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Download The Founding Fish Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Founding Fish (Unabridged), by John McPhee
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (427 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John McPhee Narrator: John McPhee Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Few fish are as beloved, or as obsessed over, as the American shad. Although shad spend most of their lives in salt water, they enter rivers by the hundreds of thousands in the spring and swim upstream heroic distances in order to spawn, then return to the ocean.

John McPhee is a shad fisherman, and his passion for the annual shad run has led him, over the years, to learn much of what there is to know about the fish known as Alosa sapidissima, or most savory. In The Founding Fish McPhee makes of his obsession a work of literary art. In characteristically bold and spirited prose, inflected here and there with wry humor, McPhee places the fish within natural history and American history. He explores the fish's cameo role in the lives of William Penn, Washington, Jefferson, Thoreau, Lincoln, and John Wilkes Booth. He travels with various ichthyologists, including a fish behaviorist and an anatomist of fishes; takes instruction in the making of shad darts from a master of the art; and cooks shad and shad roe a variety of ways. Mostly, though, McPhee goes fishing for shad, standing for hours in the Delaware River in stocking waders and cleated boots, or gently bumping over rapids in a chocolate-colored Kevlar canoe. His adventures in the pursuit of shad occasion the kind of writing, at once expert and ardent, in which he has no equal. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jonathon | 1/24/2014

    " Up until the last couple of chapters I probably would have given 3 stars, but the last couple of chapters made the whole thing stand together a bit better. Still, a book with a fairly limited audience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Cheryl | 1/21/2014

    " John McPhee is my favorite writer - I don't even like to fish and I loved this book. He combines natural history with personal observations and descriptions of people that make you feel like you know them, or wish you did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rachel | 1/18/2014

    " I had a lot of fun with this book. I learned so much! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brian Storms | 1/16/2014

    " Okay, I'm a naturalist. And admittedly, I have tried reading McPhee. Other than Encounters with the Archdruid. I couldn't do it. I couldn't even get started in The Pine Barrens. His one about the geology of California should be good, but I didn't get into it. I think I have discovered that I like fish a lot more than I like rocks though. The Founding Fish is a book about the American Shad, the decline, the rise, the fall, the fishermen who pursue it, the river restoration efforts that surround it. McPhee is a fisherman in this one, and he speaks with a fisherman's love of the sport and a naturalist's appreciation of the living creature. I listened to this one on my way across the country. I didn't finish it. I still loved it. I will one day listen to the rest. "

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