"The Finest Fishing Novel Ever Written"

In Canada’s Globe and Mail, Paul Quarrington revisits what he calls the best fishing novel ever written, Thomas McGuane’s Ninety-Two In the Shade. “Every page of Ninety-two in the Shade offers at least one immaculately turned phrase. On page 99 (in the Vintage Contemporaries Edition), he describes a heavy drinker as ‘spavined in the morals,’ an exemplary McGuane-ism, as it combines fussy word choice with a winking affection for the liquor-whipped.”
Ninety-two in the Shade on Amazon.

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  • Dave Jamieson

    Funny to see this. I just took a long flight on Friday and read The Sporting Club for the first time. Among the many perfect sentences, these two may have been my favorite, where McGuane’s explaining why the club’s lesser sportsmen despise the long-time manager, Olson: “They wanted to kill as he killed without the hard-earned ritual that made it sane. For Olson, hunting and fishing were forms of husbandry because he guaranteed the life of the country himself.” Time to give 92 another read.

  • Gary Soucie

    Can’t argue with your selection, except to say that A River Runs Through It just might come to the wire in na dead heat. And here’s an excellent fly-fishing novel that too few fishers or readers know: A Place in Mind by Sydney Lea. It’s probably not in your library or bookstore, so Google the title to find a copy or get it through interlibrary loan.

  • Robert Brown

    McGuane is a sportsman’s sportsman. There are many who might quality for this accolade, but none I know turn a phrase with wit and skill like Tom McGuane. His relationship with wind, water, fish and animals glows with authenticity whether fishing for Tarpon in the Keys, wading a stream with a bamboo rod, sailing an Aileron in Mobile Bay, or ranching in Montana. I’ve read all his books, and some more than once. In a second reading of The Longest Silence I happily discovered names of people I admire that I didn’t know at the time of the previous read, e.g. George Anderson, and Marshall Cutchin. 😉