Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan

This novel is hilarious. Laugh out loud irony is mixed with seeping sadness. Weaving through recollections of America is the search for the ideal fishing spot. Trout fishing is a metaphor for change. The desire for a return to a simple natural life is a constant theme. One of the funniest scenes is about Trout Fishing in America Shorty. ‘Trout Fishing in America Shorty appeared suddenly last autumn in San Francisco, staggering around in a magnificent chrome-plated steel wheelchair. He was a legless, screaming middle-aged wino. He descended upon North Beach like a chapter from the Old Testament. He was the reason birds migrate in the autumn. They have to. He was the cold turning of the earth; the bad wind that blows off sugar.’ Brautigan’s writing is surreal, symbolic and naïve. This novella is as haunting as it is funny.

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