Synopses & Reviews
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 tells how he came to be a crew member on the Grant
and unfolds 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-interested in ocean adventures, commercial fishing, maritime life, and the Northwest Coast.
Dean Adams went on to become the captain of his own fishing boat and to earn 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.
"A real-life account of a young man's first season working as a crew member on his uncle's commercial fishing boat in the 1970s. Adams tells of the drunken shore leave, the surprising gentleness and understanding between crew members, and the rough but careful teaching of any new crew member to be part of a team upon which one sometimes had to depend for one's survival." -Margaret Willson, author of Dance Lest We All Fall Down: Breaking the Cycles of Poverty in Brazil and Beyond
"I relived my own past reading Four Thousand Hooks. The way Adam's described seeing things for the first time through the eyes of a greenhorn crew member--the sights and smells, what it's like to really feel work and exhaustion, being on your own as a young man in Alaska--brought back memories I didn't know I had." -Sig Hansen, Captain of the Northwestern, as seen on Deadliest Catch
"Gritty but literate, this book has the slap-dash of real boat experience. Four Thousand Hooks never loses its salt. It's about an 'inbreaker' ready to take it all as it comes--fish slime, full hold, and hopefully a payday." -William McCloskey, author of Highliners
"This is pure adventure. Dean's story is . . . sinewy and spare, understated and often gorgeously written."-Ethan Gilsdorf, Boston Globe, October 2012
"Four Thousand Hooks is a marvellous loss-of-innocence book, informative, enjoyable and well worth reading." -Irene Wanner, Seattle Times, November 2012
"His first-hand accounts come alive on the pages, where the reader is swept into the story with the narrator. . . . The foreshadowing and timing of the story makes it difficult to stop . . ."-Christy Olsen Field, Norwegian American Weekly, October 2012
"'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