First Book Report in 60 Years

Book reports are something for grade school students, specifically seventh and eighth-graders. The last book report I probably wrote was about a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I had checked a book out of the St. Ann’s Grade School library that was a true story about a physician who helped a man heal his stomach wound, the result of an accidental shooting that put a hole in the victim’s stomach. The descriptive images within that book remain within the parameters of my memory, although slightly askew. Nonetheless, this is my stab at a book report since grade school.

TITLE: The Fisherman

AUTHOR: John Langan. Langan lives with his wife, children and pets in the Hudson River Valley, east of the Catskill Mountains.


Written in the first person, The Fisherman is a story within a story.

Abe is an employee of IBM in Poughkeepsie, NY. He had a wonderful but brief marriage to Marie. She developed cancer and died. Overcome with grief, Abe takes up fishing. The sport leads him to several locations throughout the Middle Hudson River area, particularly around Woodstock and the Ashokan Reservoir.

A coworker of Abe, Dan, experienced a terrible tragedy when his wife and two sons were killed in an accident at an intersection without a traffic light. Although a traffic light was installed after the crash, Dan continued to sit at the intersection and stare at the scene where the accident occurred.

Abe invites Dan to go fishing with him, thinking that the experience may help Dan in the same way it helped him. He didn’t think Dan would take him up on the offer, but to his surprise, Dan readily accepted the invitation. After fishing the usual places in the area, Dan said that he wanted to try their luck at Dutchman’s Creek, a rather obscure fleck on the map.

On a rainy Saturday morning they ventured out to fish in the creek. They stopped at a diner and had breakfast. Howard, the diner’s owner, came out to refill coffee cups and struck up a conversation with them. He told the story of Dutchman’s Creek as it was told to him by a woman who lived through an eerie era of the building of the Ashokan Reservoir in the early 1900s. The story within the story as it was told to Howard was about the horror and troubles surrounding the labor camps, especially as it pertained to a man known as Der Fisher.

There is something strange about Dutchman’s Creek, and it all pertains to the story Howard related to Abe and Dan. The creek has magical elements, and while Dan is taken in, Abe maintains his wits, even with extreme difficulty.

When Gregg gave me this book for Christmas, I was skeptical. However, the writing is superb, the story – both of them – is thrilling, and the genre is similar to Stephen King and Dean Koontz, but at the same time, different. It’s a dark thriller.

Laird Barron, author of X’s for Eyes, says the “The Fisherman is an epic, yet intimate, horror novel. . .. What you get is A River Runs Through It . . . Straight to hell.” I could not top that description.

John Langan’s descriptive writing gives your imagination free reign to feel the action and see the events as they occur. You can believe you are a part of the story – both of them.


Please help Fawkes-Lee & Ryan maintain this website by donating $10, $20, $30, $50, $100, or more.


Your support is appreciated.

Subscribe (It’s FREE): Email with “Subscribe” in the Subject Line.

Fawkes-Lee & Ryan

2516 Lynner Dr.

Des Moines, IA 50310

Copyright (c) 2024. Fawkes-Lee & Ryan. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted in General and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to First Book Report in 60 Years

  1. Not sure what his experience was. However, I do know that it drastically affected him.

  2. Lorna Fellom says:

    My brother!!!

  3. Laird L Vergith says:

    ” Had a similar experience fishing the King creek and East Boyer confluence during early spring snowmelt ! “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *