New Books: David Kinney's The Big One

April 15, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

Pulitzer-prize-winning author David Kinney was kind enough to send us a copy of his new book on the Martha’s Vineyard annual Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby last week, and while it can’t be called a fly fishing book by any stretch, it is certainly a great fishing book. Kinney explores the history of the 35-day Derby, where mania and obsession rule, and examines the many odd personalities who are evidence that being weird may actually help you catch more (and bigger) fish. Better than go into great detail about the book, though, I’ll refer you to Monday’s review in The Wall Street Journal, where G. Bruce Knecht says that Kinney “is a journalist who takes up his story with an enthusiasm that more closely resembles that of an embedded war correspondent.” Mr. Knecht’s review of the book, whose storytelling he says can be “exhausting,” seems to favor the armchair fishing audience; any serious angler knows that more is better when it comes to storytelling about people who combine kooky behavior with uncanny fish sense.
The Big One: An Island, an Obsession, and the Furious Pursuit of a Great Fish (Atlantic Monthly Press, April 2009, 272 pages) on Amazon.