Liar's Code

Growing Up Fishing

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About The Book

Warm, funny, and memorable musings on a life spent fishing.

With this eclectic collection of personal essays taking him from his childhood haunts along the industrial Niagara River of the 1960s to Alaska and the saltwater flats of the Caribbean, Richard Chiappone elongates the fishing-writing genre, suggesting that he finds almost anything a fisherman does interesting—anything but the actual fishing.

In one piece, he gets no farther than the curb outside his upstate New York childhood home, futilely waiting for his ride to the rivers of his dreams. In another account he describes an afternoon, standing in a midwinter snow bank, casting to house cats. With humor and self-skewering wit, Chiappone admits he can’t cast very well, ties some of the ugliest flies in the world, and spent nineteen years of his life trying to catch a permit.

The essays, both funny and touching, reveal him as a writer of stark contradictions: a man who despises winter and loves living in Alaska; who laments having spent half his life just downstream from the infamous Love Canal, and simultaneously remembers those years with elegiac fondness. Lifting his gaze past the tip of his fly rod, and beyond the river and the fish all the way into his own heart, he portrays everything from a sentimental memory of his mother to his doubts about the adequacy of his grief over a dead daughter, making this compilation a kind of memoir in linked essays—a fisherman’s life examined.

Skyhorse Publishing is proud to publish a broad range of books for fishermen. Our books for anglers include titles that focus on fly fishing, bait fishing, fly-casting, spin casting, deep sea fishing, and surf fishing. Our books offer both practical advice on tackle, techniques, knots, and more, as well as lyrical prose on fishing for bass, trout, salmon, crappie, baitfish, catfish, and more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Skyhorse (May 3, 2016)
  • Length: 220 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781510704954

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Raves and Reviews

“Rich Chiappone recalls—accurately and poignantly—the longings, frustrations, and low-rent triumphs of childhood fishing and brings them forward through the better part of a lifetime, proving that although fishermen do grow up, they never really change. —John Gierach, author of All Fisherman Are Liars and member of the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame

“With a unique blend of insight, literacy, irreverence, and self-deprecating wit, Rich Chiappone has accomplished a goal even more challenging than landing a permit on a fly: the creation of a classic.” —E. Donnall Thomas Jr., two-time winner of the Traver Award, author of Redfish, Bluefish, Ladyfish, Snook

“Sometimes humorous, often bittersweet, and always insightful, Liar’s Code is a work that will appeal to anyone who appreciates great writing.” —Dave Atcheson, author of Dead Reckoning and Navigating a Life on the Last Frontier

“Rich Chiappone cracks me up. These stories, with their sidelong glances and arched eyebrows, would not be nearly so much fun if he caught more fish.” —Tom Kizzia, author of New York Times bestseller Pilgrim's Wilderness

“Chiappone speaks to all of us, even those unfortunate few who’ve never picked up a fishing rod in their life. Liar’s Code is about fishing, yes; but it’s also about all the other, richer joys that abound in this life. No lie: Rich Chiappone’s paean to fishing is a keeper!” —David Abrams, author of Fobbit, book blogger at The Quivering Pen

“Liar’s Code is quintessential Richard Chiappone: humorous yet haunting, pithy but never precious. Each essay swims from the page with the reader in tow.” —John Larison, author of Holding Lies and Whiskey When We’re Dry

“You don’t need to know a chub from a chinook to love these stories, which are much, much less about ‘catching the big one’ than they are about family, friendship, and following dreams.” —Nancy Lord, former Alaska Writer Laureate, author of Fishcamp and Beluga Days

“Rich Chiappone writes like a magician, somehow making you long for a childhood among the Union Carbide stack and old fishermen’s stories. He makes you wish to have had a life so full.” —Pete Fromm, author of If Not For This and The Names of the Stars

“From the mighty Niagara River, to the startling wonder of Alaska, to the dreamland of the Caribbean, Richard Chiappone tells vivid, meaty tales and proves once again that there is more to fishing than the fish.” —John Pitarresi, outdoor columnist for the Utica Observer-Dispatch

“Rich Chappione spins a happy tale. Liar’s Code reminds us, again and again, that it’s good to be alive and fishing—considering the alternative.” —Scott Sadil, author of Fly Tales, Cast from the Edge, and Lost in Wyoming

“As an occasional participant in Rich’s adventures, I can attest that Liar’s Code, as Huck Finn would say, ‘is a mostly true book, with some stretchers.’ His writing is funny, warm, and perceives the universal truths of our lives through a singular lens—in this case, fishing. A delightful read. —Will Rice, author of Fly-Fishing Secrets of Alaska’s Best Guides

“Rich Chiappone recalls—accurately and poignantly—the longings, frustrations, and low-rent triumphs of childhood fishing and brings them forward through the better part of a lifetime, proving that although fishermen do grow up, they never really change. —John Gierach, author of All Fisherman Are Liars and member of the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame

“With a unique blend of insight, literacy, irreverence, and self-deprecating wit, Rich Chiappone has accomplished a goal even more challenging than landing a permit on a fly: the creation of a classic.” —E. Donnall Thomas Jr., two-time winner of the Traver Award, author of Redfish, Bluefish, Ladyfish, Snook

“Sometimes humorous, often bittersweet, and always insightful, Liar’s Code is a work that will appeal to anyone who appreciates great writing.” —Dave Atcheson, author of Dead Reckoning and Navigating a Life on the Last Frontier

“Rich Chiappone cracks me up. These stories, with their sidelong glances and arched eyebrows, would not be nearly so much fun if he caught more fish.” —Tom Kizzia, author of New York Times bestseller Pilgrim's Wilderness

“Chiappone speaks to all of us, even those unfortunate few who’ve never picked up a fishing rod in their life. Liar’s Code is about fishing, yes; but it’s also about all the other, richer joys that abound in this life. No lie: Rich Chiappone’s paean to fishing is a keeper!” —David Abrams, author of Fobbit, book blogger at The Quivering Pen

“Liar’s Code is quintessential Richard Chiappone: humorous yet haunting, pithy but never precious. Each essay swims from the page with the reader in tow.” —John Larison, author of Holding Lies and Whiskey When We’re Dry

“You don’t need to know a chub from a chinook to love these stories, which are much, much less about ‘catching the big one’ than they are about family, friendship, and following dreams.” —Nancy Lord, former Alaska Writer Laureate, author of Fishcamp and Beluga Days

“Rich Chiappone writes like a magician, somehow making you long for a childhood among the Union Carbide stack and old fishermen’s stories. He makes you wish to have had a life so full.” —Pete Fromm, author of If Not For This and The Names of the Stars

“From the mighty Niagara River, to the startling wonder of Alaska, to the dreamland of the Caribbean, Richard Chiappone tells vivid, meaty tales and proves once again that there is more to fishing than the fish.” —John Pitarresi, outdoor columnist for the Utica Observer-Dispatch

“Rich Chappione spins a happy tale. Liar’s Code reminds us, again and again, that it’s good to be alive and fishing—considering the alternative.” —Scott Sadil, author of Fly Tales, Cast from the Edge, and Lost in Wyoming

“As an occasional participant in Rich’s adventures, I can attest that Liar’s Code, as Huck Finn would say, ‘is a mostly true book, with some stretchers.’ His writing is funny, warm, and perceives the universal truths of our lives through a singular lens—in this case, fishing. A delightful read. —Will Rice, author of Fly-Fishing Secrets of Alaska’s Best Guides

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