A River Runs Through It

Norman Maclean ★★★★★

I really liked the movie made from this story, it was strangely soothing and sad at the same time.

The novella is sometimes poetic and other times brutal - it’s about fly fishing in Montana in the 1930s, and about getting lost in an activity so much that you forget everything else in the world (which might be called flow today), and about family ties, and love, and about being unable to help someone even if you love them.

I never thought much about fishing but I think I can grasp its appeal. Still I find it to be a cruel thing to lure a creature that just wants to eat into biting into a metal hook and then pull it out from its natural habitat and let it slowly drown. The author at one point expresses empathy towards fish and agrees he finds it impossible that they only feel fear and hunger and that maybe they even have some vague neural activity which resembles “pretty thoughts” - I’ve found that nice.