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Good Life Wasted: Or Twenty Years As A Fishing Guide Paperback – August 1, 2005


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Good Life Wasted: Or Twenty Years As A Fishing Guide + True Love and the Woolly Bugger + All Fishermen Are Liars
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592286313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592286317
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,113,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A Good Life Wasted is a vicarious pleasure for anyone who has ever wondered, even once, what it would be like not to have a 'real job'."--Missoulian

"Although Ames calls himself a fishing guide, it is his capacity as a guru that keeps his lines taut, his stories untangled. It is his ability to see the humor as well as the intent of nature that charms and beguiles. ... Because if we can't spend 20 years as a fishing guide, we can at least spend a few days in [his] competent hands, like a trout he's handled and let slip back into current."--Big Sky Journal

From the Inside Flap

[copy] By the author of the cult classic True Love and the Woolly Bugger, A GOOD LIFE WASTED offers a unique perspective on an implausible period in the recent history of human civilization. When Dave Ames started guiding, Rocky Mountain locals rode horses and dug camas roots-now they're trading stock options on cell phones. The collision of stone and computer ages was short-lived, but the deep-rooted themes of this book remain.

A chronicle and celebration of the fishing-guide life, A GOOD LIFE WASTED is a vicarious pleasure for anyone who has ever wondered, even once, what it would be like not to have a "real job." The book is poignant and spiritual; it's Blackfoot Indians and copper miners' daughters; it's fiddles and guitars and the fabric of space; it's about what happens to wild people when the wilderness is gone. From the first chapter-in which Ames recalls bluffing his way into a job as a fishing guide to the rich and famous (after barely managing to suppress the overwhelming urge to go postal at the federal agency where he suffered his first, and only, "real" job in a cubicle farm)-we're hooked. We gladly follow Ames as he describes the rite of tasting clouds of mating midges to better match the hatch, tells the story of a fabled Blackfoot fishing guide, and shares his further adventures as a guy with no job, no office, and no stress-well, maybe some stress. A GOOD LIFE WASTED spins a fascinating, compelling web-a web that entices the deskbound to make a break for it and head west to big sky and fast, cold water, ASAP.

Customer Reviews

This is a great book and I enjoyed reading it as I thought I might.
Danny R. Barrett
Dave Ames is such a wonderful story teller, I savored the last few chapters as I didn't want it to end.
George M. Cress
It is every true fly fisherman's dream to be reincarnated as a Montana fly fishing guide.
Anthony M. Frasca

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Anthony M. Frasca on December 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In A Good Life Wasted the author Dave Ames recounts his last twenty years as a fishing guide in the trout fishing capital of the universe, Montana. It is every true fly fisherman's dream to be reincarnated as a Montana fly fishing guide. As Ames aptly puts it in the opening line of the book, "With all my fingers and all my splayed toes I still can't count the number of millionaires who have wished out loud that they could be me."
They wouldn't wish it if they read on as Ames describes living in a rat infested trailer, bouncing checks and using a log in the great outdoors as a temporary outhouse until he can buy a toilet.
Ames' career begins as a hydrologist for the federal government who one day goes "postal" by punching a clock - literally. He bluffs his way into a job as a fishing guide working for a local Blackfoot Native American known affectionately as Kingfish. He plods his was through his early guiding days and his life becomes entangled in a contradictory world of haves and have nots.
The numerous stories Ames recounts meld seamlessly with each other and offer more lessons on life's moral and religious significance than on fishing.
Most books lose steam after the first couple of chapters - not this one. It becomes more intriguing and gets better as it goes. It is truly a page turner. The surest sign of a great book for me is when I am done do I tell myself I want more. The answer here is a resounding yes!
So, Mr. Ames, during the long Montana winters get cracking and put pen to pad and finger to keyboard and allow us to be temporarily reincarnated as you.
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Format: Paperback
I had this book pushed on me by a friend and didn't expect to *love* it, but it was so laugh out loud funny and so very well written that I just couldn't put it down. I read it in 2 days, after work.

If you have gone fishing only once in your life, you'll love the fishing stories, but this book packs a lot more than that. As a gift, *any* fisherman or woman (I am female) will really like it a lot, and they'll thank you for the laughs. You couldn't pay me to fly fish, but my pal is one of those nuts and he has good taste in reading material. I'm glad he suggested it.
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By Hugh O'Donnell on March 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Dave Ames connects with the soul of any would-be or wannabe outdoor professional with humor, irony, and a dash of metaphysics, but nothing too heavy. He makes us care about him and his friends through great character development and threads that run through the episodes that take place over the twenty years of his wasted life.

I had some laugh-out-loud moments here and there. Next, I'll back up and read his first book, True Love and the Wooly-Bugger.

Wasted Life is highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked up this one on a recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed it. Dave Ames is such a wonderful story teller, I savored the last few chapters as I didn't want it to end. His characters are truly characters. Not just for fisherman/women. I wound up reading several passages to my wife who, quickly engaged, encouraged me to finish the chapter. Just get it...you won't regret it. Highly recommended!
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By Joel Condren on April 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read David Ames, True Love & the Woolly Bugger, and I think this is much better. Its a very funny, easy read. He doesnt get to romantic about fly fishing or guiding. Some very good qoutes from himself and his clients. Would be a great gift for any one who has ever fished, tried to teach someone else to fish or guided.
Well worth the purchase.
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By senatordan on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you enjoy fishing and are of an intellectual bent, you might thoroughly enjoy the author's tale of throwing away a boring (if solid) career in favor of pursuit of happiness through fly-fishing and guiding.

The tales strike multiple chords and share experiences gleaned from the wild west.
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