Blood Knots by Luke Jennings
A Memoir of Fathers, Friendship, and Fishing

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Blood Knots is a brilliant and dramatic memoir of an angler’s life. It places Jennings in the front rank of natural history writers. As a child in the 1960s, he was fascinated by the rivers and lakes around his home. Beneath their surfaces 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 learned stealth, deception, and the art of dry-fly fishing. 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, honor, and coming of age. As an adult, Jennings has sought out lost and secretive waterways, probing waters 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, he suggests in this most moving and thought-provoking of memoirs, can you connect with your own deep history. Jennings offers here a striking, elegiac narrative for lovers of unique memoirs and the finest fly-fishing literature.


About Luke Jennings

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Luke Jennings is the author of three novels, including the Booker Prize-longlisted Atlantic. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and Time. He is currently the dance critic for the Observer and lives in London.
Published May 15, 2012 by Skyhorse Publishing. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, Nature & Wildlife. Non-fiction

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He remembers those “tiny red worms downstream beneath a toothpick float cocked by a single dust-shot,” and a “plain black wet fly with soft hen-hackles, something that would look like a drowning insect against the fading light.” Jennings also analyses a great 1938 debate at the renowned Flyfisher...

Apr 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Blood Knots: A Memoir of Fath...

The Guardian

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Blood Knots by Luke Jennings Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop A memoir of days spent fishing seems an unlikely place to look for refle...

May 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Blood Knots: A Memoir of Fath...

I was the same age when I picked up a rod for the first time to the same limited effect, with vast swathes of time spent fishing without ever sighting a fish, feeling a nibble, or far less landing a fish.

Apr 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Blood Knots: A Memoir of Fath...


There’s something delightfully, eccentrically English about a newspaper’s fiftysomething dance critic writing a memoir based on the delights – philosophical, geographical and ecological – of fishing.

Apr 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Blood Knots: A Memoir of Fath...

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