"A gritty, evocative account of commercial fishermen at work in a hard profession."
Peter Matthiessen, author of In The Spirit of Crazy Horse and The Snow Leopard
"His achievement has been to write a paean for a way of life."Smithsonian magazine.
Those who put to sea for a dangerous and chancy living could ask for no better chronicler than William McCloskey. McCloskey has sailed with fishermen and women in all the seas of the world, from Indonesian village fishermen, to a Japanese squid boat in the North Pacific, to cod fishermen on the Grand Banks and gill netters in Alaska, working alongside them as he went. Fishing is the last of the hunting occupations, a hard but fiercely independent life. In Their Father's Work, McCloskey's vivid prose puts you right on deck, working through pain, discomfort, and exhaustion as the decks roll, the spray flies, and the nets are hauled. His love of the boats, the fishermen, and the sea shines through this moving, fascinating tribute to a way of life.
"If I've delivered nothing but a lament for those of a dying culture, we'll be the poorer for it."William McCloskey.
Fishing is a hard and fiercely independent life, one of the world's last hunting occupations, and one of the most hazardous. Change has been a constant, with traditional fisheries modernized, stocks threatened by over fishing and pollution, and political pressures increasing, yet at heart fishing remains the same. There is still the hunt, the wait, the bitter disappointment of a busted trip, and the sleepless work fueled by elation when the nets come back full. Sons, and sometimes now, daughters, still follow fathers to sea. And the sea is still dangerous; among the shipmates we meet are some who have since been lost, and others who have barely survived. Their Fathers' Work takes us out there, on a fascinating, compelling journey with an author who has been chronicling fishermen's lives for twenty-five years.
"McCloskey's honesty and willingness to follow his story doggedly to the ends of the earth make this a book for one's permanent collection."
"McCloskey's work is imbued with wild, natural moods, an evocative background against which his sources drift through fear, frustration and, in some cases, fortune."
C.J. Chivers, Providence Journal
"McCloskey writes with first-hand knowledge and passion about the sea and the men and women who fish it, survive it, and sometimes drown in it. He describes these proud people with warmth and respect, honoring their work passed down from their fathers and their fathers' fathers."
Audubon Naturalist News
"With all his experience across space and time, McCloskey occupies a unique position among observers of the world fishing industry. He's been there. He understands the good and the bad, the foolish and the wise. He has perspective."
Alaska Fisherman's Journal
"There can't be another like William McCloskey in the worlds of fishing and writing. Imagine someone whose appetite for his subject is so strong that he spends half his lifetime hiring out as a working-stiff fisherman on commercial boats all over the world, then draws his conclusions in vivid, scalding, haunting terms. His realistic ideas might offend both knee-jerk conservationists and plundering meat-fishermenthe surest sign that he has done his job well. When you finish this book, you will feel like wiping the salt spray from your face. A superb piece of work by a master fisherman and writer, and the perfect companion piece to books like The Perfect Storm."
Jack Olsen, author of The Climb Up to Hell, and Hastened to the Grave
"A splendid, subtle portrait of the fisherman's life."Kirkus Reviews
Asking for It.
It's A Livin'.
Knee-Deep in Crude and Bullshit.
Russians and Spaniards.
Barefoot on the Java Sea.
The Unforgiving Bar.
The Fish Habits of Japan.
Fencing the Ocean Commons.
Mr. Bigfoot on the Raw-Bacon Circuit.
Hanging Genki with the Squidders.
Dividing and Protecting the Loot.
Changes - Count on Nothing.