Synopses & Reviews
New in paperback
Working on an Alaskan fishing schooner, sixteen-year-old Dean Adams learned to bait thousands of longline hooks, handle the daily halibut catch, respect the ocean's raw power and navigate the seedy bars and guilty pleasures of shore leave in Kodiak. Looking back forty years, Adams tells an absorbing adventure story of maritime Alaska. Four Thousand Hooks is both an absorbing adventure tale and a rich ethnography of a way of life and work that has sustained Northwest families for generations.
Dean Adams became the captain of his own fishing boat and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Science at the University of Washington. He and his family live in Seattle and Kerikeri, New Zealand.
"I relived my own past reading Four Thousand Hooks. What it's like to really feel work and exhaustion, being on your own as a young man in Alaska--it brought back memories I didn't know I had." --Sig Hansen, Captain of the Northwestern as seen on Deadliest Catch
"A marvelous loss-of-innocence book." --Irene Wanner, Seattle Times
"Pure adventure . . . . sinewy and spare, understated and often gorgeously written." --Ethan Gilsdorf, Boston Globe
"'Hooks' has the feel of an honest memoir, valuable for its precision in describing fishing methods, crew interactions, and what Adams thought and felt . . ." -Scott Bowlen, Ketchikan Daily News
"The well-honed prose tells a good story and one is encouraged to turn the pages to see what happens next. This is not only a very readable book but an important record of a particular type of fishing." -Arthur G. Credland, Mariners Mirror
"Four Thousand Hooks says a lot about our ability to meet extraordinary challenges, and suggests that maybe we're all stronger and more capable than we realize. [It's] filled with fascinating details of the fishing life, makes for awfully good reading." -National Fisherman
As Four Thousand Hooks opens, an Alaskan fishing schooner is sinking. It is the summer of 1972, and the sixteen-year-old narrator is at the helm. Backtracking from the gripping prologue, Dean Adams describes how he came to be a crew member on the Grant and weaves a tale of adventure that reads like a novel--with drama, conflict, and resonant portrayals of halibut fishing, his ragtag shipmates, maritime Alaska, and the ambiguities of family life.
At sea, the Grant's crew teach Dean the daily tasks of baiting thousands of longline hooks and handling the catch, and on shore they lead him through the seedy bars and guilty pleasures of Kodiak. Exhausted by twenty-hour workdays and awed by the ocean's raw power, he observes examples of human courage and vulnerability and emerges with a deeper knowledge of himself and the world.
Four Thousand Hooks is both an absorbing adventure story and a rich ethnography of a way of life and work that has sustained Northwest families for generations. This coming of age story will appeal to readers including young adults and anyone interested in ocean adventures, commercial fishing, maritime life, and the Northwest coast.