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El Pescador (The Fisherman) Paperback – June 12, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1490428232
  • ISBN-13: 978-1490428239
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,614,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jud Barry on October 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Full disclosure: I've been acquainted with Mike Curtis's musical compositions and arrangements for some time (his volume of klezmer duets for oboists is a must-have for oboe players IMHO. It includes a metrical mind-buster called "Khyberian Catfit" that is one of my favorite pieces of all time), and I appreciate the way he's expanded the universe for oboe players. I'm not much into ranking things with stars or thumbs. It's reductive in the extreme, and we live in a world that could use a whole lot less reductionism. But Amazon's review scheme requires stars, and I'm damn sure not going to let Mike's average go down because of my squeamishness, so you can damn well bet I'm giving him five stars.

So now let's look beyond the stars and talk about the real book. The only downside is that it's too short. I loved this book; I wish there were more of it. I live in southern Appalachia and have only been out west a couple of times. I've never been to Mexico. What this book did so hugely well was to take me to Mexico and make me not want to come back. And it wasn't a Mexico that I'd likely find if I went there. It was a Mexico that I could only dream of finding--a real Mexico, a Mexico as lived by someone who knows it and loves it.

How does Mike do that? For one thing, he gets you inside the life of someone who lives close to nature. I've never surf-fished and would never have thought it could be exciting. But let me tell you: there's apparently some thrilling surf-fishing to be had, and in Mike's hands it makes for thrilling reading. Another thing is that Mike occasionally lets the music inside of him come through in his prose. For example, there's a chapter in which the central character riffs on his experience as a jazz musician, and it had me listening for a sound track.

So if you're looking for a book with a solid sense of place that grounds and shapes a well-told story, you will enjoy Mike Curtis's El Pescador!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Bebb on October 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Full of wisdom, discord and acceptance, this is an amazing book. It strangely speaks to both music and love of landscapes - two things close to my heart. The book moves through cool, upbeat, really down, some salsa. Ultimately Mike Curtis addresses what is really important to write about - the wisdom of peace and simplicity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Chisholm on November 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
Between the artistic wrap around cover of this mini-pad sized book (perfect for fitting into a jacket pocket or purse or backpack), lies a plethora of emotions surrounding a fisherman, his family members and friends and the story of how he worked through childhood trauma, first with drink and drugs and music and now, how he handles unresolved and potentially despairing family situations through fishing.

To our fisherman, sometimes the catch is big but mostly it is a few pan-sized fish. It is not so much about the size but the just-enough-ness for his daily bread, for his daily life. Wherever the story leads us, it all comes back to the catch of the day and what it has come to mean for him.

I felt like I was being taken on a series of journeys through parts of Mexico and Arizona but the journeys are not limited to the culture and scenery. They are also personal and interior journeys, all segments of his bigger story. The fisherman wants above all to preserve the Mexico he has known for so long, the parts of Mexico where people count more than money. He laments the changes that are occurring, that reflect the consumerism and greed of the gringo world.

The emotions that surround this LA fisherman gone south to Mexico are dense, deep, dark and honest. It is the story of how he finds peace and meaning and most of all healing through fishing, not only healing of himself but that of a family he had not realized was vital to his own well-being. His passion for fishing has replaced his other addictions.

He has learned the balance between holding despair (like the loss of his beloved wife or his sister's losing her home in a sudden fire) and joy (the simple joy of sharing a beer and music with a friend or of catching a fish) and balancing both on the same fishhook. Through acceptance of both, he finds a peace, which he can bring to others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia West on October 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book has a lot to offer: characters, locations, a story, and issues I could identify with. It's a good read!
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Format: Paperback
El Pescador, a novel, is every bit a love letter to Mexico's western coast, blemishes and all, as Mike's previous book, a nonfiction memoir about his time in the country. (Two disclosures: I know Mike. And I love Mexico and am a sucker for any work that portrays it accurately.) The moods, flavors, smells and landscapes are authentic and visceral. I wanted to be on a beach drinking a Pacifico with Jud. The plot turns surprisingly dark before it resolves, but what stays with you is the country and a simpler, yet in many ways fuller (the protagonist and, I suspect the author, would say so), way of life.
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More About the Author

Author/Composer Mike Curtis is already well-known to lots of musicians who play the clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, and oboe. He has written dozens of duos, trios, and quartets published in Europe and the USA and groups like the Budapest Sax Quartet and the Flanders Clarinet Quartet have put them on CD's for the world to enjoy. His music has borrowed heavily from his travels to Eastern Europe, China, Spain, and Mexico.

Raised near San Diego, Mike grew up fishing the rocky shores of Baja. He studied music and won a year-long job with the Mexico State Symphony, with concerts at the glittering Palacio de Bellas Artes and TV performances from Chapultepec Castle. It is said "once the dust of Mexico settles on your heart, you can find rest in no other land," and thus Mike has returned nearly every year, to show friends and family the beauty and the mystery of his favorite places.

His first book, Memories of a Musician in Mexico, is an homage to Mexico and an honest account of his own troubled path to maturity. "Reading this book is like watching a film, in which the scenery, music and characters catapult one into the very soul of a magical country."

His second book, a novel called El Pescador (The Fisherman) is a thought-provoking insight into aging, concern for the planet, and a sense of community. Multiple voices, mixed media, and flights of fancy occur in this short book but the story is age-old, rooted in belonging and self-redemption. Sensual images of Mexico abound.

for more about Mike's music, recordings, and links, see
www.mikecurtismusic.com

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