HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER

A leg­endary jour­nal­ist on fish­ing, golf, and be­yond.

Men's Journal - - SEAL OF APPROVAL -

Pulitzer win­ner John Mcphee has spent his ca­reer cov­er­ing sub­jects that don’t in­her­ently seem like fod­der for good, much less grip­ping, jour­nal­ism: ge­ol­ogy, oranges, shad. But he’s adept at mak­ing the es­o­teric seem es­sen­tial, and per­sonal. His lat­est book, The Patch, largely about an­gling and sports, is no ex­cep­tion. The tit­u­lar story morphs from fish­ing tale to a phys­i­o­log­i­cal study of pick­erel to a mov­ing ac­count of his fa­ther’s death. Else­where, he writes about Ping-pong champs but also about the first time he drank whiskey and his boy­hood days at sum­mer camp. Ul­ti­mately, he proves there’s tran­scen­dence in the triv­ial and, like a good drink­ing pal, comes off as gen­er­ous, smart, and cu­ri­ous about life’s splen­dor, how­ever small. —J.R. Sul­li­van

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