Upstream by Langdon Cook
Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

Blurring boundaries and complicating the oversimplified, Cook provides a moving, artfully layered story of strength and vulnerability, offering glimpses of hope for growing humility and reverence and for shifting human-nature relationships.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

From the award-winning author of The Mushroom Hunters comes the story of an iconic fish, perhaps the last great wild food: salmon.

For some, a salmon evokes the distant wild, thrashing in the jaws of a hungry grizzly bear on TV. For others, it’s the catch of the day on a restaurant menu, or a deep red fillet at the market. For others still, it’s the jolt of adrenaline on a successful fishing trip. Our fascination with these superlative fish is as old as humanity itself. Long a source of sustenance among native peoples, salmon is now more popular than ever. Fish hatcheries and farms serve modern appetites with a domesticated “product”—while wild runs of salmon dwindle across the globe. How has this once-abundant resource reached this point, and what can we do to safeguard wild populations for future generations?

Langdon Cook goes in search of the salmon in Upstream, his timely and in-depth look at how these beloved fish have nourished humankind through the ages and why their destiny is so closely tied to our own. Cook journeys up and down salmon country, from the glacial rivers of Alaska to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest to California’s drought-stricken Central Valley and a wealth of places in between. Reporting from remote coastlines and busy city streets, he follows today’s commercial pipeline from fisherman’s net to corporate seafood vendor to boutique marketplace. At stake is nothing less than an ancient livelihood.

But salmon are more than food. They are game fish, wildlife spectacle, sacred totem, and inspiration—and their fate is largely in our hands. Cook introduces us to tribal fishermen handing down an age-old tradition, sport anglers seeking adventure and a renewed connection to the wild, and scientists and activists working tirelessly to restore salmon runs. In sharing their stories, Cook covers all sides of the debate: the legacy of overfishing and industrial development; the conflicts between fishermen, environmentalists, and Native Americans; the modern proliferation of fish hatcheries and farms; and the longstanding battle lines of science versus politics, wilderness versus civilization.

This firsthand account—reminiscent of the work of John McPhee and Mark Kurlansky—is filled with the keen insights and observations of the best narrative writing. Cook offers an absorbing portrait of a remarkable fish and the many obstacles it faces, while taking readers on a fast-paced fishing trip through salmon country. Upstream is an essential look at the intersection of man, food, and nature.

Praise for Upstream

“Passionate . . . Cook deftly conveys his love of nature, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and the delectable eating provided by fresh caught wild salmon.”—Library Journal

“Insightful . . . this work is a great place to learn what needs to done—and an entertaining view on the positive and negative connections humans have with the natural environment.”—Publishers Weekly

“Langdon Cook delivers a beautifully written portrait of the iconic salmon that blends history, biology, contentious politics, and the joy of fishing into a captivating and thought-provoking tale.”—Eric Jay Dolin, author of Brilliant Beacons

“Salmon are the essence of the Pacific Northwest, and as Langdon Cook shows so powerfully, they are the key to its future."—Rowan Jacobsen, author of The Essential Oyster

“In this fresh tale of an ancient wonder, Langdon Cook takes us on an inspired journey of discovery through the heart and soul of salmon country.”—David R. Montgomery, author of King of Fish and Growing a Revolution
 

About Langdon Cook

See more books from this Author
LANGDON COOK is the author of Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager, which the Seattle Times called "lyrical, practical and quixotic." Cook has been profiled on The Travel Channel, in Bon Appetit, WSJ magazine, Whole Living, and Salon.com, and his writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Sunset, Gray's Sporting Journal, and Outside. He's also a columnist for Seattle Magazine, and has been the recipient of many grants and awards. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.







Author Residence: Seattle, WA







Author Hometown: Connecticut
 
Published May 30, 2017 by Ballantine Books. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Nature & Wildlife, Cooking, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Upstream
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 16 2017

Blurring boundaries and complicating the oversimplified, Cook provides a moving, artfully layered story of strength and vulnerability, offering glimpses of hope for growing humility and reverence and for shifting human-nature relationships.

Read Full Review of Upstream: Searching for Wild ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Reader Rating for Upstream
92%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 17 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×