GFF book review

The Trout Whisperers

A Novel

Author: Pete Bodo
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Pete Bodo
The Trout Whisperers
Stackpole Books, 2006

GFF rating: 4 out of 7
Above average

Reviewed by Bob Petti

This is the first fly fishing novel I have ever read. In fact, it might be the first one I've ever heard of, so I don't have anything to compare it to. I'm also not a literary critic, so I don't even know if I'm qualified to review the book. I guess the best I can offer is the perspective of the target audience - a fly fisherman who enjoys reading books.

I'll say this. The story did hold my attention. I did not find it to be "hilarious", as James Prosek is quoted as saying on the back cover, but maybe I don't share his sense of humor. There were no belly laughs when I was reading, but I was drawn into the story to the point where I needed to see how it played out. I was, in short, entertained.

I take it these characters were supposed to be parodies of fly anglers. If that is true, then it was lost on me completely, because for a parody to work, the reader needs to recognize some of the traits and understand the exaggerations used in the parody. Neither of the main characters was recognizable to me. Pete Bodo obviously travels in different circles than I do. I don't know anyone who would sit around and read a book called Killing Father: Non-Traditional Approaches to Male Self-Actualization, like Raul. I understand this is fiction and the characters are not real - but I connected with these characters about as much as I would connect with an alien in a SciFi novel. Which is to say - not much.

Maybe this book is intended for the crowd who fishes with Payne rods, Bogdan reels, and expects wine with their shore lunch and makes sure they quit in time for evening cocktails. I'm not ashamed to admit it - that ain't me. If that prevents me from understanding the humor in the book - then so be it. My loss.

Anyway, I did enjoy the book. Like I said, it was a fun read and I was interested in how things finished up. Who couldn't get caught up in a story about a pair of long time angling partners, a "stolen" drift boat, a pretty young girl, and Montana? It's just that I could not place myself in the story at all. If the characters are a parody of real anglers, I guess I've yet to meet such people.

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User comments
From: Brian Larson · blarson·at·  Link
Submitted January 4th 2007

Haven't read it. Did read a series of Loon Lake mysteries that has fly fishing in it, although not enough to learn anything. Interesting characters though.

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