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.