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RECOMMENDED The Eclectic Band-Aid Fishing Trip: 92 in the Shade by Thomas McGuane

Imagine Batman vs. the Joker except less self-righteous and without merch or fast-food tie-ins.

Or imagine Wall Street in a subtropical paradise except no one is rich or powerful, and no pointed lessons are learned.

Or imagine a Hemingway fishing story as written by Hunter S. Thompson and you’re getting very close to Thomas McGuane’s 92 in the Shade.

Protagonist Thomas Skelton is tripping on acid while hitchhiking back home to Key West to become a fishing guide when he is picked up by a salesman who Skelton tells, at one point, that the car’s paint job has just floated up off the car in one sheet. Oblivious, or perhaps not, the driver merely agrees that Detroit doesn’t make ’em like they used to. In the words of the narrator, “It was an epoch of uneasy alliances.” They press on.

A violent, dark comedy including a bit of sex, drugs, rock & roll, and some fishing action in the flats and backcountry of the Florida Keys in the late sixties/early seventies, this short, fast-paced novel–something of a picaresque–find Skelton eventually getting a boat and guiding “sports” on vacation despite being warned-off by Nichol Dance, antagonist and veteran guide with a sketchy past (“I notched this here pistol once’d”).

Dance isn’t interested in any competition, and Skelton isn’t interested in being scared off, so what follows is a situation where an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.

Or you could just read some post-modern bullshit.

More on Amazon.

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