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Backcast: Fatherhood, Fly-fishing, and a River Journey Through the Heart of Alaska Hardcover – September 18, 2007
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"The Alaskan wilderness leaps to life in its gritty reality—fast-rushing rivers, misty rolling hills, bears "the size of church doors," relentless rainfalls, eddies roiling with fat salmon and char—just as the tenuous terrain between father and son leaps to life too. Anger and hurt thread through this book—but so do taut stretches of beauty, wonder, and redemption in the riches of life in the wild."--Don George, National Geographic Traveler (Book of the Month)
"Backcast" is a compelling read, part true adventure, part commentary on fatherhood and life's twists and turns."--Peter Genovese, Newark Star-Ledger
"I wholly recommend this read, for anyone who thinks of fly fishing, or the outdoors as an indispensable part of their lives, and to anyone who has ever been a father or a son, and had hopes and disappointments for that relationship. This is a well written book, a real book, an honest book, a thoughtful book, and a thoroughly enjoyable read."--Cameron Larsen, Oregon guide and Big Y Fly blog
“Think of crossing Tobias Wolff's dysfunctional upbringing in This Boy’s Life with Norman MacLean's metaphysical fly-fishing in A River Runs Through It (with admixtures of E.B. White's classic essay “Once More to the Lake” and Hemingway's “Big Two-Hearted River”— all of it going back more or less to Huck and Jim on the raft) and you get a rough idea of the territory, and of the high standard that Lou Ureneck has set for himself. But Ureneck's memoir has its own entirely distinctive flow of life: turbulent, painful, resilient, intelligent, gropingly moral, beautifully observed. It's hard to write about fathers and sons — or rather, it is hard for fathers and sons to write about one another. But Lou Ureneck has done it brilliantly. ”— Lance Morrow, author of The Chief: A Memoir of Fathers and Sons
“This is a very rich memoir: part outdoor adventure story, menacing bears and all; part travel book about the Alaskan outback; part fish story (in the most literal and informative sense); and part personal drama about a father re-bonding with his son." -- Justin Kaplan, Winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain: A Biography
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I have recommended (or will give this book as gifts) to friends who love New England, Alaska, Martha's Vineyard (just a few paragraph's in it about that beloved island) nature and fishing. I will also gift it to those working to understand identity, community the ravages of broken families and how men(or at least this man) thinks.
I read the tezt in almost one sitting and look forward to the author's next work....not because I want to know more about his life...but because his writing helps me understand my own.
With those fishing adventures lovingly embossed in my heart I bought this book. The "tickler" review of this book centered on a Father and Son fishing trip to Alaska. Unfortunately for the author, (Lou Ureneck) his experience with his son Adam was not so lovingly remembered. Lou had divorced his wife of over twenty years and his son had always seemed to blame him. Things never seemed to be the same between Father and Son since the divorce. Lou saw this trip as a last gasp in rebuilding a loving bond before Adam went to college. At the time of this summer trip to Alaska Lou was 49 and Adam was 18.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Purchased as a Christmas gift Recipient was excited about reading it.Published 16 months ago by S. Moulton
Interesting book about a Dad who had promised to take his son on an Alaskan fishing trip and how divorce changed the Dad's purpose for it. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Macan
I think the best word that describes this book is: honest. Ureneck presents an honest account of his life and relationships with his family. Read morePublished on March 7, 2012 by WakeBooks
I gave this 4 stars because it was interesting enough that I finished it in about 3 days, which is unusual for me. Read morePublished on December 8, 2011 by Steven D. Shelton
I half enjoyed and was half irritated with this book. I found myself very engaged when Lou was writing about the trip he was taking with his son; ten days of fishing without a... Read morePublished on December 30, 2010 by A. Knecht
This book is misnamed...it should be named fraud cast. This book leads you to believe it is about Alaska, fishing, and fatherhood...it isn't!! Read morePublished on November 12, 2010 by Derek Fox
I got this book because I wanted to read a fly fishing adventure. The book was fine so long as it was set in Alaska. In fact the book was great so long as they were on the river. Read morePublished on October 10, 2010 by ASA
This book is a book that deals with fly fishing, but does not fit into any typical strain of the fly fishing genre of literature. Read morePublished on April 27, 2010 by Dr. Jones