The Fisherman

John Langan
The Fisherman Cover

The Fisherman


I read this book because it was the 2016 winner of the Bram Stoker Award. I enjoyed this book because John Langan is a damn fine writer.

This was a story within a story. The outer story is about two men who both lost their families in sad and unexpected ways and end up bonding over their mutual love of fishing as a distraction from the sorrow of their loss. Abe is the narrator, and lost his wife first. When Abe's co-worker Dan's entire family is taken away in a tragic car accident, the pair start a friendship over weekend fishing trips. When Dan suggests fishing at Dutchman's Creek, Abe and Dan start off with on a rainy morning, and stop at a local diner to get some breakfast and wait out the worst of the storm. While waiting as a bonus they get to hear the origin story of Dutchman's Creek.

The origin story was great. If that had been the story by itself, I still would have given the book 4 stars. A Mix of folktale and HPL inspired cosmic horror, the story of Dutchman's Creek was superb. The character development was precise. There were no huge info dumps to break up the story, but each new piece of information provided built upon the knowledge before it in an organic manner.

I'm always a little hesitant when any comparison to H.P Lovecraft is brought up. I do not care for his writing style and as I read once in another review, I tend to enjoy stories inspired by Lovecraft rather that stories written by Lovecraft.

Although I enjoyed the main story, it felt more like the opening and closing act of the book. That said, there was wiggle room left for a continuation of the story, and I would read one if it was available.