PositiveThe Wall Street JournalWhat Susan Orlean accomplished for the strange, hermetic world of orchid hunting in her 1998 classic The Orchid Thief, Monte Burke does for another strange, hermetic world in his wonderful Lords of the Fly: Madness, Obsession, and the Hunt for the World-Record Tarpon.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalIt is a beautiful book, spangled throughout with stunning color photographs of a lovely fish, of pristine streams and landscapes. It’s a coffee-table book shrunk to shelf-size, but the images are pertinent and illuminating, and there is nothing throwaway about the text that surrounds them or about the recipes for salmon dishes from all over the world and past centuries ... If the past and the present described here indeed portend our common fate, we’ll wait until it’s too late.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalMooallem makes brilliant use of two fortunate circumstances for telling this story ... You’ll feel like you’re there as Mr. Mooallem, a veteran journalist and author, describes the surreal sensations of reality coming apart around and underneath you ... Mr. Mooallem’s rich cast of characters ranges from top officials to ordinary citizens, but tying all their stories together is the plucky woman who assumed among her responsibilities that of preventing the breakdown of civil society ... Mooallem uses historical distance from this event to stop us in our tracks and give us a glimpse of what’s to come ... [a] powerful, heart-wrenching book, as much art as it is journalism.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal... starts slowly, with an introduction that gives away too much story with too little context. But once we settle into a journey that follows the movement of the carp from the lower Mississippi to the Upper Midwest, and once we start meeting the scientists, aquaculturists and officials who variously abet and thwart each other at the front lines of that migration, the tale assumes a certain grandeur. It becomes a gracefully composed exemplar of the human species’ disputatious struggle to protect its own habitat while those of so many other species are disappearing or shifting.