fishing for poets

If you have never read a fly fishing book, please read this one! This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I am NOT a fisherman. I am the long-suffering wife of a fisherman, though. I got the book for my husband thinking it was about repairing/collecting bamboo fly rods. I opened it intending merely to scan the first page. I couldn't put it down until I had finished. Professor Soos' command of the English language is awesome. His language is poetic. This isn't a book Ernest Hemingway could have written. Soos doesn't spare his words. He uses them freely and musically. This book is not particularly about bamboo fly rods. It is about life, philosopy, religion, human relationships, and the places where some or all of those things intersect. The book consists of several longish essays each loosely based on Soos' experiences acquiring, owning, and using an antique bamboo fly rod. Soos is an English professor living and working in Fairbanks, Alaska. A life-long fisherman, he acquires a bamboo fly rod from a friend. For the uninitiated, a bamboo fly rod is a sacred thing to fly fishermen. In the first essay Soos explores the power of the rod and his own worthiness to own it in spite of it's dilapidated condition. From the very beginning of the book I couldn't help but be reminded of Norman Maclean's story, "A River Runs Through It". In the last essay Soos, himself, refers to Maclean's work extensively. Like Maclean, Soos' work is full of memorable phrases and gentle humor. My husband loved this book as much as I did. It is the kind of book you want to own so you can re-read it in the spring on one of the first warm days. And every time you read it, you find some new turn of phrase or quirky thought you'd never noticed before.

an eyes-open meditation

I opened this book expecting a quick read: another warm-and-fuzzy meditation on the art of fly-fishing, and by extension a meditation on life (and how to live it). I didn't get what I was expecting, except for the quick read part. Frank Soos's little book is actually much better than that. Soos indeed does provide the fishing/life metaphor for our consideration, but he honestly deconstructs much that's held sacred in both. What is the good of this bamboo fly rod? he asks. By every objective measure, graphite rods are better. But while most fishing writers would, at that point, verge off into some squishy promenade through the lore and rhetoric of fly-fishing, Soos deconstructs these easy answers as well. And, by extension, he deconstructs some of the sacred beliefs most of us hold onto because we believe we must. In the end, Soos might agree with us, but not because he's taken the answer for granted. The meditation I expected from this book was one of silence, stillness, darkness, the meditation of a disciple sitting erect and cross-legged on a mat in the corner. Instead, this is a meditation hiked to, stumbled in, slipped across, cast about for, and otherwise sought fully and honestly. Please do read it. Also, I was very impressed with the beautifyl illustrations by Kesler Woodward. They seem mildly incongruous with the subject at times, but close and comfortable enough not to be distracting.
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