New Books: John Larison's Northwest of Normal

June 15, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

John Larison, a former fly fishing guide and now writing instructor at Oregon State University, has a new novel coming out in July. It’s Larison’s second “fly fishing book,” coming out about a year after The Complete Steelheader, but this one has little to teach about technique and strategy. Instead it tells the story of a troubled fishing guide in the tiny Oregon town of Ipsyniho, where artists and loggers mingle with dope growers and fly fishing guides. While I’ve only just gotten into the book and can vouch for Larison’s ability to engage the reader, Ted Leeson says the new work is a “skillfully told story about a place unraveling under the pressures of change and betrayal.” If you’re looking to build a summer reading list, Northwest of Normal (Barclay Creek Press, July 2009, 240 pages) would be an excellent place to start.