With this dark and dramatic memoir of an angler's life, Luke Jennings' new book places him in the front rank of British natural history writers. As a child in the 1960s, Luke Jennings was fascinated by the rivers and lakes around his Sussex home. Beneath their surfaces, it seemed to him, waited alien and mysterious worlds. With library books as his guide, he applied himself to the task of learning to fish. His progress was slow, and for years he caught nothing. But then a series of teachers presented themselves, including an inspirational young intelligence officer, from whom he learnt stealth, deception and the art of the dry fly. So began an enlightening but often dark-shadowed journey of discovery. It would lead to bright streams and wild country, but would end with his mentor's capture, torture and execution by the IRA. "Blood Knots" is about angling, about great fish caught and lost, but it is also about friendship, honour and coming of age. As an adult, Jennings has sought out lost and secretive waterways, probing waters 'as deep as England' at dead of night in search of giant pike. The quest, as always, is for more than the living quarry.
For only by searching far beneath the surface, Jennings suggests in this most moving and thought-provoking of memoirs, can you connect with your own deep history.
Shortlisted for William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2010.
Shortlisted for BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2010.
Luke Jennings is the author of three novels, including the Booker Prize-longlisted Atlantic. As a journalist he has written for Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Time, as well as all the British quality papers, and he is currently the dance critic of the Observer. He is married with three children, lives in North London, and fishes whenever he can.