Blackfoot River
Photo of the Blackfoot River by Bitterroot used under a Creative Commons license.

Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It (University of Chicago, 1992).
The title novella is a classic, a coming-of-age story of two brothers, one the narrator, the other talented and self-destructive, their father, a Presbyterian minister, and their often-futile efforts to understand and help each other. Maclean grew up in Missoula and the story is autobiographical in large part. Fly-fishing here is also a metaphor for religion and family. Robert Redford made a movie of the story in 1992, two years after Maclean died. The volume includes two short stories as well: “Logging and Pimping and ‘Your pal, Jim'” and “USFS 1919: The Ranger, the Cook, and a Hole in the Sky.”

Here is Google Book Search. The publisher provides this excerpt from the start of the novella. NPR posts this excerpt. The Spokesman-Review’s Dan Webster writes about Maclean and the book. Orrin loves it. So does Schwert. Here are bloggers coming to it from a variety of perspectives:Kevin & Monica Ray, allflylines, Paddy, John, Elizabeth Lowell, and Tim Lewis. These folks discussed the book two days ago. University of Chicago Press says it will launch this Norman Maclean site in the second half of 2008. The Missoulian calls Maclean the 18th most influential Montanan of the last century.

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