Adams was 15 years old in 1972 when he signed on to the halibut schooner Grant. The boat used to be his grandfather’s before he sold it to Adams’ uncle Jack. It was a summer of firsts: first visit to a strip club, first coffee, first brush with an Irish lord (that’s not what you might think it is). It was a summer of new terminology: skate, gangion, gurdy. A kid trying to fit into a man’s world, Adams threw himself into the job the way a boy throws himself into anything new: eagerly, clumsily, and with a whole lot of good intentions but not much ability. But he learned: how to bait a string, how to clean a fish, and how to turn himself into a man like his uncle (his own father having taken a different path in life). Sort of a true-life version of William McCloskey’s Breakers (2000), a novel about commercial fisherman in Alaska in the 1970s, the book is stylishly written and full of humor, drama, and, not incidentally, life lessons. A fine coming-of-age memoir. --David Pitt
'Hooks' has the feel of an honest memoir, valuable for its precision in describing fishing methods, crew interactions, and what Adams thought and felt...
(Scott Bowlen Ketchikan Daily News
Four Thousand Hooks is a marvellous loss-of-innocence book, informative, enjoyable and well worth reading.
(Irene Wanner Seattle Times
His first-hand accounts come alive on the pages, where the reader is swept into the story with the narrator.... The foreshadowing and timing of the story makes it difficult to stop...
(Christy Olsen Field Norwegian American Weekly
Four Thousand Hooks says a lot about our ability to meet extraordinary challenges, and suggests that maybe we're all stronger and more capable than we realize. [It’s] filled with fascinating details of the fishing life, makes for awfully good reading.
(National Fisherman October 15
"The well-honed prose tells a good story and one is encouraged to turn the pages to see what happens next. This is not only a very readable book but an important record of a particular type of fishing.
(Arthur G. Credland Mariners Mirror
Four Thousand Hooks is one teenage boy's dramatic, yet humorous, coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of Alaskan maritime culture... a vivid picture of life and commercial fishing conditions in Alaska...
(Jennifer Huffman Independent Publisher
This is pure adventure. Dean's story is…sinewy and spare, understated and often gorgeously written.
(Ethan Gilsdorf Boston Globe
A real—life account of a young man's first season working as a crew member on his uncle's commercial fishing boat in the 1970s. Adams tells of the drunken shore leave, the surprising gentleness and understanding between crew members, and the rough but careful teaching of any new crew member to be part of a team upon which one sometimes had to depend for one's survival.
(Margaret Willson, author of Dance Lest We All Fall Down: Breaking the Cycles of Poverty in Brazil and Beyond
Four Thousand Hooks [is] one of the best books about commercial fishing in Alaska. The author began long-lining for halibut at age fifteen and went on to captain his own vessel: it is a great book for anyone interested in life on a commercial fishing vessel.
(Charlotte Glover Southeast Sea Kayaks Blog