Monday, June 1, 2015

Book Review: Streams of Consciousness

Streams of Consciousness
Hip-Deep Dispatches from the River of Life
by Jeff Hull

It took me a couple of chapters to really get into this book. I don't know why, but it seemed that the author was disconnected from the stories and it made me not care. Again, I'm not sure why, but it wasn't until the chapter Blackfeet Lake Tales that the author became real to me. Maybe it was the tension in the Native American/White relationship so succinctly related through a line of dialog, "You're pretty ugly for a white guy." 

Another highlight of the book came from the chapter Brothers in waiting, where we're not only introduced to a young angler named Talan but also the author's brother. The author is helping Talan try and catch some fish through Camp Mak-A-Dream and the author relates his experiences with that of his brother Chris, who was diagnosed with a terminal illness at age 8. Later in the book Third Spaces tells the end of Chris's story in a painful chapter that relates the awful experience of losing a loved one.

Overall, this is a fishing book, but it deals with so much more than just fishing. In the chapter Rorschach Bluegill the author tells of his time in a mental institution and his battle with depression. As a teacher it was a very poignant reminder of what many of my students deal with and how misunderstood the affliction can truly be. 

I think Streams of Consciousness is a great book, one that I'll probably re-read sometime in the near future. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature or at very least read about it.

- Kidder

"But, even though the white walls of the ward stood just beyond the green crest of the hill, nobody killed themselves or even talked about it down where the bluegills lived." pg 110