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Home Waters: Fishing With an Old Friend

Monninger, Joseph

47 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0811822842 / ISBN 13: 9780811822848
Published by Chronicle Books Llc, San Francisco, California, U.S.A., 1999
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Ginny6 Books (Manchester, IL, U.S.A.)

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A photo of this book is available. Near-new copy. Appears unread. NO remainder marks or price clippings. Price inside dustcover: $22.95. NO writing, marks or tears. Tight spine, bright pages. 200 pages. Synopsis This wonderfully written memoir about a man, his dog, and their journey together is as revealing about life as it is warm and amusing. The author, Joseph Monninger, is the kind of man who "feels a connection with an animal beyond what others might consider normal." When his dog, a golden retriever named Nellie, develops lumps that are most likely cancer, the forty-year-old author refuses to abandon her to the animal hospital; instead, he takes her on a final road trip through the West to visit their old mountain haunts and fish their favorite trout streams. As they wend their way through Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, the author rediscovers the pleasures of fishing and hiking and also rediscovers his past. The memories of Nellie and what she has seen him through weave together with their outdoor adventures to create a poignant meditation on life, freedom, love, and nature. Bookseller Inventory # 033444

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Home Waters: Fishing With an Old Friend

Publisher: Chronicle Books Llc, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

About this title

Synopsis:

This wonderfully written memoir about a man, his dog, and their journey together is as revealing about life as it is warm and amusing. The author, Joseph Monninger, is the kind of man who "feels a connection with an animal beyond what others might consider normal." When his dog, a golden retriever named Nellie, develops lumps that are most likely cancer, the forty-year-old author refuses to abandon her to the animal hospital; instead, he takes her on a final road trip through the West to visit their old mountain haunts and fish their favorite trout streams. As they wend their way through Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, the author rediscovers the pleasures of fishing and hiking—and also rediscovers his past. The memories of Nellie and what she has seen him through weave together with their outdoor adventures to create a poignant meditation on life, freedom, love, and nature.

Review:

When the author discovers suspicious lumps on his 11-year-old golden retriever Nellie, rather than wait for a biopsy and the possibility of further decline, he decides it's time for one last great road trip. "I knew, lying next to her, that I was frightened for myself at least as much as for Nellie. I needed the steadiness of her demands, the consistency she brought to my life. I couldn't imagine days without her. So that night in bed I stayed close to her and whispered in her ear that she was a good girl, a Frisbee catcher, a lake swimmer." Whether or not the lumps are cancerous, the dog that saw him through a marriage and a divorce has gotten old. So they pack up the truck and make for points west. What transpires next is part elegy, part meditation on interspecies companionship, and part fishing memoir. Monninger writes lyrically about his bond with an animal and the landscape while staying true to the picaresque form in a casual manner that allows minor surprises along the way to gain cumulative power. Here he is describing the gift bestowed by a bend in the river after following Nellie's lead:

Trout rose everywhere I looked.... I could not believe my good fortune. As I stood quietly and listened, I heard the gurgle of water passing over rocks, the sound snapped to life by the quick surge of trout.... The rings of their feeding drifted above them, then disappeared in the water's pull. I remembered André Gide's line: "Fish die belly-up and rise to the surface; it's their way of falling."
Friendship, mortality, loneliness, the redemptive qualities of nature--this is the territory the author drives through with his faithful canine, a territory that will appeal to dog lovers and fly-fishers alike.

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