Softbound: 174 pages.
Whistling Shade Press $14.00
Fly fishing and fiction, when you think about it, should be perfect bedfellows. After all, who is better at telling tales than a fisherman? And Jeff Vande Zande seems to do it better than most.
Threatened Species is a wonderful collection of 6 stories. The longest story, the title piece, follows the psychological adventures of a man divorced from his wife, with an opportunity to take his son on a fishing adventure, and learn some important lessons along the way (and not just about how to fish for Michigan trout).
What I especially like about Zande's stories is his use of metaphor and perspective to keep the reader involved in the story. A good writer doesn't waste words. Roads, bridges, trout--all having a place and a purpose in the hands of a craftsman.
I especially like how the main story, "Threatened Species," is told from multiple perspectives. It isn't just the typical irony that is working here; it's the irony that is being carried by a child's perspective that carries us along. Good irony like this is hard to find in fiction these days.
What is also hard to find these days in stories is something different than the usual. The story about a UFO investigator in the story "NUFOINFO" is priceless. UFO investigators don't usually (OK, never) appear in fiction. This is what you can expect from Zande's fiction, something different and something priceless.
Pick up a copy, or visit his web site at www.jeffvandezande.com
--Toney J. Sisk
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