Trash Fish, by Greg Keeler. Counterpoint Press (2008), 176 pages.
Just finished Trash Fish, and I simply have to say that is one magnificent, completely kick-ass book. Strong medicine. I actually found myself reading with tears in my eyes for a number of highly disparate reasons: Laughter, sorrow, and the realization that the writing’s so damn good, I could never do anything even close. In other words, all the right reasons.
I picked it up at Ted Leeson’s suggestion and dragged it with me all the way to Brooklyn, where, pacing around a tiny apartment (for reasons too lengthy to get into) I started reading it in the afternoon and ended up blowing through the whole thing in one shot. It was suddenly very early in the morning and I realized I’d been living the author’s life for about 16 straight hours. I closed the book and had no idea what to do with myself. As a reader, I was completely submerged, gone from the real world. As a writer, well, what can I say… a truly humbling experience.
To anyone else out there, get the book. Read it. Buy more copies and give them to friends. It’s an incredibly well-written story of a life lived in the context of fishing, full of humor, sadness, joy, and always… fish. You may come to love him or hate him, but you’ll know you’re reading an extremely talented writer working at the top of his game. The bastard.
Here’s the original cover artwork: